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State Workers Compensation Programs and Laws

State workers compensation is composed of the state-administered programs and laws that protect qualifying workers not already covered the by federal workers compensation laws that govern federal employees, as well as workers in certain industries tied to interstate commerce. For the most part, state workers compensation functions exactly like federal programs. The three major components of worker's compensation are compensation for lost wages and earning power (disability insurance), reimbursement for medical treatments (health insurance), and benefits paid to dependents in the event of the workers death (life insurance). While these three components are standard and nearly universal, the qualifications, exemptions, exclusions, limitations, and mandates do differ from state to state.

State Workers Compensation for Employers
The easiest and most common way to guarantee the necessary employee benefits is to buy an insurance policy from a private insurance company. Some large companies decide to self-insure or, in some cases, several small business owners in a similar industry can pool their risk and financial assets to self-insure. By using an insurance company, moreover, an employer can use an insurance agent or broker to walk them through the particulars of their state's worker compensation laws and statutes. In some states, for example, an employer must post a notice to employees detailing their worker's compensation coverage

Naturally, when choosing an insurance company cost is the biggest factor for most employers, but it's not the only one. A stalled or harassing claims process can reflect poorly upon a company and even lower employee morale. And while, like any insurance policy, there will be a fair amount of variance in quoted premiums from different insurance companies, it's not the most important factor that leads to lower insurance costs. An unblemished record in workplace safety is like money in the bank when it comes to workers compensation insurance costs. The biggest offense, however, isn't a spotty workplace safety record, but letting your state workers compensation coverage lapse. Stiff penalties and even jail time can be the result. And, in some states, an employer who fails to maintain worker's compensation can even have his or her personal assets seized to cover the fines and other related expenses.

State Workers Compensation for Employees
State workers compensation is one of the most important safeguards for employees, especially those working in an inherently dangerous field. But it's far from blanket protection. Under most workers compensation programs, employees mandatorily forfeit their right to bring a lawsuit against their employer (or coworkers) for workplace-related injuries. As most people already know or can guess, employees are not entitled to compensation when they are intoxicated on the job or have deliberately injured themselves. What's more, many employees take their worker's compensation benefits for granted or remain uninformed about the specific benefits they're entitled to, right up until the moment they get hurt on the job. In most states, there are limitations on the percentage of lost wages employees can collect, often two-thirds of their previous wage. And for serious injuries, if the employee is not able to return to his or her former job, the employee may need to undergo job retraining to remain eligible for benefits.

Trying to file a worker's compensation claim and receive the benefits can be just as hassle-filled as other insurance claims. Unfortunately, an insurance claims adjuster may not have the normal incentive to provide employees with a high level of customer service, since it's the employer, not the employee, who pays the insurance premiums. In a worst-case scenario, an employee may have to get his or her employer involved to get a claim processed.

The Workers Compensation Research Institute: The Scorecard for Worker's Compensation
Worker's compensation may seem like a simple, slam-dunk protection for the American worker, but it's actually a very tricky thing to get right. If the benefits are too small or too hard to qualify for, workers will "fall through the cracks." If these benefits are too big, however, high insurance premium costs will hamper businesses' competitiveness and place pressure to outsource jobs to areas with more lax workers compensation laws. Moreover, if the benefits are too easy to qualify for or not properly investigated, there is too much incentive for employee fraud and negligence.

Throughout the years since workers compensation was first instituted, various state workers compensation programs have tried to modify their policies and lawmakers have tried to rewrite statutes to create a more efficient and effective system. To recognize and take advantage of superior workers compensation laws, objective analysis and assessment is needed. The Workers Compensation Research Institute provides exactly this sort of analysis and assessment.

A State-by-State Guide to Worker's Compensation

Alabama Worker's Compensation: Alabama employers are only required to carry worker's compensation insurance if they have more than four employees and don't qualify for an exemption given to employers of "domestic employees, farm laborers, or casual employees and municipalities having a population of less than 2,000." That said, many state employers, nonetheless, opt for some type of worker compensation coverage. For more comprehensive information, use this online resource from the Worker Compensation Division of the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations.

