Pennsylvania Law Requires Employers To Secure Workers Compensation Insurance Coverage

Date: January 23, 2007

The laws in Pennsylvania set forth specific requirements as to which types of employers must secure workers’ compensation insurance coverage. The law indicates that mandatory coverage is required for any employer who:
-employ at least one employee who could be injured or develop a work-related disease in Pennsylvania, or
-employ an employee who could be injured outside the state if the employment is principally localized in Pennsylvania, or
-employ an individual who could be injured outside the state, while under a contract of hire made in Pennsylvania, if the employment is not principally localized in any state, if the employment is principally localized in a state whose workers\’ compensation laws do not apply, or the employment is outside the United States and Canada (UNLESS all employees are excluded from the provisions of Pennsylvania\’s workers\’ compensation laws).

Generally, a policy for workers’ compensation liability insurance :
-indemnifies the employer from wage loss and medical benefits incurred as a result of work-related injuries or occupational diseases,
-protects the employer from tort liability for lawsuits arising from work-related injuries and diseases, and
-protects the employer and agents acting on its behalf from criminal prosecution, which can result in imprisonment and substantial fines for each day of noncompliance.
In Pennsylvania, an employer may be excluded from the requirement to insure its workers\’ compensation liability only if ALL workers employed by it fall into one or more of the following categories:
-federal workers
-railroad workers
-casual workers whose employment is casual in character AND not in the regular course of the business of the employer
-persons who work out of their own homes or other premises not under the control or management of the enterprise AND make up, clean, wash, alter, ornament, finish, repair, or adapt articles or materials for sale that are given to them
-agricultural laborers earning under $1200 per person per calendar year AND no one agricultural laborer works 30 days or more per calendar year, unless the agricultural labor is provided by the employer\’s spouse or child(ren) under the age of eighteen and they have not sought inclusion under Pennsylvania\’s workers\’ compensation laws by filing an express written contract of hire with the Department
-domestic workers who have not elected with the Department of Labor and Industry to come under the provisions of the Workers\’ Compensation Act
-sole proprietor or general partners
-have been granted exemption due to their religious beliefs by the Department of Labor and Industry
-executive officers who have been granted exclusion by the Department of Labor and Industry
-licensed real estate salespersons or associate real estate brokers affiliated with a licensed real estate broker or a licensed insurance agent affiliated with a licensed insurance agency, under a written agreement, remunerated on a commission-only basis and qualifying as independent contractors for State tax purposes or for Federal tax purposes under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.
Unless ALL employees meet one or more of the above exclusions, the employer must insure for workers\’ compensation liability even if the workers are working limited hours part-time or are family members such as a spouse or children.
Failure of an employer to secure workers’ compensation insurance coverage subjects that employer to criminal prosecution and penalties including fines, imprisonment, and payment of restitution.
Employers are required by law to post, in a prominent and easily accessible place, at it’s primary place of business and at it’s sites of employment, a notice containing the name, address and telephone number of the appropriate party to address regarding workers\’ compensation claims or to request information. If an employer is not doing so and you suspect the employer does not insure its workers\’ compensation liability, contact the Compliance Section, Bureau of Workers\’ Compensation at (717) 787-3567.

Source: Section 305 of the Pennsylvania Worker’ Compensation Act

Thomas P. Cummings, Esq.

Joe Price
Attorney Joe Price is a seasoned Trial Lawyer serving Northeast, Central and Southeast Pennsylvania for the past forty (40) years. He has handled serious personal injury cases in courts throughout the Federal system including New Jersey and New York. Attorney Price is A.V. Rated by Martindale Hubble. He is Board Certified in Civil Practice by the National Board of Trial Advocacy since 1996.