Your construction business can find itself in hot water when a stop-work order is issued. Although there may be enough leeway to immediately correct the issue or at least accelerate the process with an expedited hearing, even a quickly resolved stop-work order can be devastating to the bottom line of your business. If you have received a stop-work order, you need to act fast and consult a Florida workers’ comp defense attorney. Even if you haven’t received a stop-work order and you are just establishing a business, you should still consult an attorney to ensure that you have the right system in place so that you never receive one.
In the first part of this two-part series, a Florida workers’ comp defense lawyer explained a few ways you can avoid being issued a stop-work order including avoiding wrongfully labeling some employees as independent contractors and hiring a reliable payroll service to manage your important financial information. In this part, we will focus on a few more ways you can avoid receiving a stop-work order from the Florida Department of Financial Services.
3) Purchase Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Employers should invest in workers’ compensation coverage. Many employers (in non-construction industries) don’t invest in workers’ compensation until they are legally required to. What they don’t consider is that any injured employee during work hours can create a great deal of liability for them if they are unprotected. Even if you have less than four employees for your Florida-based business, you should still purchase coverage to ensure your business is protected.
4) Consult a Legal Professional
Many employers wait until they either receive a stop-work order or are issued a notice that their business will be investigated before they consult an attorney. If you are in this position, an attorney can provide the following legal services to help mitigate potentially costly fines:
- An attorney will understand what company records and payroll documents need to be presented during an investigation.
- An attorney can represent your company’s best interests during the phases of an investigation including the employer’s interview portion of an investigation.
- An attorney can assess the agency’s findings. If a mistake was made during the investigation, they can challenge the agency’s ruling.
Although it’s better to contact an attorney late than never, employers should partner with an attorney when they are establishing their business to ensure they are compliant with all employment laws. If you receive a stop-work order, this government-authorized device will not be removed until your business has corrected the issue and the total penalty amount has been assessed and paid. Due to the time-consuming nature of this process, citations can be extremely expensive for employers that violate laws related to stop-work orders.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.