The State of Oregon requires employers* to carry worker’s compensation insurance for their employees. (*most)
Worker’s compensation insurance is only fair if it is applied to all workers and all employees so if you employ workers in the State of Oregon, you will need worker’s compensation insurance coverage.
Are you an employer?
If you pay someone to have them do work for you, then chances are that person is one of your employees. If you are confused on whether or not a worker is an employee or not, the Oregon Supreme Court provides four main areas to help you decide whether a worker is an employee or not. Below are the following four criteria’s:
1). How is the worker paid? By the hour? By the job? On a commission? By the piece?
2). Do you have the right to fire the worker without breach of contract?
3). Do you actually control or have the right to direct the worker?
4). Who supplies the tools and equipment the worker needs in order to accomplish the job?
A common question that could cause some employers confusion is whether or not your employees are exempt from worker’s compensation insurance. Some workers are not required by law to be covered even if they are in fact employees.
Below are 7 common exceptions:
1). Casual Labor
2). Most limited liability company members.
3). Workers from out of state.
4). Sole proprietors.
5). Some corporate officers.
7). Private residence workers.
If you have decided that you in fact do employ workers and do not have workers compensation coverage for them, you can get insurance coverage from a variety of authorized insurers. Throughout the State of Oregon there are many companies who can write worker’s compensation insurance. It is your choice whether you would like to use a private insurance company or S.A.I.F, an Oregon non-profit, state chartered worker’s compensation insurance company. Although S.A.I.F issues almost half of the policies in Oregon, providing coverage to more than 600,000 homes, it often is the more expensive option. If you want a policy that is more tailored to your business and your budget, contacting a private insurance company may be in your best interest. Private insurance companies have real, licensed commercial insurance agents that can help you pick and bind your policy often the same day.
If you are having trouble finding an insurer who is willing to write your policy, the Oregon Assigned Risk Insurance Plan can help you get covered. This plan is administered by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) and requires a special application. For more information on the National Council on Compensation Insurance and their policies, visit their or contact them at 800-622-4123.
You may also qualify as a self-insured employee however, this option is usually only available for larger employers because they must have the ability to pay for major claims and assure the proper processing.
Once you have insurance, it is the employers’ duty to make sure that the insurer files the proof of their coverage with the State of Oregon’s WCD. This “proof of coverage” is the insurer’s promise to provide benefits for all workers if they are injured. The worker’s compensation coverage is effective when all fees and paper work are paid and filed. Coverage will continue up till the expiration of the policy.
Employers must know that if they do not comply with the State of Oregon’s worker’s compensation laws, the State’s worker’s compensation division will send an order to you that states the period of noncompliance and will assess a fine. First offense penalties are two-times the amount of the premium you should have paid, with a minimum of $1,000. Those who continue to employ workers without proper coverage will be assessed a $250.00 per day, with no limit on the total fine. Bankruptcy cannot reduce this debt and the worker’s compensation division will request a permanent court injunction to force the employer to comply. If disobeyed, the court will hold this employer in contempt and subject them to various sanctions, including jail time.
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