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Who's required to carry work comp coverage in Tennessee?

Chances are good that when you report to work for the start of your shift that the very last thing on your mind is suffering some manner of work-related injury. Indeed, your thoughts are understandably focused on matters like meeting delivery schedules, production quotas and report deadlines.

While this is certainly understandable, it's important to realize that work-related injuries can occur at any time, no matter how good you are at your job. Indeed, consider that figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal that there were 902,200 work injury cases resulting in days away from work in 2015 alone.

As alarming as this may be, comfort can be derived from the fact that Tennessee's Workers' Compensation Act mandates that the majority of employers must provide work comp coverage, such that injured workers have access to both medical treatment and wage replacement benefits.

What employers are required to carry work comp coverage in Tennessee?

State law dictates that Tennessee employers in the construction sector or construction trades with one or more employees must carry work comp coverage absent a specific exemption.

As for employers not in construction, those with five or more employees must either 1) secure coverage via an insurance carrier, or 2) qualify as a self-insured employer with the Department of Commerce and Insurance.

It's also worth noting that employers in the coal mining industry must carry work comp coverage if they have even one employee.

Who is considered an employee for the purposes of determining work comp coverage?  

In addition to full-time employees, any part-time employees, family members and/or corporate officers who meet the definition of an employee are included in determining whether work comp coverage must be secured.

Do employees have to pay work comp premiums?

Employers are expressly prohibited by state law from asking employees to pay any amount toward workers' compensation premiums.

Here's hoping the foregoing information has proven helpful. Future posts will continue to elaborate on the work comp process here in Tennessee.

In the meantime, please consider speaking with a skilled legal professional if you suffered serious injuries in a work-related accident and are having problems securing work comp benefits.

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