Like all states across the country, Arizona has workers’ compensation rights that protect employees in case they are injured on the job. Employers have a responsibility to cultivate a safe working environment, prevent accidents, and provide proper medical assistance to employees who are hurt while working. Otherwise, if employer negligence is to blame for a serious personal injury at work, the employee may file a lawsuit with a personal injury attorney in Scottsdale or whatever city the accident occurred in.
Not having workers’ compensation at an Arizona business that needs it may result in a class 6 felony. Even if employees never file workers’ compensation claims, if your business does not have that insurance, your business may incur steep civil penalties of up to tens of thousands of dollars.
If you’re a small business CEO in Arizona or are thinking about expanding into the state, here are state-specific definitions and guidelines set forth by the Industrial Commission of Arizona to follow to keep your business legal.
What Is Workers’ Compensation in Arizona?
In Arizona, all employees, no matter how they are hurt on the job, are entitled to medical and compensation benefits under the “no fault” system. Depending on the severity of the injury, the injured worker may receive medical benefits, temporary compensation for time missed off work, job retraining, or permanent compensation benefits when an employee is no longer able to perform their job functions.
How Can Arizona Business Owners Get Workers’ Compensation?
Before opening and operating, employers in Arizona should obtain workers’ compensation insurance, which can be done online. After workers’ compensation is obtained, a notice of the coverage must be posted somewhere prominent where employees can see it.
Which Employees at an Arizona Business Need Workers’ Compensation Coverage?
Any business that employs full- or part-time employees who are not independent contractors must have workers’ compensation insurance in place. This includes corporations and limited liability companies. Examples of casual employees who wouldn’t require workers’ compensation insurance include housekeepers and infrequent workers.
Employers may not claim that workers were independent contractors so that they can avoid obtaining workers’ compensation for them, though. The workers’ compensation board may deem that a victim is an employee and not an independent contractor when one or some of the following signs are present:
- The business provides the equipment the employee uses for work
- The business provides training and a significant amount of work to the employee
- The business interviews the employee before hiring them
- The employee receives hourly or salaried wages
Talk with a workers’ compensation attorney if you have questions about whether or not you need insurance for those you hire.
Do Sole Proprietors in Arizona Need Workers’ Compensation?
Depending on the type of labour-intensive work a sole proprietor in Arizona does, they may consider a workers’ compensation insurance policy for themselves. This may be wise so that if the individual experiences a severe on-the-job injury and must miss work, they still receive coverage while they recover. However, there is no requirement to purchase workers’ compensation as a sole proprietor.
What Steps Should Businesses Take After an Employee Injury?
When an employee is injured at work in Arizona, the following steps should be taken:
- Call for medical help
- Secure the scene so no other employees are in danger
- Provide the employee with the name and address of the workers’ compensation insurance carrier, the policy number and the date of coverage expiration
- Document the scene and gather witness statements
- Create an Employer Report of Injury Form
Next, employers will work on reporting the accident.
How Should Arizona Employers Report Workplace Accidents?
Any serious injury, including those resulting in a hospital stay, and all workplace fatalities, must be reported to the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health (ADOSH) in a timely manner. Work-related fatalities must be reported within eight hours of the incident. All hospitalizations, loss of eye(s) and amputations due to business-related activities must be reported within 24 hours.
After an Arizona employer receives a notification of any other work-related injury or disease, the employer must notify their workers’ compensation insurance carrier and ADOSH within 10 days of receiving the notification. Employers can call ADOSH to report these at (855) 268-5251 and should also have their Employer Report of Injury Form on hand.
What Risks Does an Arizona Business Face Without Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
If an employee is injured on the job, and their employer does not carry workers’ compensation insurance, the employee may file a civil lawsuit or a workers’ compensation claim with the Industrial Commission of Arizona against the business. Unlike workers’ compensation claims that provide capped wage protection, damages sought in a civil lawsuit may include compensation for pain and suffering and other damages, which often exceed coverage provided through workers’ compensation.
In addition to facing a lawsuit, the Industrial Commission of Arizona may file an injunction that forces a business to halt operations until the employer obtains workers’ compensation insurance.
Not having workers’ compensation insurance in place can result in a lawsuit, hefty fines and a business closing temporarily or permanently. For small business CEOs who care about staying open and protecting their workers, workers’ compensation insurance is vital.