Alaska Worker's Compensation: Employers must carry worker's compensation coverage, even for a single employee. However, the state does have somewhat generous exclusions for certain types of employees ranging from part-time baby-sitters to executive officers at a non-profit corporation to contractual taxicab drivers. For more comprehensive information, use this resource from the Division of Worker's Compensation of the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Arizona Worker's Compensation: Employers must carry worker's compensation, even for a single employee. Qualifying employees do not include independent contractors or "casual" employees, however. Failure to maintain worker's compensation is a Class 6 felony that can result in a stiff fine, temporarily closure of your business, as well as other penalties. For more comprehensive information, check out this guide from the Industrial Commission of Arizona.

Arkansas Worker's Compensation: For the most part, employers with three or more employees must carry worker's compensation, but there are exclusions and exceptions so employers should double-check with a local insurance agent before making assumptions. There are other requirements as well, such as clearly posting the details of worker's compensation coverage in the workplace. Failure to maintain coverage can result in stiff penalties and forfeiture of certain employer protections. For more information, visit this online resource from the Arkansas Worker's Compensation Commission.

California Worker's Compensation: Not only must employers carry worker's compensation if they have even one employee, but roofers must insure themselves even if they have no employees. They must also post the details of the workers' compensation coverage in the workplace. Failure to maintain coverage is a misdemeanor punishable by fines of up to $100,000 and a one-year jail sentence. For more information, use this online guide from the California Department of Industrial Relations.

Colorado Worker's Compensation: With few exceptions, employers with one or more employees are required to carry worker's compensation coverage. In 2009, the state overhauled its workers compensation laws, revising certain sections and repealing others. Employers would do well to review these changes, in particular the limited expansion of when a First Report must be filed. To see complete information on these changes and existing workers compensation laws, click here.

Connecticut Worker's Compensation: Except for subcontractors, corporate officers, and other limited exemptions, employers with one or more employees must carry worker's compensation coverage. They must also post a "notice to employees" about the provided coverage. Stiff penalties and legal action may leave personal assets vulnerable to seizure if an employer goes without insurance. To read more, check out this state resource.

Delaware Worker's Compensation: Except for independent contractors, farm workers, and other exemptions, employers with one or more employees must have worker's compensation coverage. Firms with $5 million or more in assets may be able to self-insure. For more information, use this link to the Delaware Office of Worker's Compensation.

Florida Worker's Compensation: Coverage requirements for Florida employers are broken down by industry: In the construction industry, for example, an employer with even one employee must carry coverage. In the agricultural industry, an employer with five or more regular employees and/or 12 seasonal employees must carry coverage. Florida also requires employers to post a notice to employees about the details of coverage. For comprehensive information, check out this online resource.

Georgia Worker's Compensation: Employers with three or more employees, excluding certain "casual" employees or independent contractors, must have worker's compensation coverage, through either insurance or self-insurance. Corporate officers may waive coverage, but they still count toward the number of employees. Some employer-employee disputes related to worker compensation claims may be settled in mediation, rather than formal litigation. For more information, use this link to the State Board of Worker's Compensation.

Hawaii Worker's Compensation: Employers with one or more full or part-time employees must carry worker's compensation coverage, though employee exclusions exist for certain volunteers, students, domestic workers, and commission-based employees. Slightly different rules apply for temporary disability insurance, such as asking employees to cover a certain portion of the premium costs. For comprehensive information, use this link to the state's Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

Idaho Worker's Compensation: Employers with one or more employees must have worker's compensation, although about a dozen potential exemptions exist. Employers can obtain this coverage through a private insurance company, the state insurance fund, self-insurance, or an assigned risk pool where coverage has been denied. Due to its unique geographic composition, out-of-state employees/employers may need to consult reciprocal agreements that neighboring states have reached concerning workers compensation. For more information, use this link to the Idaho Industrial Commission.

