If you work for a small business, obtaining workers’ compensation for an injury could be more difficult, or benefits could be unavailable. Know your rights so you can protect yourself.
Is It Harder to Get Workers’ Comp from a Small Business?
Depending on your employer and your employment status, it could be more challenging to get all the benefits to which you are entitled. Some smaller employers are unaware of their legal obligation to purchase and maintain workers’ compensation insurance. They may be uninsured, or they may not report workplace injuries promptly to their insurance company.
Often small businesses remain uninsured because they only have one or two employees, all employees are part-time, or employees are related to the business owner. Although there are some exceptions if the business owner is closely related to the employees, for the most part being small or having part-time workers is no excuse for employers when it comes to workers’ comp.
Further, many small businesses hire independent contractors to carry out parts of their business. If you are classified as a contractor by a small business, it is possible that you are actually an employee. It depends on how much control the small business has over how you perform your work and the content of that work, plus a host of other factors. If you have a workplace injury and are called an independent contractor by the business, contact a lawyer for advice.
What Should You Do If You Are Injured?
Just like at larger businesses, you should report your injury to your employer. Many small businesses have no established Human Resources or safety department, so go to your manager, the business owner, or someone else in charge. Make sure the person to whom you speak understands that you became injured at work and that you need workers’ comp benefits.
At this point, the employer should contact its workers’ compensation insurance company. However, you may find that no one reached out, that your company does not have insurance, or that it does not want to increase its premiums by reporting. You can find out the insurance company by searching here. Then, talk to a lawyer or reach out to the insurer yourself. Your lawyer can advise you about how to proceed if your employer is resisting your attempts to receive benefits.
Need help getting workers’ compensation for your injury? Joe Osterbauer, Esq. and the Osterbauer Law Firm stand up for injured Minnesota workers’ rights. Joe’s 27 years of workers’ compensation experience and his team’s speedy service combine to get clients the results they need. To schedule a free consultation, visit Osterbauer Law Firm online or call Joe’s office at (612) 334-3434.