Operating a construction site without workers’ compensation coverage is against the law in Florida. It can lead to a stop-work order and penalties issued by the state government. These penalties can have significant ramifications for your business and active projects. In this editorial, a stop-work order attorney in Florida will review common myths about stop-work orders and workers’ compensation. We will also properly correct these myths so that your construction company can avoid a stop-work order from impacting your operations.
Myth #1: Only Some Construction Sites Require Workers’ Compensation Coverage
All construction companies are legally required to carry workers’ compensation coverage in the State of Florida even if the company only has a single employee. If your company is caught without workers compensation coverage, the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation will issue a stop-work order. The size or location of the project makes no difference. You are required to have workers’ compensation coverage without any exemptions.
You must have workers’ compensation coverage to work on a construction project in Florida. If you have been issued a stop-work order because you did not have workers’ compensation coverage, schedule a consultation with a workers’ compensation defense attorney in Florida to get your construction project back on track. The best time to obtain workers’ compensation coverage is when you hire your first employee. However, it’s never too late to get the coverage you need.
Myth #2: Work Can Continue While Working Out Stop-Work Orders
You will not be able to continue to work on the project while the stop-work order in Florida is in effect. This includes work on other job sites, too. In other words, your company would need to have the stop-work order lifted before performing any construction work. If your company already started the project, you may need to invest additional money to rent the equipment and compensate your staff even if you are unable to work on the project. For help getting a stop-work order lifted, contact a stop-work order attorney in Florida as soon as you receive notice about the order. This can potentially help your team get back to the job and resume work.
Myth #3: Subcontractors are not Subjected to the General Contractor’s Workers’ Compensation
Since subcontractors function as their own businesses, many general contractors assume that the workers the subcontractors hire are the responsibility of the subcontractor. However, this is not always the case. If the subcontractors you work with do not have workers’ compensation coverage for their workers, the liability can fall on the general contractor. This is why it is critical to thoroughly vet any subcontractor your company hires and ensure that they have the appropriate licenses and coverage in place before starting the job.
Myth #4: It is Almost Impossible to Lift a Stop-Work Order
It is true that it can be difficult to lift a stop-work order. You’ll need someone who has experience and knowledge working with the workers’ compensation department and lifting stop-work orders quickly. A stop-work order attorney in Florida can help you to lift a stop-work order and get you back on the jobsite. The sooner you can have the stop-work order lifted, the better. The order could impact your company’s ability to secure additional contracts and maintain profitability. You can talk to your attorney about steps you can take to reduce the risk of receiving a stop-work order in the future.
Myth #5: All Coverage Protects Against Stop-Work Orders
Not all workers’ compensation plans are the same. By working with a workers’ compensation defense lawyer in Florida, you can make sure that your construction firm has the right coverage in place for upcoming projects. Since regulations change often, being proactive by working with an experienced attorney can ensure that you always have the appropriate coverage in place to protect your company from liability. This goes beyond workers’ compensation. Consulting an attorney enables you to verify that the rest of your operations are compliant, from correctly classifying independent contractors and employees to defending your construction company against lawsuits.
Stop-work orders can hurt your company’s credibility and make it nearly impossible to remain profitable, as projects can end up taking much longer than scheduled. If your construction company is under a stop-work order in Florida, it is important to have it lifted as soon as possible so your business can resume normal operations. Schedule a consultation with a stop-work order attorney in Florida to lift the order as soon as possible so that you can move forward with your next project.
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.