Workers’ compensation is insurance employers purchase to provide benefits for employees. While the insurance does not come from the state, the state does manage the rules of the program, including mandating which employers must carry the coverage.
According to the Florida Department of Financial Services, the agency launched 27,425 investigations into employer compliance with workers’ compensation laws in 2022. You should be aware of whether your employer has coverage and if the law requires them to carry it.
Employers who have four or more employees must carry workers’ compensation coverage. This includes full-time, part-time and seasonal workers. Construction industry employers, regardless of the number of employees, must also have coverage. Florida law considers corporate officers, such as CEOs or CFOs, as employees, so they count in the total number of employees when determining coverage requirements.
Exemptions and exceptions
There are some notable exceptions to the general rules about workers’ compensation coverage.
Agricultural employers who have fewer than six regular employees and fewer than 12 seasonal employees during any calendar year may be exempt from having coverage.
Sole proprietors, business partners and LLC members may choose to exempt themselves from the requirement. However, they can still opt to include themselves if desired.
All employees in the construction industry, regardless of the number of employees, must have workers’ compensation insurance. This rule applies to general contractors and subcontractors.
Verification of coverage
If you are unsure whether your employer has workers’ compensation coverage, you can take steps to verify it. The Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation provides an online tool where you can search for your employer’s coverage status. You’ll need your employer’s Federal Employer Identification Number or the workers’ compensation policy number to conduct the search.
Workers’ compensation coverage helps protect employees in the event of work-related injuries or illnesses. Florida law does mandate it in most cases, but you should check if you think your employer may qualify for an exemption.