Schemery Zicolello

Pennsylvania employers and workers' compensation insurance

People may know that when they are injured on the job that they can be entitled to workers' compensation. This compensation can help cover medical expenses, lost wages and other costs caused by a workplace accident.

However, few people may understand that this money is paid because an employer has workers' compensation insurance. Employers and employees should understand the importance of workers' compensation insurance and its role following a workplace injury. In particular, employers need to understand whether or not they must have workers' compensation insurance.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, employers in the state of Pennsylvania must carry workers' compensation insurance in three situations. One, if the employer has at least one employee in the state that could develop a work-related illness or injury at work, then the employer must have workers' compensation insurance. Two, the employer must carry workers' compensation insurance if the employer has at least one employee whose principal place of employment is in Pennsylvania but could be injured outside of the state. Finally, workers' compensation insurance is required if the employer has at least one employee that is working under a contract made in Pennsylvania but works outside of the state, outside the U.S. or in a state where the employee is not covered by that state's workers' compensation.

However, these rules don't apply to an employer who would otherwise be required to have workers' compensation insurance if all of the employer's employees are excluded from the workers' compensation program. Excluded categories include certain domestic workers, railroad workers, federal workers, longshoremen, certain agricultural workers, casual workers and others. Sole proprietors are also not required to carry workers' compensation.

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