The state clearly sets out penalties for employers who don’t have workers’ compensation coverage.
Employers operating without insurance are subject to civil fines and/or criminal penalties, including imprisonment, and are subject to a STOP WORK order issued to their business. Civil fines can reach up to $250 a day, and criminal penalties include a fine of up to $1500, imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.
If you’re the owner of a small business with few employees, you are still required by state law to carry workers’ compensation insurance covering your employees, including yourself if you are an employee of the company. This requirement applies regardless of the number of hours worked in any given week, except that domestic service employees must work a minimum of 16 hours per week in order to require coverage.
There’s more, a lot more. In Massachusetts, workers’ compensation insurance is among the most intricate insurance products. It doesn’t have to be confusing, however, as we are ready to walk you through the regulations and guidelines so that your business, your employees and your peace of mind are protected.
Accidents happen – whether it’s a minor slip-and-fall or something much worse, you need to make sure that you have the right coverage in place to protect your business and your employees.
If you have employees, you are required to carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Massachusetts. That includes family members and yourself if you are considered an employee. If you’re going to work for someone else, unless you’re an employee, you won’t be covered by their insurance policy and may need to provide proof of work compensation.
Massachusetts workers’ compensation insurance covers wage replacement and medical bills for employees injured on the job. To protect against other injuries at your place of business, you may need general liability insurance.
As with all insurance, there are specific factors that can impact your Workers’ Compensation Insurance coverage.
- For instance, if you’re a real estate agent and you work on a commission basis and have a written contract stating you are not treated as an employee under federal tax law, you are exempt from coverage.
- If you’re a sole proprietor or partner in Massachusetts, you are excluded from coverage but have the option to include yourself.
- If you’re a corporate officer you are included in coverage, but officers owning 25% or more interest may exclude themselves by completing the Affidavit of Exemption for Certain Corporate Officers or Directors – Form 153, stating whether or not they wish to exempt themselves. The exemption must be filed with the DIA’s Office of Investigations in Boston for approval.
- Finally, if you are a member of an LLC, Massachusetts excludes you from coverage, but you have the option to include yourself.