Unreported employment can be a serious offense that has life-changing consequences for the employers that are committing it and the workers that are victims of it. In part one of this two-part series, we looked at how unreported employment can damage the honest contractors and companies that build our roads, bridges, and houses. Now, a Naples contractor attorney at Cotney Construction Law will be discussing the very personal and painful impact that unreported employment has on the laborers of this industry. For any and all of your construction-related legal needs, please consult with the talented Naples contractor lawyers at Cotney Construction Law.
A common scheme is for a contractor to buy a “ghost policy” for only himself and refer to his employees as independent contractors. For an employee that is injured under such a policy, what could have been a simple payout from an insurance company for medical expenses can turn into years of litigation and turmoil for victims that need immediate help. These laborers that are risking their lives are often immigrant workers that don’t want to raise alarms or draw attention to themselves. When contractors try to cut corners, it’s the blue-collar workers and their families that end up paying for it.
Know Your Responsibilities as a Florida Contractor
In the State of Florida, a construction company with one or more employees, including the business owner, is required to obtain workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. Contractors are required to ensure that subcontractors under them have workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. If an injury occurs to an uninsured employee of a subcontractor, the general contractor becomes responsible for any compensatory relief related to the injury.
Just like in part one, the money saved in the short term doesn’t outweigh the long-term penalties. Which is why you must be absolutely certain when you declare that a worker is an independent contractor and not subject to the same insurance and pay requirements as direct employees.
Consult an Attorney
The anguish that an uninsured worker can experience is indescribable, and the financial penalties that a contractor can incur from intentionally or unintentionally misclassifying a worker can be insurmountable. Don’t wait until an impending Department of Labor (DOL) hearing to take a look at your workforce. Consult with a Naples contractor lawyer at Cotney Construction Law to ensure that you have met all state and federal insurance and wage requirements.
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.