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Understanding employer requirements for workers’ compensation

On Behalf of | Aug 14, 2022 | Workers' Compensation |

Many people in North Carolina rely on their jobs for income. However, when employees are injured on the job, it can greatly affect their abilities to do their jobs. Most employees are covered by workers’ compensation, and the following details the requirements in place for employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. 

Employer requirements 

According to the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act, all businesses that have three or more employees are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. This includes all types of business entities, including sole proprietorships, LLCs and corporations. Exceptions to this requirement are employers who fall into any of the following categories: 

  • Casual employees who are not directly involved with the business or its trade. 
  • Farm workers when there are fewer than 10 non-seasonal laborers working for the same employer. 
  • Certain sellers of agricultural products who receive commission or other compensation from the producer. 
  • Certain railroad workers 
  • Domestic servants who work directly for a household. 

Moreover, civilian federal government employees in North Carolina are covered under the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act. Also, if a business employs at least one individual who is in the presence of radiation in the performance of their work duties, the business must carry workers’ compensation. 

Who qualifies as an employee? 

Officers of corporations are considered employees and are counted when determining the number of employees for a company. Sole proprietors and members of LLCs are not automatically included as employees, nor are directors, officers or committee members of non-profits. Furthermore, although some employers will list their employees as independent contractors to avoid carrying workers’ compensation, the Industrial Commission may still consider the worker an employee of the company based on the level of control the employer exercises over the contractor and other factors. 

There are also special considerations for subcontractors as well as employees of trucking companies. Understanding one’s status as a worker is imperative before trying to obtain workers’ compensation, and the process is typically complex and challenging to successfully navigate. Any employee in North Carolina who suffered debilitating injuries on the job that has prevented them from working should contact a workers’ compensation attorney for assistance.