What Should I Do If My Employer Does Not Have Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
Under Illinois’ Workers’ Compensation Act, most Illinois employers are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance for almost every employee who is hired, injured, or whose employment is localized in Illinois. However, sole proprietors, business partners, corporate officers, and members of limited liability companies may exempt themselves from the requirements of this Act. It is currently estimated that about 91% of Illinois employees are covered under the Act. The following article will discuss what you should do if you discover that your employee does not have workers’ compensation insurance.
Which Illinois employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance?
All Illinois employers that have at least one employee (even a part-time employee) must obtain workers’ compensation insurance. There are some rare exceptions to this requirement outlined in Section 3 of the aforementioned Act.
What does the Act require Illinois employers to do?
The Act requires Illinois employers to take the following actions:
- Purchase workers’ compensation insurance or get permission to self-insure
- Post a notice in the workplace explaining workers’ rights; this notice should list the insurance provider, policy number, and contact Information
- Keep records of work-related injuries
- Report accidents that result in more than 3 lost days of work
- Report any work-related deaths within 2 days
Additionally, an employer must not:
- Charge an employee for any part of the workers’ compensation insurance premium or benefits
- Discriminate against an employee for exercising their rights under the law; this includes harassing, firing, or refusing to rehire an employee who filed a compensation claim
What penalties do Illinois employers face for failing to have workers’ compensation insurance?
An Illinois employer that knowingly and willfully fails to obtain workers’ compensation insurance, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC) may fine the employer up to $500 for every day of noncompliance, with a minimum fine of $10,000. The IWCC may also issue a work-stop order on an employer that has been found to have knowingly failed to provide insurance, which would require the employer to stop all business operations until it provides proof of insurance.
Additionally, corporate officers can be held personally liable if the company fails to pay the penalty. Furthermore, corporate officers who are found to have negligently failed to obtain insurance can be found guilty of a Class A misdemeanor; if they are found to have knowingly failed to obtain insurance, they can be found guilty of a Class 4 felony.
Since 2006, the IWCC has collected over $7 million in fines, which are deposited into the Injured Workers’ Benefit Fund to provide employees with proper legal protection in workers’ compensation cases.
My employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance. What should I do?
If you suffer a work-related injury and discover that your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance, you still could have a potential recovery through the Injured Workers’ Benefit Fund. This Fund is set up for these specific circumstances. Proving entitlement to an award under the Illinois Workers’ Benefit Fund has multiple required steps and should be done with the advice of an attorney.
Do You Have a Stagnant Workers’ Compensation Claim? Speak to a Chicago Personal Injury Attorney Today
Sometimes the workers’ compensation process can take a lot longer than you initially anticipated. This is where Connolly Injury Law can help. We will ensure that your claim is processed in a timely manner so that you receive the compensation you are entitled to. Contact our Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys for help today.