Are Subcontractor Employees Entitled To Workers’ Compensation In Florida?
Yes, subcontractor employees are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits under Florida law. General contractors have an obligation to provide workers’ compensation insurance to their employees and also ensure that their subcontractors have proper insurance coverage.
If a general contractor fails to ensure that a subcontractor carries workers’ compensation coverage and a subcontractor employee gets injured on-the-job, the general contractor will be responsible for providing coverage to the injured worker.
If you are a subcontractor employee who has been injured at the work premises run by a general contractor, talk to a Tampa workers’ compensation attorney at Kobal Law to discuss compensation options in your specific situation.
Are General Contractors Required to Have Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
Fla. Stat. § 440.02 classifies general contractors as construction companies. Under Florida law, the construction industry has the strictest requirements for workers’ compensation insurance.
Any employer or general contractor in the construction industry must maintain workers’ compensation insurance if they have at least one employee.
A general contractor has a duty to ensure that their subcontractors carry valid workers’ compensation insurance to be able to provide coverage for their employees in the event of a workplace accident.
However, it does not mean that general contractors must provide workers’ comp insurance for subcontractors. Their obligation is to check that the subcontractor has the proper insurance before hiring one.
What if the Subcontractor Doesn’t Have Workers’ Comp Insurance?
If the general contractor failed to check the subcontractor’s workers’ compensation insurance and one of the subcontractor’s employees gets injured at the general contractor’s job site, that employee is considered the employee of the general contractor for the purposes of workers’ compensation.
In other words, the general contractor will be required to pay for the injured subcontractor employee’s losses and damages with their own insurance coverage.
What Happens if a Subcontractor Worker Gets Injured?
If a subcontractor’s employee sustained a work-related injury at the worksite operated by the general contractor, the subcontractor would be responsible for paying for their worker’s injury.
However, if the subcontractor does not have valid workers’ compensation insurance, the responsibility for providing compensations falls on the general contractor who failed to ensure that the subcontractor maintains proper insurance.
Is There a Difference Between Subcontractors and Independent Contractors?
Many people mistakenly believe that subcontractors and independent contractors are synonyms. That is not the case. An independent contractor is a worker paid to work on a specific project (or “gig”) independently, while a subcontractor is a company or individual employed by the general contractor to do the job.
Independent contractors set their own schedules and rates, while subcontractors are dependent upon payment to the general contractor. Another notable difference between subcontractors and independent contractors is that the latter are not eligible for workers’ compensation coverage in Florida.
If you are a subcontractor or independent contractor who has been injured at work, do not hesitate to speak with a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney to explore your compensation options. Contact Kobal Law to discuss your case. Call 813-873-2440.