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Who should carry workers' compensation?


North Carolina employees may hear a lot about workers' compensation and how it is their right to file a claim to recover compensation to cover medical bills associated with a work accident, but they may not know if their company carries worker compensation or not.

Under the North Carolina Workers' Compensation Act, all businesses employing three or more employees should have workers' compensation insurance for their employees, whether they are corporations, partnerships, proprietorships or limited liability companies. In addition to this, businesses that deal with radiation need to carry workers' compensation even if they have just one employee.

Just by calling an employee an independent contractor, an employer is not relieved of its responsibility to carry coverage-even if the employer is calling them independent contractors on tax forms. The Industrial Commission determines, based on various factors, if the employees are workers. One of these factors is assessing the amount of control an employer exercises over the details of the work.

In addition to this, even if an employee subcontracts to work with a subcontractor who does not carry workers' compensation, they may still be protected as the subcontractor's employees.

Companies that do not carry workers' compensation may be liable to pay hefty fines and be charged with felonies or misdemeanors.

It is an injured employee's right to file a workers' compensation claim if they are involved in a work-related accident and incur injuries. It is their employer's duty to provide this coverage to them. Reporting the accident not only makes available compensation for the injured worker but also highlights an unsafe working environment and could prevent future similar accidents.

Source: North Carolina Industrial Commission, Employers' requirement to carry Workers' Compensation Insurance, Accessed on November 17, 2014

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