In an effort to make construction jobsites around Florida safer for those who work there regularly, Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater recently unveiled the results from a two-day Sunshine State sweep of nearly 400 sites to protect construction workers, making sure their employers’ are in compliance with Florida’s workers compensation laws.
According to information from Atwater, investigators dropped in on more than 770 employers, with 70 citations being handed out to construction businesses and other companies that failed to properly carry workers’ comp coverage.
Construction Workers Face Daily Dangers
As Atwater pointed out, “The goal of this sweep was to ensure the safety of Florida’s workforce, especially in the construction industry, where workers encounter potentially dangerous situations daily. Construction companies that don’t carry the required workers’ comp coverage put their employees at great risk and, through gaming the system, are able to outbid responsible companies that play by the rules.”
According to Atwater, state law mandates that those companies partaking in the construction sector must have workers comp coverage when they employ one or more workers, including the individual who owns the business. Companies engaged in the non-construction market are required to purchase workers comp protection if they employ four or more workers, excluding business owners, who are exempt.
As Florida law states, when a business owner obtains a citation or Stop Work Order (SWO), the company is required to immediately halt all business until the employer purchases coverage for its workers. A SWO will be handed out for violations that include failure to purchase workers comp coverage, under-reporting payroll such as compensating workers in cash as opposed to payroll checks and misclassifying workers so that the owner can obtain a lower workers comp rate.
Atwater noted that the most recent sweep found five businesses working in violation of an already issued SWO.
Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com. Contact: email@example.com.
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