Who is Covered in Worker’s Compensation?


In every job, there are likely present risks to your safety within the work environment. Whether these risks are apparent or not, is dependent on the workplace; however, in all cases, you should be protected by your employer’s insurance policies. One such policy is known as “worker’s compensation.” This insurance package is meant to provide employees with the funds for recovery and for coverage of losses, should they become injured while on the clock. To know who qualifies for worker’s compensation within your workplace, see the information below.

Which Employees Does Worker’s Compensation Cover?

Generally, all businesses that operate with three or more employees are legally obligated to be supported by worker’s compensation insurance. This insurance should cover all employees of that business, whether they are under the age of 18 or undocumented.

Note that some businesses do operate with three or more people, yet, these people may not all be employees. For example, if there are members of LLCs (limited liability companies), partners, or sole proprietors collaboratively working together, this does not automatically qualify as three or more “employees.”

Why? Because these individuals are all, to an extent, self-employed. Other business types that are exempt from the legal requirement of worker’s compensation insurance include:

  • Independent contractors (these are also known as “casual employees”)
  • Specific kinds of railroad workers
  • Domestic worker (in-home childcare, cleaning services, etc.)
  • Farmhands that work in workforces of 10 or less
  • Salespersons who work on commission
  • Federal government employees

There are caveats to be aware of, however. For example, “casual employees” could have the right to receive protection under worker’s compensation. For instance, a plumber may hire a contractor to renovate their shop.

If the Industrial Commission determines that the contracting party exercises a certain degree of control over the contractor’s work performance, they may declare that the independent contractor is, indeed, an employee. Thus, they would be eligible for coverage under worker’s compensation.

What to Do When Your Employer Does Not Have Worker’s Compensation

If you find that you are one of the employees that should be protected by worker’s compensation, yet your employer does not have it, then you may have a case for legal action. In this case, your employer could face severe legal and financial consequences for neglecting their duty to provide this coverage.

The types of penalties they may meet in such an instance include:

  • Fines
  • Misdemeanor
  • Felony
  • Time in prison

Their unwillingness to provide this insurance coverage is willful negligence of state law, and they should not go without being held accountable. If you are unsure of whether your employer has worker’s compensation or not, you can confirm this by getting in touch with your state’s Industrial Commission. Once you verify that they do not, you can take them to court for your injuries. If you decide to go this route, do not do so without the support of a worker’s compensation lawyer.

An experienced worker’s compensation lawyer will ensure that you receive the precise funds you need from your employer to cover your lost hours and medical expenses. You can expect that, due to their willingness to ignore the law, they may also be resistant to your pursuit of the rightful funds. With a lawyer, you can be sure that you will overcome their attempts to avoid repayment and secure the necessary compensation.