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What If My Employer Doesn’t Have Workers’ Comp Insurance?

Posted in Work Injury on August 1, 2023

Arizona law stipulates that employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, regardless of the number of workers they have and whether or not those workers are part-time or full-time. Additionally, establishments that employ family members, minors, or undocumented workers must also carry workers’ compensation insurance for each employee. There are very few situations in which an employer is not required to carry workers’ comp.

But what if your employer does not cover you with this important insurance? You may need to speak to a Phoenix work injury attorney, particularly if you have sustained an on-the-job injury.

Employer Penalties for Not Having Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Arizona

Under Arizona Revised Statutes §23-961, we can see that there are various ways that employers can provide workers’ compensation insurance or the “equivalent” of the insurance, which would be known as them self insuring. First, an employer will typically opt to pay for workers’ comp benefits. However, employers can self-insure to meet their workers’ compensation requirements. However, this option is usually restricted to larger employers that can:

  • Show proof of financial ability
  • Become a member of an approved workers’ compensation pool of employers
  • Provide a deposit with the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICS) – usually at least $100,000

If an employer has no workers’ compensation insurance coverage for their employees and they have not proven that they can self-insure, the employer could be charged with a Class 6 felony. This is a lower felony level that comes with the possibility of a present sentence of four months up to two years. An employer could also be charged with a misdemeanor and face lesser penalties.

Typically, the punishment for an employer failing to provide workers’ compensation insurance is a fine from the ICA. Typically, this fine ranges anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000, depending on the amount of violations. Additionally, the ICA can file a temporary injunction with the court to close down a business until they provide proof of workers’ compensation insurance.

Working With a Work Injury Lawyer

If you have been injured on the job, but your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance, we encourage you to reach out to a skilled work injury attorney in Arizona as soon as possible. You still have options to recover compensation. One option is filing a personal injury lawsuit against the employer, but this can be a time-consuming process. In these situations, an uninsured employer could be found liable for more damages than those that would have been covered under workers’ compensation insurance.

The injury victim could also receive compensation from the ICA Special Fund, which is designed to provide compensation for injured workers in these situations. In turn, the ICA can file a lawsuit against the employer to receive back pay for the compensation they pay out in addition to a 10% premium.

You can report an employer that does not have workers’ compensation insurance by calling the ICA complaint hotline at 602-542-5766. You can also submit a complaint form in a variety of ways outlined on the website, including electronically. The ICA also provides a way to submit the complaint in person, by mail, or by fax.