Your employees are the backbone of your business, performing the everyday tasks that are necessary to serve your customers. When one of them is injured on the job, you risk losing an important team member, as well as being responsible for their medical expenses. Workers compensation insurance helps cover the costs associated with workplace injuries, providing important benefits to your employees and your company, and is required by law in Massachusetts.
Unfortunately, accidents happen and your employees are at risk for being injured while performing their job duties. When this happens, they need to receive appropriate medical care before they can return to the job. However, your company will be without this valuable employee and faced with the hard decision of losing income to hire a temporary replacement or not paying your injured worker. To address this problem, workers compensation insurance was developed in 1949, providing medical payments and salary reimbursement for job place injuries. This important coverage is required by many states, including Massachusetts.
States all over the country mandate that businesses carry workers compensation coverage, for the protection of their employees. In MA, if your business has any employees, even part time workers, they must be covered by workers compensation. As the employer, you are also required to be covered by the insurance policy, with the exception of certain corporate officers. Domestic service employees must also be covered if they work more than 16 hours per week.
The state also requires that notification of this coverage must be clearly displaced in a common area of the office that is accessible to all employees. The notice must include the name of the insurer. If your company fails to comply with the state mandates, you can be fined up to $100 per day per incident.
Workers compensation coverage addresses the dual problems of the employee and the employer. When an employee is injured and cannot work, they receive compensation for their associated medical costs, allowing them to seek appropriate care. Employees also receive a percentage of their salary during this time. Some policies also cover vocational rehabilitation fees to help get workers back on the job as quickly and safely as possible.
For the employer, workers compensation provides important protections as well. By accepting workers compensation payments, the employee relieves the company of legal liability and is not able to sue for their injuries or illness, unless willful negligence is involved. Also, because the employee is receiving salary reimbursement via insurance, you can afford to hire a temporary replacement until they return.
The costs of your workers compensation policy will depend on a number of factors. Each employee must be sorted into a risk category based on their job functions. With this and their salary, the cost for each employee can be determined. Higher-risk workers, such as construction workers, typically cost more to insure than those working low-risk desk jobs.
To be sure you are paying for all and only the insurance you need, a yearly audit is conducted reviewing your past year’s payroll and employment data. From this you may be refunded if you have overpaid, or you may be billed for the difference in coverage. This audit helps keep costs under control.
Workers compensation insurance provides important benefits to employees and employers across Massachusetts. By helping to cover medical and salary expenses when a worker is injured on the job, this important protection makes it easy for both parties to recover.