What is PA Workers’ Compensation?

We usually write blogs and create videos for injured workers, but this topic is much
more geared to the employers. While it is important for injured workers to understand
what workers’ compensation is, it is even more important for employers throughout
Pennsylvania to understand what it is and when they need it. This is an important topic
to understand before an employee claims an injury at work.

There are different answers to what worker’ compensation is depending on the
perspective. This is a broad general overview of the concept. We will address why
employers must have workers’ compensation insurance if they have employees in the
state of Pennsylvania. In most cases, it is illegal for employers not to carry workers’
compensation insurance. This is a topic employers will want to research and consult a
lawyer on if they own a business or are thinking about starting one.

Workers’ compensation insurance is not built into other insurance policies. There are
other insurances that employers may hold such as professional liability insurance,
property liability insurance, business insurance, cyber security insurance, etc. Workers’
compensation is a separate and distinct policy for employers to hold. It is crucial for
businesses with employees to ensure they have a workers’ comp insurance policy.

If the employer has any employees, even one, they must have a workers’ compensation
insurance policy. This is required under Pennsylvania law. However, if the company
only hires independent contractors, there is no need to hold workers’ compensation
insurance. It is important to distinguish the difference between an employee and an
independent contractor. A contract claiming someone is an independent contractor, not
an employee, does not define status. If the person is treated like an employee, they are
classified as an employee. This is all about control of the work. Therefore, employers
must be careful to have workers’ compensation if they are classifying workers as
independent contractors but treating them as employees- they will still be required to
have workers’ compensation insurance.

Once an employee is hurt at work, the employer submits the claim to the insurance
carrier, and the insurance carrier handles the claim from there. While the employer may
still be involved, the insurance carrier is running the claim and making the decisions. It
is no longer in the employer’s hand despite what it may seem.

If you have more questions, you can check out our video or contact the firm to speak
directly with a lawyer today.