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5 Aspects of Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Act You Should Know

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Even with all the precautions, accidents at work happen and people can get hurt. Regardless of the field, each job comes with some risk of injury. However, some fields pose greater risks than others, and in extreme cases, workers may end up with injuries that affect their lives, harm their health, their career, their livelihood, or even cause death. 

This is why in Florida, like in other states, there are laws that require employers to provide worker’s compensation insurance and employees and employers alike should learn about them.  

Who Must Have Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Florida?

Employers are required to carry insurance policies that provide compensation for the workers in case of an accident. The policy should provide coverage for medical and other expenses, retraining, and it compensates employees for a portion of their wages, in case they have to miss work – temporarily or permanently. Each state sets workers’ comp requirements, and while they have many things in common, they also have differences.

According to the law, every employer with four or more employees has to carry Florida workers’ comp insurance, whether they work full-time or part-time. However, there are some exceptions. For instance, farming or agricultural industry employers with fewer than six regular employees aren’t required to provide coverage. They also have to provide it if they have 12 or more seasonal workers, working for more than 30 days. Construction companies, on the other hand, must have it even with one employee, including self-employed workers and contractors, regardless of whether they work full time or part-time.

Nevertheless, even businesses that aren’t required by law to provide workers’ comp insurance, like those with three or fewer employees, are also recommended to carry workers’ comp coverage. Without it, the incident may cost not only the injured employee but also your business a lot.

What Does It Cover?

In Florida, workers’ comp insurance partially compensates injured employees for their losses. It can provide several types of payments, depending on the extent or the nature of the injury. Some of the benefits include temporary partial or total impairment payments, permanent impairment payments, or permanent total disability payments. 

Additionally, Florida workers’ comp insurance coverage may provide benefits for vocational retraining, fuel for medical appointments, and so on. In the unfortunate event of a worker’s death as a result of a fatal work injury, it can provide burial costs and other expenses.

What Are the Restrictions?

There are cases in which a worker doesn’t have the right to claim benefits. For instance, if the incident in which the person was hurt wasn’t job-related, or if the injuries occurred as a result of company policies violations, misconduct, or drug or alcohol use. Another important thing to know is that Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Act doesn’t require coverage for work-related mental health issues.

How Can an Employee File a Claim?

In case you are injured on the job, you should get a medical exam and the necessary treatment immediately after the injury. To make a workers’ compensation claim to cover your expenses or wage losses, you should report the injury right away. If you fail to do so, the insurance claim may be challenged by the employer or the insurance company. 

In fact, the most common reasons workers’ comp claims get rejected is because the injury wasn’t reported promptly and because the injured employee didn’t submit to a medical exam immediately. According to the statute of limitations in Florida after 2 years from the date of the injury, the injured worker can’t claim benefits. 

What Are the Employer’s Responsibilities? 

Aside from the ethical reasons why an employer should provide workers’ compensation coverage, regardless of the field, but especially in physically demanding industries that pose greater risks to employees, like construction, they are also obliged by law. Under Florida law, failing to do so can result in stop-work orders. Employees injured at work can also take legal actions if their employer doesn’t have an active policy.

Another important thing to know is that by law employers are prohibited to retaliate in any way against an employee who has made a workers’ comp claim. This includes coercion, threats, intimidation, or firing among other things.


If you work or have a business in Florida, you should learn about the state requirements regarding workers’ compensation. In a nutshell, any employer that has four or more employees needs to have an active workers’ comp insurance policy. 

In some cases, like in businesses that have a greater risk of work-related injuries, the regulations are even more strict. This policy is intended to protect workers who were injured on the job, covering medical expenses, retraining, wage losses, and so on.