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Workers’ Compensation Insurance Explained For Minnesotans

by | Dec 14, 2015 | Firm News

Carrying worker’s compensation insurance is the smart choice for both employers and employees. It buffers both parties from the dangers of doing the job required by the company, and ensures that any accidents can be rectified. Unfortunately, it’s not always a choice that employer’s choose to make. When it comes to worker’s compensation insurance, what you do not know can hurt you, whether you are an employer or employee. As an employee, it’s important to know what your rights are, and whether those rights are being met. If you are an employer, simple failure to know the law does not mean that you cannot be penalized for failing to follow it.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance and Minnesota State Law: What to Know:

According to Minnesota state law, an employer’s requirement to provide worker’s compensation insurance is not related to the number of employees the business has, but to the financial ability of the company to provide insurance. The company may either purchase a worker’s comp insurance package, or may provide their own, but in either case, failure to do so if the company meets financial benchmarks can result in serious penalties. An employee is defined as any person working for the company, regardless of full-time or part-time status, or if the person is a minor, a temporary worker, or a non-citizen. In short, even if a company has only one part-time employee, if that company is financially qualified per state law and has failed to acquire worker’s comp insurance, that company is in violation of the law.

The consequences for employers, including corporate owners or officers, that fail to obtain workers’ compensation insurance coverage for their employees include civil penalties and liability for the workers’ compensation benefits and medical treatment for employees injured on the job. Additionally, an employer that willfully and intentionally fails to obtain workers’ compensation coverage is guilty of a gross misdemeanor. The employer may also be forced to pay a fine of up to $1,000 for every week that the company was not in compliance with the insurance policy.