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What are an employer's duties for workers' compensation?

All employers who have three or more employees are required under the North Carolina Workers' Compensation Act to obtain workers' compensation insurance or to be self-insured for the benefit of workers who become injured on the job. Even if a company only has one employee, it must have workers' compensation insurance if the work involves radiation exposure.

Companies that subcontract work to subcontractors who do not carry workers' compensation coverage might become liable for any workplace injury that a subcontracted employee suffers on the job, even if the subcontractor only employs one or two people. Coverage might also be needed even if a business refers to its workers as independent contractors and issues Form 1099 for taxes. Employers who fail to have workers' compensation coverage could be fined, charged with a misdemeanor or felony, and be imprisoned.

When employers are notified of on-the-job injuries that require medical attention, they must report the injuries immediately to their insurance providers. If a worker does not attend work for longer than one day because of an injury, or the medical cost is more than $2,000, the employer or insurance provider has to file Form 19 with the state Industrial Commission no later than five days after being notified of the injury. Upon filing the form, the employer or insurance provider must also provide the employee with a copy of the form and with Form 18 for the worker to fill out.

When an employer does not report an injury or refuses to report it, the injured worker could contact the Industrial Commission or obtain a blank copy of Form 18, fill it out and file the claim with the Industrial Commission. Workers who are unsure about the process and want help with filing a workers' compensation claim may seek assistance from a lawyer.

Source: North Carolina Industrial Commission, "If You Have Been Injured At Work", October 13, 2014

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