Occasionally an employer lacks workers’ comp in NC. North Carolina law stipulates that every business with more than three or more employees has workers’ compensation coverage. But this is not always the case. Often, injured workers find themselves without the funds to cover their treatment because employers don’t have workers’ comp insurance.
If you find yourself with an employer without workers’ comp coverage, it is best to contact a Charlotte workers’ comp attorney. This article looks at the consequences of employers operating without a workers’ compensation policy in North Carolina.
Who Should Have Workers’ Comp in North Carolina?
As already mentioned, employers with more than three employees must have workers’ compensation insurance. This is the general rule, and like all laws of this nature, there are a few exceptions. The following people are exempted from workers’ comp coverage:
- Railroad workers covered under federal policies
- Casual employees, e.g., people whose employment is not in the trade, business, or profession of the employer
- Domestic employees of households
- Farm laborers, if the employer has less than ten full-time, non-seasonal employees.
- Commission-based sellers of agricultural products
Any business with a radiation presence is expected to have workers’ comp because of possible workplace illnesses from exposure. It doesn’t matter if the company has less than three employees. As a business owner, consult a North Carolina workers’ compensation lawyer to determine if you’re complying or defaulting the law.
Also, North Carolina laws provide that employers have workers’ comp coverage for part-time employees. The preceding is essential as long as the number of part-time workers is more than three. A self-employed sole proprietor is not required to have workers’ comp coverage.
Furthermore, officers of a corporation might choose to get excluded from workers’ comp. But they will make up the number of three and above. Executive officers or directors or committee members of nonprofits are not counted under employees covered by workers’ comp.
Lastly, independent contractors are not required to have compensation coverage. However, several factors qualify a person as an independent contractor for workers’ comp. Find out what they are from a North Carolina workers’ compensation lawyer.
What Happens if an Employer Doesn’t Have Workers’ Comp in NC?
Unless your work falls within any of the exemptions mentioned above, your employer must have workers’ comp in NC. There is no waiver, even if there is an agreement with the employees. An employer who chooses to operate their business without workers’ comp would face harsh penalties.
In North Carolina, the Industrial Commission has the responsibility of fining employers who fail to have workers’ compensation coverage. The law stipulates that they pay into the insurance one dollar per day, but not less than $50 and not more than $100. Thus, an employer who doesn’t have workers’ compensation for a year faces a fine between $18,250 to $36,500 per year.
The employer would pay the fine even if they did not record any workplace injury or illness for the year. North Carolina workers’ comp laws state that an employer who “willfully fails” to secure compensation coverage should be charged with a Class H felony. If the employer simply “Neglects” to provide insurance, they will get charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor. Thus it’s important for an employer to have workers’ comp in NC.
In addition to the fines and criminal charges, the employer would be liable for all the medical bills for the employee’s treatment. The employer would also be responsible for lost wages when the employee is away from work because of injury or illness without workers’ comp in NC. Consequently, the employee would bring their claim before the Industrial Commission or file a negligence lawsuit in a civil court. Charlotte workers’ comp lawyers can help you with this.
Further, an uninsured employer loses the “Exclusive remedy” protection provided by the North Carolina Workers Compensation Act. This leaves the employee open to a wide range of damages, including pain and suffering, awarded in civil lawsuits. Thus, it is more prudent for North Carolina employers to have a workers’ comp converge.
Workers’ Comp Lawyers in Charlotte, NC, Can Help You!
When you suffer a work injury that keeps you from working and earning money, you deserve to get compensated. That your employer doesn’t have workers’ compensation coverage is not your fault, and you deserve to get all your entitlements. This is why you should contact our Charlotte workers’ comp attorneys.
We have a team with years of experience helping North Carolina residents get what they deserve. We will handle your case before the Industrial Commission or a civil court, and you don’t pay us until we win. Contact us today for a free case review.