Workers Compensation – Out of State Issues

Do your employees travel to states other than where your business is domiciled? Do your employees perform work in other states? Understanding how Workers Compensation laws respond to interstate operations is important to ensure that you are in compliance with state employment laws.

Workers Compensation insurance is regulated at the state level. Benefit schedules for claims, interpretation of laws, rates and requirements will vary from state to state. Considerations for establishing where an employee is domiciled include: Where the employee lives? Where the employee primarily works? In what state was the employee hired?

Extraterritorial coverage issues arise when employees travel and work in a state that is not listed on the Workers Compensation policy. In general, domestic short term business trips to other states should not present a coverage problem. However, a number of states, such as NY and NH, are requiring that they be listed on the Workers Compensation policy even if the work only lasts a few days. Noncompliance with these requirements could open you up to a possible fine.

ND, WA, OH, and WY are “monopolistic” states.  Workers Compensation coverage for employees located in one these four states is only available through the respective state agency.  For example, a Workers Compensation policy would have to be purchased directly through for an Ohio based employee.

International travel presents additional complications for Workers Compensation. It is likely that your carrier will not have the resources to respond to an employee injured in a foreign location. Traditional Workers Compensation may not apply if the employee was injured during the trip but not engaged in employment related activities. International insurance policies are available to provide 24 hour protection for workers traveling on an overseas business trip.

Understanding how state laws impact your Workers Compensation coverage is important for compliance issues as well as ensuring that your employees are protected. We encourage you to discuss with us any questions you may have regarding your inter-state operations.

At Cleary, we will evaluate your business exposures and work with you to develop a comprehensive plan to safeguard your business. Give us a call today at 617-723-0700.