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When must employers have workers' compensation insurance?

When an employee in North Carolina is injured or made ill on the job, they may seek workers' compensation benefits to help them out financially while they recover. However, employees may wonder whether their employer must have workers' compensation insurance in place, and what may happen to their employer if they don't.

According to the state Workers' Compensation Act, any business that has either three employees or above must have workers' compensation insurance or be self-insured with the objective of providing injured or ill employees with workers' compensation benefits. This includes limited liability companies, corporations, partnerships and sole proprietorships.

However, there are some exceptions to this rule. The exceptions include households who directly employ domestic servants, people that are not carrying out job duties in the normal course of business (also known as casual employees), employees of the federal government in the state and workers of certain types of railroads, among others.

If an employer is required to have workers' compensation insurance and does not, they may be penalized. The employer may be fined, charged with a crime or even face incarceration. Because of this, it is important for employers to do their research and provide workers' compensation benefits when necessary. Employees injured or made ill due to their job duties deserve to pursue workers' compensation benefits. It is their employer's responsibility to keep their workplaces safe and provide employees with the equipment and training to do so. By keeping this in mind, employees can both be protected from dangerous conditions in the workplace, and, should an accident occur, they may be compensated.

Source:, "Employers' requirement to carry Workers' Compensation insurance," Accessed Oct. 12, 2014

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