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Worker's Compensation Insurance
 

The requirement to insure workers’ compensation liability is mandatory for any employer who:

  • employs at least one employee who could be injured or develop a work-related disease in this state
  • could be injured outside the state if the employment is principally localized in Pennsylvania
  • could be injured outside the state, while under a contract of hire made in Pennsylvania, if the employment is not principally localized in any state, if the employment is principally localized in a state whose workers’ compensation laws do not apply, or the employment is outside the United States and Canada

You may insure your workers’ compensation liability by purchasing a workers’ compensation policy:

  • from the State Workers’ Insurance Fund: (570) 963-4635.
  • through an insurance company
  • by securing Department of Labor and Industry approval to self-insure, individually or as a group: (717) 783-4476.

Insuring workers’ compensation liability:

  • indemnifies the employer from wage loss and medical benefits incurred as a result of work-related injuries or occupational diseases
  • protects it from tort liability for lawsuits arising from work-related injuries and diseases
  • and protects the employer and agents acting on its behalf from criminal prosecution, which can result in imprisonment and substantial fines for each day of noncompliance

In Pennsylvania, an employer may be excluded from the requirement to insure its workers’ compensation liability only if ALL workers employed by it fall into one or more of the following categories:

  • federal workers
  • longshoremen
  • railroad workers
  • casual workers whose employment is casual in character AND not in the regular course of the business of the employer
  • persons who work out of their own homes or other premises not under the control or management of the enterprise AND make up, clean, wash, alter, ornament, finish, repair, or adapt articles or materials for sale that are given to them
  • agricultural laborers earning under $1200 per person per calendar year AND no one agricultural laborer works 30 days or more per calendar year, unless the agricultural labor is provided by the employer’s spouse or child(ren) under the age of eighteen and they have not sought inclusion under Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation laws by filing an express written contract of hire with the Department
  • domestic workers who have not elected with the Department of Labor and Industry to come under the provisions of the Workers’ Compensation Act
  • sole proprietor or general partners
  • have been granted exemption due to their religious beliefs by the Department of Labor and Industry
  • executive officers who have been granted exclusion by the Department of Labor and Industry
  • executive officers who have been granted exclusion by the Department of Labor and Industry

NOTE: unless ALL employees meet one or more of the above exclusions, you must insure your workers’ compensation liability even if the workers are working limited hours part-time or are family members such as your spouse or children.

Questions as to how categories would apply to specific workers should be directed to your personal attorney for interpretation.

For more information, visit the Department of Labor & Industry website or contact the Workers’ Compensation Employers Services Helpline at (717) 772-3702.

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