Workers' Compensation and the Small Business
If yours is a small business operating in Texas, you may be of the assumption that you do not need to carry workers' compensation insurance. While this is to some extent true, you need to tread lightly, for you can find yourself in legal difficulties otherwise. It is always a good idea to speak with the Bryan business attorneys at Peterson Law Group before you make such a decision as to forego carrying workers' comp.
What Happens When a Texas Small Business Does Not Carry Workers' Comp?
Texas small businesses have the right to choose whether or not to carry workers' comp. However, if they determine in favor of not carrying it, they will be required to report their non-coverage status, and when occupational injuries and illnesses occur, they must report them to the Division of Workers' Compensation. Failure to meet these requirements can render the small business subject to administrative penalties.
How Expensive Is Workers' Compensation?
When a small business chooses to opt out of the workers' comp program it is usually due to cost considerations. The cost is estimated by Texas' compensation board which uses a formula that calculates risks. For instance, the rate may be 1% per $100 of an employee's paycheck.
As you may glean from this, not all occupations are calculated with the same formula. In other words, some occupations are, by their nature, much more dangerous than others. A person who works with explosives in construction is much more at risk of injury that a dry wall installer. The rate paid by the business will of necessity therefore be much higher.
Another factor that can affect a company's premiums is its safety history. Thus, it is to your small business' advantage to try to motivate employers to utilize safety equipment and procedures.
What are the Employer's Responsibilities?
As an employee you are expected to do the following:
- Provide a safe work environment.
- File appropriate documents when an injury occurs on the job.
- Make sure that the injured employee is able to seek medical attention immediately.
- Cooperate with your workers' compensation carrier.
What Advantages Are There for Me?
When you have a workers' compensation program in place your employee is not able to sue you except in extraordinary circumstances. Also, you ensure a workplace that is safety conscious. This one fact can save your company untold thousands in injuries.
If You Have Questions
If you have questions about your small business and providing workers' compensation, speak with Bryan business lawyers. Call Peterson Law Group today to arrange a consultation at 979-703-7014 or 936-337-4681.