Under Minnesota law, virtually all employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance so that their employees are protected in the event of an injury. However, that doesn’t mean that some employers – oftentimes small or family-run business – don’t try to get around the law. So today, we explain the process you should follow if you think or know that your employer is not carrying workers’ compensation insurance.
Police Your Employer
Minnesota actually makes it pretty easy to police your employer to ensure they are carrying valid workers’ compensation insurance. The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry has a site that allows you to search for an employer and see if they have coverage for their employees. Now, if you don’t see your employer on that website, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they aren’t carrying valid insurance.
There are two main reasons why your employer may not be listed, either they are self-insured, or meet one of the few exemptions for carrying worker’s compensation insurance. Self-insurance is not very common, but it’s legal so long as the business has received approval from the Minnesota Commerce Department. There are also a few exemptions that may relieve your employer from needing insurance. For example, if they are a family-run business, they don’t need to carry insurance for the owner, their spouse, their parents or their children. Also, there are some exemptions for farmers so long as their employees don’t make more than $8,000 a year.
An Employer Without Workers’ Compensation Insurance
The good news is that you are still entitled to benefits in the event of a work injury even if your employer does not have valid workers’ compensation insurance. However, you shouldn’t just sit back and do nothing if you suspect that your employer doesn’t have workers’ compensation insurance.
As we noted above, you’re still entitled to benefits for a work injury if your employer is uninsured. You will be compensated through Minnesota’s Special Compensation Fund, which was designed to protect workers in the event their employer fails to secure workers’ compensation insurance. However, it’s in your best interest to file a report before you are injured so your employer can obtain insurance instead of waiting until after an injury. That’s because although you’ll get paid through the special compensation fund, your employer is liable for reimbursing the fund for your claim amount, as well as paying any penalties and fines. Odds are, if your employer is small enough to get away with not having workers’ compensation insurance, a hefty out-of-pocket expense and fines could financially cripple the company. Moreover, if the SCF can’t be replaced due to insufficient funds on your employer’s end, less money will be available for future injured workers.
So if you believe your employer is operating without workers’ compensation insurance, you can file a report to the SCF by clicking here. They will look into the business to make sure they have valid coverage, which is beneficial because it protects the workers, the business and the special compensation fund.
If you have any additional questions about your employer’s coverage, or if your employer is attempting to get around filing a valid claim on your behalf, contact a Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Attorney right away.
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