Employees are the key asset to every business and keeping those employees safe on the job is one of the many roles held by business owners. The best protection for employees while they are on the job, aside from creating a safe work environment, is offering the right workers compensation insurance policy. However, not all employees may qualify for workers compensation depending on your industry or what state you operate in.
Georgia Workers Compensation Laws
Since workers compensation laws vary depending on the state, we will take a specific look at the laws in Georgia regarding workers compensation insurance. In Georgia, all businesses with three or more employees—including part time employees—must offer workers compensation insurance. This includes corporate officers if applicable, although up to five officers may have the ability to waive workers compensation coverage. They will still count towards the number of employees, however.
Employees covered under workers compensation may include:
- Contractors and subcontractors
- Restaurant workers such as servers, hosts, cooks, bartenders, etc.
- Retail workers
- Part time, full time, and seasonal employees
- Office employees
- Hotel workers
- Farm workers
Exclusions Under Georgia Workers Compensation Laws
There are some exclusions when it comes to workers compensation under Georgia law. Sole proprietors or business partners are not required to be covered under workers compensation insurance, as they are considered employers rather than employees. Sole proprietors and business partners can elect to be covered under workers compensation, however.
What Happens if You Don’t Have Workers Compensation?
The repercussions for not having workers compensation varies depending on where your business is located, of course. In Georgia, you could face legal penalties such as lawsuits, fines from $100 to $5,000 for violating workers compensation regulations or failing to carry workers compensation.
Is Workers Compensation Insurance Expensive?
The cost of workers compensation depends on the size of the business, as it is calculated primarily based on payroll. The more employees you have, the more you may pay for workers compensation. Workers compensation premiums may also vary depending on your location, as percentages of the payroll you will pay varies depending on where you operate.
Having the right workers compensation policy is crucial for protecting your employees in case of an accident or injury. Workers compensation insurance can cover employees’ medical bills after an accident as well as protecting the business against possible lawsuits concerning workplace injuries.