Are Part-Time Workers Required To Carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
Many businesses, especially small ones, practice hiring part-time employees more often. This arrangement is especially popular in today’s internet-centric industry and benefits both parties. On one hand, employees are able to find multiple jobs and make their own schedule. They are free to pursue multiple interests and make a living doing what they love.
On the other hand, employees are not required to pay for their benefits, insurance, and their part-time employment also means they get paid for the amount of work or the time spent working. This could significantly lower the expenses the employer has to pay for the same amount and quality of work.
But what about workers’ compensation? Are employers required to provide workers’ compensation to part-time employers? In this article, we aim to give an answer.
Workers’ Compensation and Part-Time Employees
In most states, large and small businesses alike are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. Workers’ compensation is an insurance that protects both the employee and the employer. In case of a work-related injury, workers are compensated for any medical expenses and lost wages. In turn, businesses avoid tedious and often expensive lawsuits and hefty medical bills. Workers’ compensation helps both parties have peace of mind.
However, when it comes to part-time employees, the rules vary. In most cases, you have to provide workers’ compensation insurance for your part-time employees. However, the same does not always apply to freelancers and independent contractors.
Each state has a different set of rules regarding workers’ compensation. In some states, part-time employees are treated the same as full-time workers. In other states, the requirement is based on the minimum amount of workers, both part-time and full-time. In any case, the benefits of carrying workers’ compensation coverage far surpass the costs. Not only will it help save you a lot of trouble with the government, it can save your business in case of an unfortunate event.
How are Part-Time Workers’ Compensation Claims Treated?
Part-time employees are not treated the same as full-time employees in case they make a claim. Since most part-time employees tend to have multiple jobs at the same time, all the jobs are affected if they sustain an injury at work. But if your part-time employee gets injured while performing a task for you, you are only required to cover for wages lost at this position, not every other job they may have at the moment. That means that you don’t have to pay more, no matter where they are employed at the moment.
Still, you want to ensure all your part-time employees go through the same safety briefings and programs like all your full-time employees. Maybe they will not always be able to attend these briefings and classes, but be sure to make arrangements for them to make up for missing them. Providing this information will ensure part-time workers are less likely to cause a work-related accident or sustain an injury due to being uninformed.
Hiring part-time employees is a good financing strategy, but not providing workers’ compensation insurance to those workers could only hurt you more in the long run. Failing to provide workers’ compensation insurance to those employees usually results in lawsuits, fines, medical costs, government penalties and more. So before you hire them, make sure to consult with a workers’ compensation expert to find out how you can cover new hires and to make sure your current part-time workers are adequately covered.