Yes. Unless you are considered exempt under the law, you need workers’ compensation insurance in the State of Florida. In the state of Florida, any employer with four or more employees (whether full-time or part-time) will have to provide workers’ compensation coverage.

Almost every employee who is not an independent contractor or self-employed will need Florida workers’ compensation. Note that employers who do not have workers’ compensation insurance face penalties from regulators. Florida workers’ compensation insurance is primarily meant to help provide coverage related to workplace injuries.

Note that once an employee gets injured on the job, workers’ compensation insurance is meant to cover medical expenses, including things like emergency care, ongoing treatments, and physical therapy. Workers’ comp is also meant to replace lost wages if the injured worker requires time off work to recuperate due to their workplace injury.

The primary objective of workers’ compensation insurance is to protect business owners from issues and damages that occur as a result of on-the-job accidents or injuries. Even if your business is not legally mandated to purchase or have workers’ comp coverage, have in mind that obtaining a policy can still be a good idea because of the numerous benefits and protections it provides.

If you need workers’ comp coverage for your Florida business, you can purchase a policy through any private insurance company, agent, or broker that is licensed to operate in the state. Employers who don’t have workers’ comp insurance may face severe penalties. Coupled with fines and monetary penalties, the business may be forced to halt operations until they get insurance and pay their fees.

Penalties for Not Having Workers Compensation Insurance in Florida

Employers in the state of Florida who operate without the necessary workers’ comp insurance risk severe penalties for not being in compliance. These penalties include;

  1. Fines and Fees

Worker’s compensation is a mandatory legal requirement for businesses that qualify in the state of Florida. Note that the state government can instigate civil action against employers or businesses that violate workers’ compensation rules in the state.

In many situations, they impose fines and other fees on these employers or businesses. For instance, an employer that violates workers’ compensation rules in the state will be expected to pay twice what they would have paid in premiums within the past two years. In addition, a fee of $5,000 is assessed for workers who have been falsely classified as independent contractors.

  1. Stop-Work Orders

In the state of Florida, immediately it is realized or verified that a business does not have worker’s compensation insurance, the state investigators might issue stop-work orders. Note that these orders are meant to ensure that the business doesn’t resume business operations until they comply with the laws that have to do with worker’s compensation.

The stop-work order will remain valid until the defaulting employer pays their penalty. In the state of Florida, violating a stop-work order is a crime that can result in criminal charges. This order can be issued where the employer:

  • Hides or understates their payroll
  • Misrepresents or conceals employee duties
  • Fails to pay the right amount of premiums for their workers’ comp insurance policy
  1. Criminal Prosecution

Additionally, note that a good number of workers’ comp violations can result in criminal proceedings against the defaulting employer. Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Act notes prohibited actions and carrying out any of these actions can be a misdemeanor or felony.

Also note that there are first, second, and third-degree workers’ comp felonies. Aside from that, also have in mind that employees in the state can face criminal prosecution for their own conduct.

  1. Civil Lawsuits

Have it in mind that when an employee is injured during their employment, that employee will be expected to go through the worker’s compensation process. According to experts, this is where the exact amount an employee will receive for a particular injury is evaluated and determined.

If you don’t have workers’ compensation, the employee still reserves the right to sue you and your business establishment. In civil courts, the juries will be responsible for evaluating and deciding the amount a plaintiff should be compensated for their injury.

Also, note that suing tends to result in much larger verdicts when put in comparison with the worker’s compensation system. For those without workers’ compensation insurance, you will also have to contend with paying your employee’s attorney fees, and this can mean more loss to your company.

Conclusion

Unless you are considered exempt under the law, you need workers’ compensation insurance in the State of Florida. Note that employers who carry out business activities in the state of Florida are almost always mandated to provide workers’ compensation insurance for their employees as long as they have four or more employees. Workers’ comp is necessary for Florida for full-time and part-time employees.