Illinois Worker's Compensation: With few exceptions, employers must carry workers compensation, even for a single employee. Failure to obtain this insurance coverage may result in fines up to $10,000, a stop work-order, and prosecution as a Class A misdemeanor (in cases of negligence) or a Class 4 felony (in cases of willful failure). The state's workers compensation insurance industry has nearly 400 licensed insurers and is one of the most competitive in the whole country. To learn more, check out this resource from the state's Workers Compensation Commission.

Indiana Worker's Compensation: Employers must have worker's compensation for employees regardless of number, aside from limited exemptions including certain independent contractors, student-athletes, volunteers, inmates, coaches, among others. Casual labor, household employees, and farm workers may be subjected to the Workers Compensation Act on a voluntary basis by the employer and when accepted by the employee. Employers must post a notice to employees with the details of their coverage. For more information, use this state resource from the Worker's Compensation Board of Indiana.

Iowa Worker's Compensation: In general, employers must carry workers compensation for all employees, except for limited exemptions such as certain family members, farm workers, "casual workers," and employees who make less than $1,500 annually from the employer. Employers who fail to maintain coverage may face both civil and criminal penalties, in addition to losing protection from employee lawsuits. Failure to report injuries or failure to provide weekly compensation benefits within the required amount of time can result in additional penalties. For comprehensive information, use this link to the Iowa Division of Workers' Compensation.

Kansas Worker's Compensation: Minus certain exceptions, employers with more than $20,000 in non-family payroll must obtain workers compensation coverage. This coverage can take the form of a private insurance policy, an eligible group-funded insurance pool, or qualifying as a self-insured firm. Failure to maintain coverage can lead to penalties and stop-work orders. For more information, check out this state resource from the Kansas Department of Labor.

Kentucky Worker's Compensation: Employers with one or more employees who are not exempt must carry workers compensation coverage. Exempt workers include certain domestic servants, home improvement contractors, and farm workers, among others. Not only does the state conduct on-site visits to help ensure coverage, but penalties associated with failure to maintain coverage add up quickly. Every day that each employee goes without coverage constitutes a separate offense with a fine ranging from $100-$1,000. To read more, use this state resource from the Kentucky Department of Workers' Claims.

Louisiana Worker's Compensation: Employers must carry worker's compensation coverage for all employees minus the typical exemptions (farm worker, domestic servant, independent contractors, etc.). A recent survey from the Louisiana Workforce Commission suggests as many as 20% of businesses are violating the state workers compensation laws. This, in spite, of the fact that penalties are $250 per employee, per day. For more information, follow this link to the Louisiana Workforce Commission.

Maine Worker's Compensation: Employers must maintain worker's compensation coverage for all employees, unless they qualify for one of the exemptions laid in section 401 of the state's Workers' Compensation Act. Insurance can be obtained from a private insurer, self-insurance, or group self-insurance. In select circumstances, both an employee and employer can apply for a coverage waiver. Among other requirements, most employers are required to run workplace health and safety training programs. For more information, use this online resource from the Maine Worker's Compensation Board.

Maryland Worker's Compensation: Employers must carry worker's compensation coverage for any and all employees unless the worker is otherwise classified as a "covered employee" or qualifies for and is granted exclusion from coverage. Worker's compensation coverage can be obtained through a private insurance company, the Injured Workers' Insurance Fund, or achieving the status of a self-insured employer. Failure to do so is a misdemeanor punishable by fines of up to $5,000 and/or up to one year imprisonment. For comprehensive information, check out this online guide from the Maryland Worker's Compensation Commission.

