In PA, Pennsylvania, an employer has to carry workers’ comp insurance mandatorily. If your employer does not carry one, the insured employer will face violation punishment. We will get back to that later, but first, here is how you can know if your employer provides worker’ comp (WC) insurance:
- Ask your employer for the same
If you want to know if your employer carries workers’ comp insurance, you can ask for the same directly from your employer. Enquire where you can read more on this.
- Find the notice of workers’ compensation in your workplace
As per PA workers’ compensation, the employer must post a notice of the workers’ compensation on the workplace premises by law. The notice should be posted in a prominent and accessible place. The notice should contain the name, address, and telephone number of the employer’s insurer or information of other appropriate parties.
The notice should have information about the worker’s compensation claims or the party’s information through which such information can be requested.
Find such a notice in your workplace to know whether your employer carries a worker’s compensation.
- Contact the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation
If you cannot find such notice or your employer stays muted about the presence of worker’s compensation., the employee has the right to contact the Bureau of WC in PA.
- Find your employer’s name in the insurance coverage list
The Department of Labor and Industry in Pennsylvania also provides the facility to employees to find their employer’s name in the web list of PCRB databases. If you cannot find your employer’s name in such a list, you can contact the Bureau of WC toll-free inside PA: 800-482-2383; local & outside PA: 717-772-4447; or seek help from workers compensation attorneys in Philadelphia.
What happens if your employer does not carry WC in PA, Pennsylvania?
Failure to carry WC insurance in Pennsylvania has its repercussions. If at the time any worker is injured and the employer is uninsured, the Department of Labor and Safety has the right to recover the reimbursement from the employer from the Uninsured Employer Guaranty Fund.
This reimbursement will include the claim, the interest, penalties, fees u/s 440 of the worker’s compensation act, and attorney fees.
Furthermore, the uninsured employer will also face criminal and civil risks. The employee has the right to sue the employer related to work-related injuries, in which the employee has the right to recover more than the expenses on recovery.
A misdemeanor in providing WC will result in a fine of $2500 + up to one year of imprisonment for each day the employer failed to maintain worker’s compensation coverage. In case of felony convictions, the fine is $15000 + 7 years do imprisonment for each day the employer failed to maintain WC.
If the employer fails to respond to the Department’s request regarding its worker’s compensation status, the employer has to pay $200 each daily for up to 30 days under Section 610 of the worker’s compensation Act.
How can an employer insure WC in Pennsylvania?
An employer has the liability to get worker’s compensation insurance in either of the three ways:
- By purchasing the State worker’s insurance fund
An employer can buy the workers’ comp insurance from the State workers’ insurance fund i.e., SWIF, by calling on 570-963-4635.
- Through an insurance company
Get it from the PA insurance department by visiting www.insurance.pa.gov. This includes approved workers’ comp insurance carriers the employers can get insurance from.
- Seek approval of self-insure
The employers also have the right to self-insure themselves by taking prior approval from the Department of Labor and Industry. To get the approval of self-insurance, the employer has to present the latest audited financial statements, with an application fee with each application.
When an employer chooses to self-insure, they must set aside fixed funds to pay for worker’s compensation claims. There are other requirements to be fulfilled by self-insured employers.
How can an employer get a worker’s compensation claim in PA?
The injured employee has to inform the employer of his injuries within 21 days by giving proper notice. No notice given within 120 days from the date of injury will not be eligible to claim compensation.
The employer then reports all injuries to his insurer. If self-insured, the employer presents the same to the management responsible for working upon the claims.
The employer also has to submit the First Report of Injury electronically if the injury resulted in the loss of work, shift, or more of one day. The First Report of Injury should be submitted within 24 hours if the injury resulted in the worker’s death.
Which employers are exempted from workers’ comp insurance coverage in PA?
If the employees employed under the employer fall amongst any of these categories, there are exempted from providing any worker’s compensation in Pennsylvania:
- They are federal workers
- They are a longshoreman or railroad workers
- Causal workers that work outside the course of normal employment
- Workers who clean, wash, alter, and provide other handyman services and work out of their own homes are not under the control of any company or enterprise
- Agricultural laborers earn under $1200 from one employer per calendar year
- Domestic workers not elected under the Department of Labor and Safety
- Sole properties and partners with no employees working under them
- Persons that have to seek exemption from the Department of Labor and Safety because of religious beliefs
- Executive officers granted an exemption by the Department of Labor and Safety willfully
- Licensed real estate salesperson
- An independent contractor that does not:
- Work at a location directed by the employer
- Works on the dismissal of the employer
- Perform ongoing services to the employer
- Uses tools and equipment furnished by the employer
- Have works hours set by the employer
- Receives a regular salary be it monthly, weekly, or hourly.
- Have regular, FICA or taxes deducted by the employer
- Perform duties assigned by the employer
With this, as an employee, you should know if your employer is carrying valid worker’s comp insurance or not. If not, you can contact a PA personal injury attorney to file a lawsuit against your employer in case of injuries.
Such a lawsuit will help you recover your lost wages, medical expenses on injuries, and other monetary and non-monetary damages over and above the expenses covered under the worker’s compensation.
As an employee, ensure you have the right to receive worker’s compensation even if the injuries were caused due to your own fault. PA follows a mandatory, no-fault, employer-financed workers’ compensation insurance.