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Employer penalties for not having workers’ compensation insurance

On Behalf of | Aug 4, 2023 | Workers' Compensation |

Illinois has strict laws forcing employers to provide their employees with workers’ compensation insurance coverage. A business with at least one employee who works part-time must have coverage. These provisions could be comforting to employees, knowing they can receive compensation for their work injuries or disabilities. However, some employers might fail to comply despite the requirements enforced by state law.

Businesses that intentionally fail to acquire workers’ compensation insurance could face severe penalties. They could receive serious charges, depending on the circumstances. They might also bear the following sanctions based on the situation:

  • Fines reaching around $500 for each day of noncompliance, potentially accumulating to a minimum of $10,000
  • Enforced liability of corporate officers for the business’ owed fines
  • Class A misdemeanor to Class 4 felony charges, depending on whether the employer committed the violation intentionally
  • Relinquishes protection under the Workers’ Compensation Act

If an employer receives these penalties, their employees could pursue compensation for their eligible work injuries by filing lawsuits in civil court. If so, noncompliant employers might obtain additional obligations based on the outcomes of court proceedings.

Additionally, the Workers’ Compensation Commission could take action to address these violations. They could issue orders to stop the employers’ operations because of their noncompliance. This order could be effective until the employer shows proof of their insurance coverage.

What exceptions can exist for employers?

Some employers with specific business types have exceptions under Illinois law, such as sole proprietorships and business partners. However, their options could vary, depending on the business nature and their employees’ exposure to occupational risks. Some business types could refuse inclusion, but others, such as construction or trucking businesses, must obtain insurance coverage.

These requirements could be essential, especially for employees who face work hazards regularly. Enforcing these regulations could give employees security against life-altering injuries, potentially affecting their daily lives and livelihoods.