Massachusetts Worker's Compensation: These state workers compensation laws are some of the most stringent in the whole country. Employers must carry coverage for all employees, including themselves if they're classified as an employee. Among the few exceptions, domestic service workers must work a minimum of sixteen hours per week. Employers must also post a notice to employees notifying them of the details of their workers' compensation coverage. For more information, use this online resource from Massachusetts Labor and Workforce Development.

Michigan Worker's Compensation: Employers with three or more workers or with one or more workers who worked for 35 hours or more for 13 weeks or longer must have workers compensation coverage. This coverage can be obtained through a private insurance, self-insurance, or group self-insurance. Its open competition system of workers' compensation has allowed more than 200 insurance carriers to operate in the state. Along with this competition, the state offers tips for managing costs to employers. To see this and other online resources, use this link to the Michigan Workers' Compensation Agency.

Minnesota Worker's Compensation: Employers must carry workers compensation coverage for any and all employees, except for those who are exempted by state statute 176.041 which includes common exclusions such as farm and household workers. Employers are required to post a notice to employees providing the details of coverage and basic procedures for injured workers. Failure to maintain coverage can result in penalties of up to $1,000 per employee, per week. For more information, check out this resource from the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry.

Mississippi Worker's Compensation: Employers with five or more regularly employed workers, not including domestic and farm workers and certain non-profit organizations, must carry workers compensation coverage. Employers with fewer than five employees may elect to carry such insurance to protect themselves against higher liability costs. A worker's compensation poster must be placed in a conspicuous place and provides details of worker's compensation coverage. Coverage consists of a qualifying policy from a private insurance company, self-insurance, or group self-insurance. For more details, check out this online information from the Mississippi Workers' Compensation Commission.

Missouri Worker's Compensation: Employers with five or more employees must have workers compensation coverage, unless those employees are exempt as a farm worker, domestic servant, real estate agent, among others. Due to the high incidence rate, employers in the construction industry with even one employee must have this coverage. This coverage can be obtained through a private insurance company, by qualifying for self-insurance, or through a self-insurance group trust. Self-insurers, however, must still pay into the Second Injury Fund and the state workers compensation tax, fees otherwise paid by the private insurance company. Employers must post a notice to employees concerning specific workers compensation information, which can be downloaded and printed from the state's Division of Workers' Compensation. This and other information can be accessed through the following link.

Montana Worker's Compensation: Employers must carry workers compensation benefits for even a single employee, though the state's list of employee exemptions is longer and more detailed than most states. Along with commonplace exemptions for domestic servants, casual workers, and independent contractors, the state carves out narrow exemptions for such employment as newspaper carriers and barbers, among others. Coverage can be obtained in a number of ways including through a private insurer, individual self-insurance, and private or public self-insured groups. There are also security deposit and surcharge requirements that employers need to be aware of. For this and other information, check out this online resource from Montana Department of Labor and Industry.

Nebraska Worker's Compensation: Employers with one or more employees must carry workers compensation coverage, except for domestic servants, certain farm workers, among few other exemptions. Employers can obtain coverage through a private insurance company or by receiving status as a self-insured employer. Certain workers employed as commercial drivers may be covered through a self-insured, third-party agreement. Beyond increased liability, employers who fail to maintain coverage may be punished by fines of up to $1,000 per violation, up to one imprisonment, and/or a stop-work order. For more information, use this resource from the Nebraska Department of Administrative Services.

Nevada Worker's Compensation: Employers are required to have workers compensation coverage for any and all employees, except for specific exclusions. These exclusions are many, however, and range from certain domestic servants and farm workers to clergy, musicians, and ski patrolmen. The state has also a narrower definition for the exclusion of independent contractors, so if you use these contractors in your business, you need to double-check before you assume coverage is not required. Failing to obtain coverage can result in fines of up to $15,000, appropriate premium penalties, a stop-work order, increased liability, and, if an employee suffers substantial bodily harm or death, criminal charges may apply. For more information about the state workers compensation laws in Nevada, use this link.

