Workers’ compensation insurance coverage is required for all employers in North Carolina with limited exceptions.  If the State of North Carolina discovers that an employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance coverage in effect, there are significant monetary and criminal consequences for the non-insured employer.  Below are some FAQs concerning non-insured employers in North Carolina. 

Who has to have workers’ compensation insurance coverage in North Carolina?

The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act requires that all businesses that employ three or more employees obtain workers’ compensation insurance or qualify as self-insured employers.  There are some exceptions to this, but this is the general rule.

What if one of my employees is injured during a time when I do not have workers’ compensation insurance coverage when I was required to have that coverage?

In addition to potential sanctions, you will have to pay for your employee’s medical expenses and pay for 2/3 of their lost wages out of your own pocket.

What happens if I do not have workers’ compensation insurance coverage in effect, but no employee is injured during that period when I was not insured?

You can potentially be charged with a criminal misdemeanor or felony.  You can also be sanctioned with significant monetary penalties.

What should I do if I am criminally charged for not having workers’ compensation insurance or if I am civilly sanctioned by the North Carolina Industrial Commission (the governmental agency that handles workers’ compensation in North Carolina) for not having workers’ compensation insurance coverage in effect?

Please respond as instructed by the Court or the Industrial Commission. 

If you are presented with the issues discussed above, it’s important to consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can help you understand your options. You can reach out to Buck Copeland or any member of our Risk Management & Workers’ Compensation team if you have any questions.