Every company that does business in Maryland must carry workers’ compensation insurance. Yet, there are some circumstances where workers’ compensation doesn’t protect someone who performs work for a company. Are you one of those people, or is your company attempting to get away with not covering you for on-the-job accidents?
Which workers are exempt from workers’ compensation coverage?
It is rare for businesses to be exempt from workers’ compensation insurance. Agricultural companies that employ fewer than three people or have an annual payroll of under $15,000 don’t have to buy coverage for their full- or part-time employees. If you are a sole proprietor or a partner in a business, you do not have to purchase coverage, although many people do to protect themselves from the high cost of medical expenses if injured on the job. Maryland law does not require businesses to cover independent contractors, either.
Misclassifying some full-time workers as independent contractors is one way some businesses try to save money on insurance premiums and other benefits. Employers that fail to maintain insurance coverage can receive fines of up to $10,000. Another common violation is deducting part of workers’ compensation costs from employees’ wages. Companies that do so may be found guilty of a misdemeanor.
You deserve compensation if injured on the job
Unless you fall into one of the rare exempt categories, you deserve coverage for medical treatment, therapy and lost wages if you are injured on the job. Workers’ compensation may also entitle you to disability benefits in some circumstances. Coverage can also pay for vocational training if you cannot return to your job.
Don’t give up if you have been misclassified as an independent contractor or were initially denied a claim. Proving your case against your company may result in a successful insurance claim.