In Ohio, Workers’ Compensation is provided by the state government through a state insurance fund. This insurance is funded by employers, who pay into the system as required by law. In Ohio, every employer who has one or more employees must pay into the state Worker’s Compensation insurance fund. In return for payment into the fund, the company is in compliance with the law and also has the benefit of receiving Workers’ Compensation insurance coverage. Unfortunately some employers choose not to pay into this state-mandated insurance fund.
Small business owners have, on occasion, believed that because they are a small business, they do not have to pay into the state Workers’ Compensation insurance fund. As mentioned above, if a business, even a small business, has one or more employees, they must pay into the state insurance fund. Penalties for failure to pay into the state insurance fund range from fines, to liens, to outright forfeiture of the business. Furthermore, if an accident involving an employee should occur during a lapse of coverage due to non-payment the injured worker can sue the employer for all damage expenses relating to the work injury, or file a Workers’ Compensation claim for which the employer must reimburse the BWC. While small businesses must carry Workers’ Compensation insurance, self-employed workers do not.
Self-employed workers are an exception to the requirement to pay into the state insurance fund and carry Workers’ Compensation insurance. While not required, self-employed workers can elect to pay into the state insurance fund and receive Workers’ Compensation insurance or pay a private company to insure them. We at Nager, Romaine, and Schneiberg highly recommend self-employed workers have Workers’ Compensation coverage. We believe that the short term gains of not paying monthly into the fund, are far outweighed by the exposure to medical bills and lost wages that would accrue in the case of a work-place accident.
If you are injured at work and your employer tells you that the company does not have Workers’ Compensation coverage, seek immediate legal advice. Call 1-855-GOT-HURT to speak with one of our Ohio workers comp lawyers, or fill out our contact form and we will be in touch.