New Hampshire Worker's Compensation: Employers must carry workers compensation coverage for any and all employees. Though certain exemptions do exist, the state has among the strictest workers compensation laws, including a requirement for part-time workers and family members. Coverage can be obtained through a private insurer, qualifying self-insurance or group self-insurance. Failure to maintain coverage can result in penalties of up to $100 per day, per employee. Failure to secure payment in the event of a rightful claim can result in a penalty of up $2,500. These penalties are in addition to increased liability and a stop-work order. For more information, refer to this online resource from the New Hampshire Department of Labor.

New Jersey Worker's Compensation: Employers with one or more employees must carry workers compensation benefits through either one of more than 400 private insurance companies or through self-insurance. While certain exemptions do exist, the state warns that its interpretation of "employee" is more liberal than most, so employers should double-check before assuming they don't need workers compensation coverage. Failure to maintain this coverage can result in fines of up to $5,000 for every ten-day period in which coverage is absent. For more comprehensive information, use this link to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

New Mexico Worker's Compensation: Employers in the construction industry must carry workers compensation coverage for one or more employees; must other employers must have coverage for three or more employees, including owners and officers if they perform services for the company. Exemptions are given for certain domestic and farm workers, but not for family members, part-time workers, or non-profit entities. Coverage can obtained through private insurance companies, self-insurance, group self-insurance, or an assigned risk pool. For more information, check out this state resource from the New Mexico Workers Compensation Administration.

New York Worker's Compensation: The state workers compensation laws are among the most ubiquitous of any state with very few exemptions, though some do exist for religious, charitable, and educational institutions. Failure to obtain coverage can result in several civil and criminal penalties, depending on the number of employees, length of noncompliance, as well as other factors. Larger companies may face a Class E felony. Repeat offenses may be classified as a Class D felony. Penalties can easily reach into tens of thousands of dollars, in addition to increased liability. For more information, use this link to the New York Workers' Compensation Board.

North Carolina Worker's Compensation: Compliance requirements vary for employers in different industries. Those who deal with radiation must carry workers compensation coverage for any and all employees; employers who provide agriculture and domestic services coverage must be carried when employing ten or more full-time, non-seasonal workers; most other employers must carry coverage when employing three or more workers. Failure to maintain coverage may result in penalties of $100-$1,000 per day, in addition to increased liability and a stop-work order. For more information, use this online resource to the North Carolina Industrial Commission.

North Dakota Worker's Compensation: Aside from common exemptions (farm workers, domestic servants, real estates brokers, among others), employers must carry workers compensation for all employees including part-time, seasonal, and occasional workers. Failure to secure this coverage can result in penalties, premium costs from uncovered periods, and increased liability. In addition to a "notice to employees" poster detailing coverage, the state also actively encourages workplace safety programs and insurance premium discounts. For more comprehensive information, refer to this resource from North Dakota Workforce Safety and Insurance.

Ohio Worker's Compensation: The state's worker's compensation statutes aren't newsworthy so much as the state's aggressive approach to lowering worker compensation premiums and costs for employers. In 2009, Ohio was able to lower base insurance rates an average of 13 percent, compared to the previous year. If you have less than three employees, you may be eligible for modified worker's compensation coverage. For more comprehensive information, try this web resource from the Ohio Bureau of Worker's Compensation.

Oklahoma Worker's Compensation: Employers must carry workers compensation for any and all full- and part-time employees, unless they qualify for an exemption, such as certain domestic servants, farm workers, or family members for a small family business. Qualifying coverage can be obtained through a private insurance company, the non-profit insurer CompSource, or through individual or group self-insurance. Employers must post a notice to employees advising them of the Workers Compensation Act, as well as workers compensation counseling services. Failure to maintain coverage can result in penalties of up to $250 per employee for a first offense and up to $1,000 per employee for subsequent offenses. For more information, use this link to the Oklahoma Insurance Department.

