Who Is Required to Carry Workers’ Compensation in Virginia?

Workers Compensation book

As an employer in Virginia, it is important to understand the state’s workers’ compensation laws, as these laws are designed to protect both the worker and the company. For instance, under these laws, employers give up their right to defend themselves on contributory negligence grounds and assumption of risk, while employees give up their right to file a lawsuit against their employer following an accident. In return, injured employees can receive specific benefits, and employers are protected from civil suits.

However, it is important to note that workers’ compensation laws can vary by state. Therefore, it is crucial for employers in Virginia to know when they are required to have workers’ compensation coverage.

What Is Workers Compensation?

Workers’ compensation is an insurance policy that offers wage replacement and medical benefits to employees who suffer a compensable injury while working. In exchange for these benefits, the employee gives up their right to sue their employer for negligence.

When Is a Company Required to Carry Workers’ Compensation in Virginia? 

In Virginia, businesses with more than two regularly employed workers, whether part-time or full-time, must carry workers’ compensation. In addition, if a company hires subcontractors to perform the same business, trade, or occupation or to fulfill a contract, the subcontractor’s employees will also be included in the count when determining the total number of employees. 

When Is Workers’ Compensation Not Required

According to Virginia’s laws, independent contractors are not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.  Though there is no definitive test for determining whether a worker qualifies as an employee versus an independent contractor, the following factors may be examined to determine if a worker may be considered an independent contractor:

Work injury claim form
  • Whether the worker was hired for a specific project instead of ongoing work
  • Whether the worker is paid on a per-job basis instead of salary or hourly wages 
  • Whether the worker is in a field that requires specialized training or knowledge
  • Whether the worker provides their own tools or equipment for the job
  • The amount of control the employer has over the worker, including how and when the work is performed (with the power of control often being a leading factor)

In addition, if the company only has one or two employees, the employer is not legally obligated to have workers’ compensation insurance coverage. Neither is a sole proprietor who has no employees and does not hire subcontractors. Furthermore, workers’ compensation in Virginia does not require insurance for domestic servants. 

What Happens When You Do Not Get Workers Compensation Insurance

In Virginia, employers who fail to provide proper workers’ compensation coverage may face civil penalties of up to $250 for each day they are not insured and a maximum fine of $50,000. 

Contact Goodman Allen Donnelly Today To Learn More About Carrying Workers’ Compensation in Virginia 

Virginia’s workers’ compensation laws are complicated. However, when you work with an experienced Virginia workers’ compensation attorney, they do not have to be. 

At Goodman Allen Donnelly, our legal team greatly emphasizes prevention and collaborates with clients to tackle any regulatory and compliance concerns pertaining to workers’ compensation. In the event that litigation is inevitable, our attorneys are prepared to support our clients and vigorously safeguard their rights.

For more information about workers’ compensation in Virginia, contact us today to schedule a consultation with a member of our team.