Nevada statute states that all employers (with limited exclusions) are required to have workers’ compensation insurance. But staying up-to-date on state requirements can take some time. In this guide, we’ll cover important facts like which employers need to have a workers’ comp policy, explain what the policy provides, and why it’s so important that you keep your policy current.
Why is workers’ compensation so important?
Simply put, workers’ compensation insurance is important to employees, but its equally important for employers too. Workers’ compensation insurance protects employees by providing medical care and disability and rehabilitation benefits if they’re injured on the job. In addition, workers’ compensation insurance also protects employers from costly legal and medical expenses as a result of an employee lawsuit.
Now that we better understand why workers’ comp is important coverage, let’s find out more about the companies in Nevada that are required to have it.
What employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance?
In a nutshell, any employer in Nevada with at least one (1) employee is required to have workers’ compensation coverage. Per Nevada statutes, a business “includes any person, firm, voluntary association, private corporation, and public service corporation that hires employees.” Under the statute, an employee is defined as “anyone hired by an employer through appointment, apprenticeship, or contract and includes undocumented workers, minors, elected and appointed paid public officers, board members that provide services for the corporation, and musicians that provide music for hire on an ongoing basis.
Are there exclusions?
Nevada does offer coverage exclusions for those in the following areas:
- Any person whose employment is casual
- Theatrical or stage performers
- Musicians, when casual in nature, with services not lasting more than two consecutive days
- Domestic service or agricultural labor
- Sport officiants
- Real estate brokers or salespersons
- Direct sellers of products or services in person or by telephone
- Independent contractors (in some cases)
There are exceptions to the independent contractor rule when it comes to workers’ compensation coverage, particularly in the construction industry, which typically uses an abundance of independent contractors. In most cases, the principal contractor is responsible for providing workers’ compensation coverage for an independent contractor involved in construction.
That said, for non-construction independent contractors, principal contractors are not responsible for providing coverage, provided that the independent contractor is not in the same trade, business, or profession as the principal contractor.
Now that we have covered who needs a workers’ policy in Nevada — and some exceptions to the rules — let’s talk about how a policy protects employees.
What does workers’ comp usually cover?
In Nevada, workers’ comp benefits are set in the state statute, with all worker benefits specified in the statutes. Because Nevada also offers “exclusive remedy,” employers are protected against any additional damages provided that worker benefits are provided immediately upon injury or work-related illness. As stated in the statute, workers’ compensation insurance in Nevada covers the following for employees injured on the job:
- Medical treatment
- Compensation for lost time
- Permanent partial disability
- Permanent total disability
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Dependent’s benefits
- Miscellaneous claims for travel, mileage, etc.
For your employees, workers’ compensation can mean the difference between recovering from an injury and being buried under mountains of medical bills.
How can a Nevada employer purchase workers’ comp insurance?
Nevada employers have the option to purchase workers’ comp insurance from a licensed private insurance carrier in Nevada or they can choose to be certified as a self-insured employer or a member of an association of self-insured public or private employers, with certification obtained by the Nevada Division of Insurance.
What are the penalties in Nevada for not having workers’ comp insurance?
The State of Nevada Department of Business & Industry Industrial Relations (DIR) is responsible for ensuring that all employers that are required to have workers’ compensation insurance are in compliance. There can be less-than-ideal outcomes if your business is assessed for non-compliance including:
- An administrative fine of up to $15,000
- Be forced to pay premium penalties for premiums not paid
- May be forced to close its doors until coverage is obtained
- May be held financially responsible for any work-related injury costs
- May be subject to criminal penalties for claims resulting in substantial bodily harm or death
How are workplace-related injuries reported?
Any worker injured on the job in Nevada must first notify their supervisor. Injured employees must fill out Form C-1 – Notice of Injury or Occupational Disease. An injured employee should complete Form C-1 within seven days of the accident or injury. If necessary, the injured employee may also need to obtain medical care from an authorized medical provider (more on that later).
Once Form C-1 has been received, the employer must fill out Form C-3 – Employer’s Report of Industrial Injury or Occupational Disease with its current insurer. When seeking treatment for the injury, the treating physician or chiropractor will need to complete Form C-4 – Employee’s Claim for Compensation/Report of Initial Treatment.
How are physicians chosen for treating work-related injuries?
If medical treatment is required for an employee’s injury, the employee may be required to select a physician or chiropractor from the workers’ compensation insurer’s list of authorized providers, if they currently contract with a Managed Care (MCO) or Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), or from a provider who is an active member of the Panel of Treating Physicians and Chiropractors. Of course serious injuries should always be treated at the nearest emergency room.
More resources for Nevada employers
For more information on workers’ compensation in Nevada, contact the Department of Business and Industry Workers’ Compensation at 702-486-9080 in Las Vegas and 775-684-7270 in Carson City. Below are links to some additional resources that Nevada employers may find useful.
Navigating workers’ compensation requirements is must for Nevada employers
Having a workers’ compensation policy in place makes good business sense and gives employees peace of mind, knowing that their medical and rehabilitation expenses will be covered if they are injured on the job. On the other hand, a workers’ compensation policy helps employers limit their exposure to liability from unexpected workplace injuries as well as penalties that can cost thousands of dollars and even your business. If you have questions about obtaining a workers’ compensation policy for your business, our team can help.
Please note all material in this article is for educational purposes only and does not constitute tax, benefits or legal advice. You should always contact a qualified tax, legal or financial professional, in your area for comprehensive tax or legal advice.