April 30, 2010

Workers Compensation update: Lawmakers strike deal on independent contractors

According to the Tennessean, lawmakers have struck a deal on how to cover independent contractors for accidents on the job. Yesterday, a House committee passed a new bill that would let the owners of small construction firms opt out of Tennessee's workers' compensation insurance program if they can prove they have no employees other than themselves.

The full story may be found at: http://www.tennessean.com/article/20100429/NEWS0201/4290322/1009/NEWS02

"The bill essentially would undo a 2008 law that would have required all contractors to have workers' comp insurance, even if they had no employees and were covered for accidents by their own health insurance policies." Id.

"The new bill — which is supported by groups representing large and small contractors — would limit exemptions to contractors that can show they own at least 30 percent of the company they work for and that they have either a supervisory role or are performing the work themselves." Id.

"Contractors would have to reapply for exemptions every two years. They could have to pay a $50 filing fee, money that would be used for enforcement." Id.