Workers compensation is an important (and required) insurance for construction projects. Contractors that subcontract any portion of their work need to know the meaning of the term “statutory employer.”
Under Florida’s Workers Compensation Law:
“In case a contractor sublets any part or parts of his or her contract work to a subcontractor…all of the employees of such contractor and subcontractor…engaged on such contract work shall be deemed to be employed in one and the same business or establishment, and the contractor shall be liable for, and shall secure, the payment of compensation to all such employees [the statutory employer concept], except to employees of a subcontractor who has secured such payment.”
This means if a subcontractor does not obtain workers compensation insurance, then the general contractor is the “statutory employer” of the subcontractor’s employees and its employees are covered under the general contractor’s workers compensation policy UNLESS the subcontractor has workers compensation insurance.
Contractors that comply with this requirement are protected by what is known as workers compensation immunity. In other words, the contractor is immune from tort-related lawsuits from an injured employee as workers compensation becomes the injured employee’s exclusive remedy.
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