Workers' compensation is an important part of the benefits offered in the workplace. Whenever someone is working for an employer as an employee, that person has a right to be covered by workers' compensation. This compensation covers their lost wages and medical care in the case of an injury. There are some things that you may be wondering about workers' compensation and your rights as an employee. Here are some commonly asked questions.
If you work for a family member, should you be covered by workers' compensation?
Yes. Your family member, the owner of the business, should make sure you're covered by workers' compensation insurance, whether it's through the state or a private insurance company.
Is liability or health insurance the same as workers' compensation insurance?
No, and they can't be used in place of one another. Liability and health insurance are both voluntary types of coverage that you can provide, but workers' compensation insurance is required by law.
The New Hampshire Workers' Compensation law states that if you have employees of any kind, they must be covered by workers' compensation insurance. Every business must do this, whether it's a non-profit organization or a family business. If you are a sole-proprietor or self-employed person, you don't have to cover yourself with workers' compensation. You can choose to be, however, which can be a good idea if you ever get injured yourself.
Are independent contractors covered by workers' compensation insurance?
No, in most cases, they will not be covered. The independent contractor doesn't work for a particular employer, so that individual won't be considered an employee.
If you're without workers' compensation and are an employee, your employer may be falling foul of the law. Your attorney can help you work through the situation to determine if you can file a claim directly after an accident.
Source: New Hampshire Department of Labor, "Workers' Compensation FAQ," accessed Aug. 23, 2016