The construction industry is inherently dangerous, so Florida workers’ compensation law is a topic that comes up more frequently in construction than in most other industries.
If you are a business owner, contractor or other construction professional, staying within the confines of the law is critical. Seeking legal counsel from an experienced attorney will ensure that you aren’t breaking any Florida workers’ compensation rules.
Proper Workers’ Compensation Insurance
The State of Florida conducts routine inspections of businesses and jobsites to ensure that companies are in compliance with Florida workers’ compensation law. One of the biggest things that gets employers in trouble is not having the adequate workers’ compensation insurance.
If your company has neglected to properly insure its workers, the State’s civil enforcement action is usually a Stop Work Order, which requires you to cease any operations of your business until you have paid your penalty and your business is operating in compliance with the law.
The penalty can amount to twice what your manual premium would have cost over the preceding two-year period. Sometimes a payment plan can be negotiated, and the Stop Work Order can be lifted while incremental payments are made. If you miss a payment, the Stop Work Order is reinstated.
Insufficient insurance coverage can be the result of:
- Hiding or understating payroll
- Not being honest about employee duties
- Misclassifying employees as independent contractors
- Using any other means to avoid paying the correct workers’ compensation insurance premium
Don’t Break These Florida Workers’ Compensation Rules
There are additional laws governing workers’ compensation besides those in the previous section. Construction professionals should make sure they do not ever do the following:
- Continue their work despite a Stop Work Order
- Conceal/fail to report a worker’s injury to the insurance carrier
- Fire or threaten to fire an employee for filing or attempting to file a workers’ compensation claim
- Deduct their company’s workers’ compensation insurance premium from the employees’ paychecks
Violating Florida workers’ compensation rules can result in massive fines and even felony charges of insurance fraud.
Work With the Best
Not knowing the law is not an excuse in the eyes of the State of Florida. It is unfortunate that many small and midsize business owners face extreme penalties for what is frequently an honest mistake. We believe every construction professional deserves a fresh start, and that companies shouldn’t have to face financial devastation or close their doors due to a workers’ compensation dispute. Our seasoned construction lawyers will fight tenaciously to defend your business.
If you would like to consult with us on Florida workers’ compensation law, please contact us today.
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.