In most states, legislation has mandated that all employers provide their employees with workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits are extended to workers in the case of an on the job injury, and they act as a sort of governmental insurance that assists in the fair compensation of injured workers for their pains. Texas law, however, gives its employers another option. A company or business can opt out of workers’ compensation, designating themselves as a non-subscriber. There are pros and cons a business must consider before deciding, and it is important that employees stay abreast of any changes and fully aware of their rights.
What Exactly Is a Non-subscriber?
A non-subscriber is a business that has elected to opt out of the traditional workers’ compensation benefits provided to companies. Companies who decide to operate as non-subscribers are responsible for setting their own injury compensation standards and often work with attorneys to ensure their programs fall within the legal sphere of coverage.
Why Do Companies Opt Out?
There are many reasons a company may elect to opt out of workers’ compensation. For one, the cost of workers’ compensation can often be quite high, and for many private sector businesses, this cost can be difficult to shoulder. Often, companies that operate as non-subscribers aim to offer improved care and safety standards due to the flexibility their savings have lent them.
Because each business can tailor its injury compensation plan to its particular business, many feel choosing to be non-subscribers makes them more able to provide benefits to their employees while avoiding the high costs that can accompany government programs.
Which Industries Can Elect to Opt-Out of Workers’ Comp?
Almost any employer in Texas is free to opt out of traditional workers’ compensation. There are, however, a few notable exceptions to this rule. Any company involved in state construction projects or any governmental entity must participate in workers’ compensation.
Does Working for a Non-subscriber Leave Employees Unprotected?
No, working for a company that operates as a non-subscriber does not mean employees are left unprotected. On the contrary, employees are entitled to nearly the same level of compensation at a non-subscribing company as those working for one offering workers’ comp. The only difference is in the particular coverages allowed and the amounts potentially available for assistance with injury.
If an employee working for a non-subscriber is injured, the employer him- or herself is responsible for allocating benefits. The non-subscriber is only personally responsible for retribution during on the job injuries, so often opting out of workers’ compensation can be a somewhat risky decision on the part of the employer or company.
What Types of Injuries Do Non-subscribers Cover?
Serious or severe injuries that require treatment will often be covered by companies who have elected to be non-subscribers. The option gives them flexibility but not the freedom to leave their employees vulnerable to risk. Following are some of the ways in which non-subscribers may be required to provide compensation to workers injured on the job:
- Payment of medical expenses
- Reimbursement or coverage of medical care
- Compensation for wages lost due to injury
- Restitution for pain emotional distress
These are but a few ways injured individuals are entitled to compensation if badly injured on the job site. For more information regarding the facts of a particular case, it may be wise to contact a licensed attorney.
Make Sure You’re Protected With Legal Representation
The best way to ensure your rights are protected surrounding a personal injury claim is to hire an experienced attorney. Houston accident lawyer Brian White specializes in Board Certified Personal injury Trial Law — Texas Board of Legal Specialization and has spent years of his professional career ensuring businesses and workers receive justice and fair compensation.