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Do Oregon small businesses need workers’ compensation insurance?

On Behalf of | Aug 29, 2022 | Employment Law

When you start a new business, there are numerous out-of-pocket expenses. Insurance is one expense you may not have considered, but it can significantly impact start-up and operational costs.

Most insurance types are not legally required. However, Oregon law stipulates that most employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance.

What is workers’ compensation insurance?

Workers’ compensation insurance protects employers and workers when an employee sustains on-the-job injuries. As an employer, you are responsible for the premiums you pay to a workers’ compensation insurance provider. If an employee has an accident while performing job duties, your insurance covers expenses associated with the injuries, including medical costs and a percentage of lost wages.

What businesses need to purchase coverage?

You likely need to purchase workers’ compensation insurance if you employ at least one worker. It doesn’t matter if the employee is full- or part-time. In return, your employees cannot sue you if they sustain injuries on the job.

Are any businesses exempt?

There are few exemptions, but the most notable is for contract workers. If you obtain services from independent contractors, you do not have employees. However, the independent contractors working for you must be economically independent and free from your company’s control or direction.

Unlike employees, if an independent contractor sustains injuries while performing job duties for you, the individual can file a personal injury lawsuit against you. Ensuring you have the right insurance for your business protects you and those who work for you in the event they have a workplace accident.