As a business owner in the construction industry, you should make sure you know all of the Florida workers’ compensation requirements. Workers’ compensation is not a topic that the State takes lightly.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Construction
In the State of Florida, construction industry professionals are required to obtain workers’ insurance if they employ one person. While business owners of other industries need not obtain workers’ insurance until they have four or more employees, construction is inherently a more dangerous career path.
Who Is at Fault
Chapter 440, Florida Statutes outlines Florida workers’ compensation law. Essentially, our state uses a no-fault system that promotes prompt delivery of medical benefits to the employee and also protects your business from potential lawsuits.
An employee can receive workers’ compensation benefits regardless of whether they were at fault for their accident. A major exception to this rule, however, is if they were working under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Employee vs. Independent Contractor in Florida
Sometimes a company might misclassify an employee as an independent contractor, which can land you in hot water with both the State and the IRS.
Generally, the difference between an employee and independent contractor lies in how much control, financial or otherwise, the employer has over the worker. Whether the worker is hired indefinitely or on a contract basis, whether they work just for your business or have multiple contracts at one time, and how much control you have over their schedule, are all defining factors. Remember, having someone sign a contract stating that they are an independent contractor does not make them an independent contractor in the eyes of the law. If the State determines their role is that of an employee, you will be liable for workers’ compensation penalties in Florida.
Defense Against Workers’ Compensation Penalties In Florida
When you work with an attorney, make sure they have a background in construction and are equipped to handle your unique needs. Workers’ compensation penalties in Florida are not just handed out when a contractor or other construction professional has intentionally violated a law; even errors made from genuine lack of knowledge or poor legal counsel can land you in hot water.
Whether you would like preventative counsel on Florida workers’ compensation requirements or your business has found itself in need of an aggressive defense attorney, we are here for you. With over 100 collective years of construction law experience, we will bring expertise and tenacity to your case.
If you would like to speak with a Florida workers’ compensation attorney, 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.