Oregon Worker's Compensation: All employers must carry workers compensation coverage, regardless of the number of employees, unless their workers fall under one of these thirty specified exemptions. Qualifying coverage consists of self-insurance, a state workers compensation policy from one of more than 300 insurance companies, or, if private insurance is denied, the state's assigned risk plan. Penalties are assessed on an escalating structure that can lead to fines of $1,000, $250 per day, and/or twice the amount of missed insurance premiums, in addition to increased liability. For more complete information, refer to this resource from the Oregon Workers' Compensation Division.

Pennsylvania Worker's Compensation: Aside from common but limited exemptions (certain domestic servants, farm workers, among others), employers with one or more employees, including part-time workers and family members, must carry workers compensation coverage. This coverage can be obtained through a private insurance policy, individual or group self-insurance, or the State Worker's Insurance Fund. Employers must also post a notice to employees detailing the contact information of the party administering state workers compensation benefits. Failure to maintain state workers compensation coverage can lead to criminal prosecution (in addition to increased liability and civil penalties) as a third-degree misdemeanor or, if deemed intentional, as a third-degree felony. For more comprehensive information, follow this link to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.

Rhode Island Worker's Compensation: With very exceptions, employers with one or more employees (corporate officers can file waivers) must have workers compensation coverage for all workers. They must also post details of this coverage in a conspicuous place for employees to see. Failure to post these details can lead to fines of up to $250, while failure to maintain coverage is potentially a felony with penalties of up to $10,000, two years imprisonment, in addition to a stop-work order and increased liability. Qualifying coverage can be obtained through self-insurance, group self-insurance, or a private insurance policy. Employers who are denied coverage should be able to find a policy through Beacon Mutual Insurance, the insurer of last resort. For more information, use this link to the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training.

South Carolina Worker's Compensation: Aside from a few exemptions, such as certain farm workers and real estate agents, employers with four or more full- or part-time workers must provide workers compensation coverage; any employer may elect to purchase such coverage. Private insurance policies, self-insurance, or group self-insurance provide the necessary coverage to employees. Employers must also post in a conspicuous place a notice to employees, detailing the employees' benefits and responsibility under the state workers compensation laws. For comprehensive information, check out this online resource from the South Carolina Workers' Compensation Commission.

South Dakota Worker's Compensation: Other than certain exemptions, including farm workers, domestic servants, and independent contractors, employers with one or more employees must carry workers compensation coverage. As part of the state workers compensation requirements, employers must post information in a conspicuous place encouraging workplace safety. Failure to obtain coverage, post safety information, or properly report an injury can lead to penalties and increased liability. For more information, use this state workers compensation link to the South Dakota Department of Labor.

Tennessee Worker's Compensation: Except for the construction and mining industries which must cover any and all employees, employers with five or more employees, including corporate officers and family members, must carry workers compensation coverage. This coverage can be obtained through qualifying as a self-insurer or buying insurance from a private carrier. Employers denied coverage on the private market should contact the Tennessee Workers Compensation Insurance Plan for alternate coverage options. In addition to increased liability and fees, failure to maintain required coverage may result in penalties tied to missed premium costs. For more information, refer to this state resource from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Texas Worker's Compensation: Except for public entities which must have coverage, most employers have the option of obtaining workers compensation coverage or going without. However, employers must provide written, multi-lingual notification to new and existing employees detailing the extent of their workers compensation benefits. Moreover, "non-covered employers" with more than four employees must still report workplace injuries to the Division of Workers' Compensation. Due to increased liability including forfeiture of certain common-law defenses, many employers opt for workers compensation coverage either in the form of a private insurance policy, self-insurance, or group self-insurance. For more information about the unique state workers compensation in Texas, use this link to the state's Division of Workers' Compensation.

