The requirement to insure workers' compensation liability is mandatory for any employer who:
- employs at least one employee who could be injured or develop a work-related disease in this state, or
- could be injured outside the state if the employment is principally localized in Pennsylvania, or
- could be injured outside the state, while under a contract of hire made in Pennsylvania, if the employment is not principally localized in any state, if the employment is principally localized in a state whose workers' compensation laws do not apply, or the employment is outside the United States and Canada
all employees are excluded from the provisions of Pennsylvania's workers' compensation laws.
You may insure your workers' compensation liability by purchasing a workers' compensation policy:
- from the State Workers' Insurance Fund (570 963-4635), or
- through an insurance company (click here for a list of insurance companies licensed to conduct business in PA), or
- by securing Department of Labor and Industry approval to self-insure, individually or as a group (for more information contact 717-783-4476).
Insuring workers' compensation liability:
- indemnifies the employer from wage loss and medical benefits incurred as a result of work-related injuries or occupational diseases,
- protects it from tort liability for lawsuits arising from work-related injuries and diseases,
- and protects the employer and agents acting on its behalf from criminal prosecution, which can result in imprisonment and substantial fines for each day of noncompliance.
In Pennsylvania, an employer may be excluded from the requirement to insure its workers' compensation liability only if ALL workers employed by it fall into one or more of the following categories:
- federal workers
- railroad workers
- casual workers whose employment is casual in character AND not in the regular course of the business of the employer
- persons who work out of their own homes or other premises not under the control or management of the enterprise AND make up, clean, wash, alter, ornament, finish, repair, or adapt articles or materials for sale that are given to them
- agricultural laborers earning under $1200 per person per calendar year AND no one agricultural laborer works 30 days or more per calendar year, unless the agricultural labor is provided by the employer's spouse or child(ren) under the age of eighteen and they have not sought inclusion under Pennsylvania's workers' compensation laws by filing an express written contract of hire with the Department
- domestic workers who have not elected with the Department of Labor and Industry to come under the provisions of the Workers' Compensation Act
- sole proprietor or general partners
- have been granted exemption due to their religious beliefs by the Department of Labor and Industry
- executive officers who have been granted exclusion by the Department of Labor and Industry
- licensed real estate salespersons or associate real estate brokers affiliated with a licensed real estate broker or a licensed insurance agent affiliated with a licensed insurance agency, under a written agreement, remunerated on a commission-only basis and qualifying as independent contractors for State tax purposes or for Federal tax purposes under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.
NOTE: unless ALL employees meet one or more of the above exclusions, you must insure your workers' compensation liability even if the workers are working limited hours part-time or are family members such as your spouse or children.
Questions as to how categories would apply to specific workers should be directed to your personal attorney for interpretation.
Elections to Include Domestic Workers
An employer may elect to include its domestic workers under the provisions of the Workers' Compensation Act by
annually completing an "Employer's Application to Elect Domestic Employees to Come Within the Provisions of the Workers' Compensation Act: Section 321," form LIBC-510, and filing the same with the Compliance Section, Bureau of Workers' Compensation, then insuring its liability as described above.
Requests to Exempt Certain Religious Members
Employers may request exemption from the provisions of the Workers' Compensation Act for any employees who are members of a recognized religious sect and adhere to its established tenets or teachings which conscientiously oppose acceptance of public or private insurance benefits by filing a "Section 304.2 Application for Religious Exception of Specified Employes from the Provisions of the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act," concurrently with the appropriate number of properly executed forms LIBC-14B, "Employe's Affidavit and Waiver of Workers' Compensation Benefits and Statement of Religious Sect" with the Compliance Section, Bureau of Workers' Compensation. If the Compliance Section grants exemption, the employer may omit insuring its workers' compensation liability
only with respect to the particular employees exempted for as long as the particular employee is a member of and adheres to the tenets of that religious sect and the sect continues to conscientiously oppose acceptance of public or private insurance benefits.
Requests to Exclude Executive Officers
A non-profit corporation may request exclusion of any of its executive officers who serve voluntarily and without remuneration. A subchapter S for-profit corporation may request exclusion of any of its executive officers who have an ownership interest as defined by Tax Reform Code of 1971. A subchapter C for-profit corporation may request exclusion of its executive officers if they have at least a 5% interest in the corporation.
To request exclusion of permissible executive officers from the provisions of the Workers' Compensation Act, complete and file an "Application for Executive Officer Exception," form LIBC-509, concurrently with the appropriate number of properly executed "Executive Officer's Declarations," form LIBC-513. These forms must be filed with the employer's insurance carrier if the employer has a policy covering its other employees. The forms must be filed with the Compliance Section, Bureau of Workers' Compensation if the employer has no other employees.
IMPORTANT NOTICE TO EMPLOYERS AND EMPLOYEES
Employers are required by law to post, in a prominent and easily accessible place, at its primary place of business and at its sites of employment, a notice containing the name, address and telephone number of the appropriate party to address regarding workers' compensation claims or to request information. If an employer is not doing so and you suspect the employer does not insure its workers' compensation liability, contact the Compliance Section, Bureau of Workers' Compensation at (717) 787-3567.
If you suspect that an employee collecting workers' compensation benefits is doing so fraudulently, send written correspondence to the Compliance Section, Bureau of Workers' Compensation, 651 Boas Street, 8th Floor, Harrisburg, PA 17121-0750, or e-mail us at:
firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include:
- the full name and address of the person collecting workers' compensation benefits,
- the name of the employer by whom the individual became eligible to receive the benefits (if known), and
- your reason(s) for believing the individual is collecting benefits fraudulently.
If you are willing to provide additional information to the carrier, include your name and address or telephone number, including area code. If the information you provide enables the Compliance Section to locate an insurance carrier paying benefits, your response will be forwarded to that carrier so that it may conduct an investigation.