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Department Clarifies Who is Exempt Under  New Workers' Compensation Law

August 16, 2002
Source: The Florida Department of Insurance

A key administrative rule was published today clarifying which tradespeople must have workers’ compensation coverage in order to work on commercial construction projects valued at $250,000 or more, said Florida Treasurer and Insurance Commissioner Tom Gallagher. The rule was developed to clarify which trades are construction-related under a new workers’ compensation law enacted by the 2002 Legislature. The new law went into effect on July 1, 2002 .

“We have received thousands of calls from workers wondering where they stand since the new law went into effect,” Gallagher said. “The rule now in place will help clarify who must have the necessary coverage in place to work on these commercial construction projects.”

The new law, Senate Bill 108, requires contractors or subcontractors to obtain workers’ compensation coverage for themselves, or for those working on their behalf, if they work on a commercial construction project valued at $250,000 or more. Prior to the passage of the new law, some contractors and subcontractors were legally permitted to exempt themselves from the requirement of purchasing workers’ compensation insurance.

The purpose of the rule published today is to define - for purposes of workers’ compensation coverage - who is and who is not in the construction industry. Construction industry workers cannot use their exemptions on commercial sites valued at $250,000 or more. Based on the new law, construction-related workers on commercial sites valued at $250,000 or more must immediately obtain workers’ compensation coverage in order to continue their current employment.

Exemptions will continue to apply to workers primarily engaged in residential construction, Gallagher said. Exemptions already in place will continue for all other construction activity except on sites valued at $250,000 or more.

For work on a commercial project valued at $250,000 or more, exemptions from coverage are based on the classifications under the Florida Contracting Classification Premium Adjustment Program (FCCPAP). This program is filed by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) with, and approved by, the Department of Insurance.

This classification structure was selected because it is established and credible, Gallagher said. To determine whether an exemption is applicable, log on to the department’s website at www.fldoi.com, click on News Releases, and link to the list through this press release.

To learn more about exemptions under the new rule, please call the Bureau of Compliance toll free at 1-800-742-2214. To learn whether an employer or employee has workers’ compensation coverage, visit the department’s website and select “Workers’ Compensation,” then “Databases,” then “Compliance.”

Administrative Rule