Utah Worker's Compensation: Aside from a few exemptions, such as certain domestic servants, farm workers, and real estate brokers, employers must carry workers' compensation coverage for any and all employees. Qualifying coverage can be obtained through a private insurance company or through self-insurance, though the state does not allow group self-insurance and self-insurance requirements are relatively stiff. There is also a state-administered program, the Workers Compensation Fund, that guarantees employers access to workers compensation coverage. Along with increased liability, failure to maintain coverage may result in penalties of up to $1,000 or three times the amount of missed premiums. For more comprehensive information, check out this online resource from the Utah Labor Commission.

Vermont Worker's Compensation: Although the state does provide certain exemptions, it has some of the broadest state workers compensation laws in the country. Generally, employers must carry workers' compensation coverage for any and all workers and should double-check before assuming they're exempt. Qualifying coverage can be obtained on the private insurance market or through self-insurance for some, qualifying businesses. When denied insurance on the private market, employers can find coverage in the "assigned risk market." Failure to maintain coverage may result in fines of up to $100 per day (or $250 per day after receiving notice from the state commissioner), a stop-work order, increased liability, and criminal sanctions of up to $2,500 and/or one year imprisonment. For more information, use this link to the Vermont Department of Labor.

Virginia Worker's Compensation: Besides limited exceptions, employers with three or more full- or part-time employees must have workers compensation coverage. Employers with fewer than three employees may elect to carry such coverage. Private insurance, self-insurance, group self-insurance, or qualifying agreements through professional employer organizations constitutes workers compensation coverage. Failure to provide coverage may result in penalties of up to $5,000 and a stop-work order, in addition to increased liability. The state also has particular employer requirements regarding employee injuries, such as providing a panel of three, separate physicians from which the employee can choose his or her treating physician. For more information, refer to this link from the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission.

Washington Worker's Compensation: Aside from a dozen or so niche exemptions, all employers with one or more employees must provide workers compensation coverage either through qualifying as a self-insured employer or through the Washington State Fund, a state-run insurance program. Unlike most other states, Washington employers may ask their employees to pay a certain portion of the state workers compensation costs. Failure to maintain coverage, payroll records, excessive employee deductions, or other employer requirements may result in penalties assessed on an escalating scale related to how long the violation occurs. Employers must also post three separate employee notices concerning workers compensation, workplace health and safety, and workers' rights. For more information, check out this online resource from the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries.

West Virginia Worker's Compensation: Other than a few, typical exemptions (certain domestic servants, farm workers, sports organizations), all employers must provide workers compensation coverage to any and all employees. Coverage can be obtained through one of approximately 200 private insurance companies, self-insurance, group self-insurance, or, as a last resort, the state-run assigned risk plan. Failure to maintain coverage can result in fines of twice the amount of missed premiums, increased liability, and even criminal penalties. For more comprehensive information, follow this link to the West Virginia Offices of the Insurance Commissioner.

Wisconsin Worker's Compensation: Aside from very limited exemptions, employers with three or more full- or part-time employees have an immediate mandate to carry workers compensation coverage, while employers with one or two employees have a delayed mandate to obtain workers compensation coverage, based on certain calendar dates. Qualifying coverage includes self-insurance, purchasing private insurance on the open market, or, when coverage is denied, through the state's Workers Compensation Insurance Pool. Penalties for lapsed or non-existent coverage include twice the amount of missed premiums among other potential fines, business closure, and increased liability. For more information, use this state resource from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development

Wyoming Worker's Compensation: The state classifies employers as a domestic employer, governmental employer, non-profit employer, or other employers. While each classification has slightly different rules, all employers must register with the Wyoming Department of Employment, and the vast majority of employers must carry workers compensation if they employ one or more workers. Employers must also post, in a conspicuous place, a notice to employees summarizing the state workers compensation laws and procedures for filing claims. Penalties for delinquent and negligent employers can range from $100 for a late premium payment up to $50,000 and five years imprisonment for employers who willfully or recklessly disregard certain mandates of the Worker's Compensation Act. For more information, use this link to the Wyoming Department of Employment.

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