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What are employers’ duties regarding workers’ compensation?

No matter what the job, there will always be risks involved. For this reason, workers are fortunate that Oklahoma laws are sound when it comes to workers’ compensation, so workers may obtain benefits after suffering from workplace injuries or an occupational disease. However, employers should also be aware of their duties, responsibilities and limitations when it comes to workers’ compensation benefits since their participation is crucial when obtaining these benefits.

Are companies that employ family members required to give workers’ compensation? Not necessarily. If a business employs five or fewer employees who are all related, either by blood or marriage, to the employer, that employer is not required to provide them insurance coverage.

How can Oklahoma companies get the insurance coverage for their workers? The state requires companies, assuming they fall under the necessary requirements, cover their employees with workers’ compensation insurance. Employers can obtain insurance from CompSource Oklahoma or buy it from a private insurance firm. Regardless of who handles the insurance, the benefits will remain unchanged.

Who will pay the insurance premiums? The premiums and all other costs should be paid by the company. Employers should bear in mind that they should not deduct any amount from the worker’s wages to pay for insurance premiums or any expenses related to workers’ compensation benefits.

Are there penalties if employers fail to give workers’ compensation? Yes. Since the insurance is a legal requirement, employers who do not provide the insurance to employees can be fined or charged with a misdemeanor. If the employer violates the law on two occasions, the Labor Commission can order the suspension of business operations until the employer procures the proper insurance for its workers.

In addition, employers are prohibited from discharging employees during temporary total disability periods due to the worker’s absences from the job. Oklahoma workers can also report an employer through the assistance of a legal professional for any violations or delays regarding their workers’ compensation benefits.

Source: Owcc.state.ok.us, “Employers’ FAQ,” accessed Jan. 22, 2015

 

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