Workers’ Compensation is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as, “a system of insurance that reimburses an employer for damages that must be paid to an employee for an injury occurring in the course of employment.” This means that as a business owner, you must be sure that you provide workers’ compensation insurance to cover a request in the event that an employee would injure himself or herself during work hours.
Understanding Workers’ Compensation Insurance can be complex and confusing. What makes it more difficult is that these insurance requirements often vary by state and industry. This is why the experts at Staples & Associates have done the research for you, and have broken down the workers’ compensation requirements of both Maryland and Delaware. Be sure that your business is always getting the best coverage to protect your business in case of an emergency.
Maryland Workers’ Compensation Requirements
In the State of Maryland, every employer with one or more employees is required by law to provide Workers’ Compensation Insurance. Employers in the State of Maryland are required to obtain Workers’ Compensation Insurance from any insurance company that is licensed to write Workers’ Compensation Insurance in the State of Maryland.
Here are a few important rules to remember when considering your Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Maryland:
- Agricultural employers with three or more full-time employees or a yearly payroll for full-time employees of at least $15,000 must carry coverage.
- Domestic workers who earn at least $750 in a calendar quarter from a private household must be covered.
- Employees who do NOT require Workers’ Compensation Insurance are; Agricultural office workers, independent contractors on farms (other than migrant workers), and owner-operators of large tractor-trailer vehicles.
- Sole proprietors, or a person who is the exclusive owner of a business, are excluded from Workers’ Compensation coverage but can opt to include themselves in the policy if they complete Maryland’s Sole Proprietor Status as a Covered Employee form.
- Large employers with a net worth of $10 million or greater, may apply to become a self-insured employer, which requires the approval of the Workers’ Compensation Commission.
- Employers that fail to secure workers’ compensation insurance as required by law are subject to a fine of no more than $10,000.
- It is the responsibility of the employer to report any accidents to the Workers’ Compensation Commission on a “First Report of Injury” form within 10 days after notice of an accident, whether that is oral or written.
- The entire cost of Workers’ Compensation insurance must be borne by the employer. Any employer who deducts any portion of this premium from the wages of his/her employee will be guilty of a misdemeanor.
Delaware Workers’ Compensation Requirements
The State of Delaware requires that every employer with one or more employees are required by law to provide Workers’ Compensation Insurance. Employers in the State of Delaware are required to obtain Workers’ Compensation Insurance from any insurance company that is licensed to write Workers’ Compensation Insurance in the State of Delaware.
Here are a few important rules to remember when considering your Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Delaware:
- Farmworkers are exempt from the Workers’ Compensation statute; however, they may choose to provide coverage.
- Workers who are considered independent contractors, and not employees, are not covered by Workers’ Compensation Insurance.
- Employees who are in the construction industry cannot be considered independent contractors, but are employers.
- The entire cost of the Workers’ Compensation Insurance must be borne by the employer. Any employer who deducts any portion of this premium from the wages of his/her employee will be guilty of a misdemeanor.
The Delaware Department of Insurance offers Delaware employers an opportunity to lower workers’ compensation insurance premiums by participating in the Delaware Workplace Safety Program. Click here for more information.
What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?
For the States of both Maryland and Delaware, It is important to note that just because an injury occurs while you are working, does not mean that you are entitled to benefit from Workers’ Compensation. Only an employee who has suffered from an accidental injury, or has an occupational disease arising out of, or during, the course of employment may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. What constitutes as an accidental injury or occupational disease may be subject to litigation. The law looks into various factors in order to make this determination and it is always wise to consult with a lawyer if you have any doubts or questions.