Rhode Island workers’ comp 101
Rhode Island is The Ocean State, home of red maple trees, and known for its fantastic coastline. It’s also one of many U.S. states that require all businesses with one or more employees to carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage with a few limited exceptions.
If you’re a small business owner in Rhode Island, you’ll want to think about a variety of insurance coverage options. These include general liability insurance, commercial auto insurance, and workers’ compensation insurance.
If you’re wondering whether your Rhode Island small business really needs workers’ comp insurance, here are 10 important facts you should know.
10 important facts about workers’ comp insurance in Rhode Island
- Rhode Island requires businesses with one or more employees to cover their employees with workers’ comp insurance.
- Exceptions to the above include sole proprietors, partners in a business, certain real estate professionals, and certain agricultural and domestic service employees.
- An employer is required to report a work injury to their workers’ compensation insurance company, which is then required to report the injury to the state within 10 days of an injury that requires medical treatment, or that prevents the employee from earning full wages for at least three days.
- If the injury is fatal, the report must be made within 48 hours.
- Rhode Island charges a $250 penalty to employers who fail to report injuries appropriately.
- Employers are required to display a poster that includes the name of the workers’ compensation insurance carrier in their office(s).
- If you are required to have workers’ comp insurance and don’t, you could face penalties including fines of $1,000 per day for each day that workers’ comp insurance should have been in place and wasn’t, and imprisonment of up to two years.
- Even if you only occasionally hire employees for short periods of time and then return to having no employees, you’re still required to hold workers’ comp insurance during the term of their employment.
- An employer may be subject to criminal prosecution if it misclassifies employees as independent contractors to avoid paying workers’ comp or to reduce premiums.
- Rhode Island provides employees in most circumstances with the “Right to Reinstatement” meaning the employer must provide the employee with their former role after the employee is cleared to return to work from a job-related injury.
Remember, every situation is different and state workers’ compensation laws are subject to change, so be sure to do your research and speak with a trusted advisor.
Thanks for reading! Please note that this content is intended for educational purposes only. As laws change regularly, you should refer to your state legislation and/or an advisor for specific legal counsel. If you’re a small business owner, learn more about workers’ compensation insurance or check your current rate in 3 minutes.