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New Florida Workers' Comp. Laws

MikeRimoldi's picture

Have any of my fellow Floridians heard about the new Workers' Comp. policies which have become law and no almost totally eliminate any exemptions?  WOW!   I heard by 2003 there will be NO exemptions whatsoever!


Thats definitely going to shut some small guys down.


Mike

(post #117085, reply #1 of 15)

Exemptions for what?


Why do we say something is out of whack? What is a whack?

(post #117085, reply #2 of 15)

we got a notice last week about the new workman comp.


Leather boots


shirt with sleeves


hard hats


safety glasses


work gloves


drug test


i think its about time, it great.

(post #117085, reply #3 of 15)

This is going to be a painful thread. I just got my audit based comp bill for $3400. I think I'll go stick my head in the sand!

Excellence is its own reward!

 

 

Oh Well,

We did the best we could...

(post #117085, reply #4 of 15)

For guys like Boss and others who may not have these requirements in their part of the country, let me explain.  Sorry I forgot everyone does not have the same licensing laws.


Here in Florida, a sole prop. such as myself used to be able to pay $50 or so and be "exempt" from Workmen's Comp as I have no employees and everyone I use was an indepent contractor such as myself.  As of July 1, any work done by a business in commercial buildings will have to have Workers Comp coverage no matter the number of employees.  I think I read where by 2003 it will be for ALL businesses no matter where they work commercial or residential.


They gave some numbers as examples and Piffins sounds about what mine would have been had I still been in business.  I figured I would owe about $3,100. per year as long as I had no other employees than myself.


Now I know there are costs of doing business but come on, another $3k paid to the state just to BE in business?  No wonder so many folks are folding.  Even though I have found another job, I can't justify the approximate $6,500. I'd spend every year just to have my license.  I was considering still doing work on the side but now I might reconsider?


I guess that what separates the men from the boys, huh? 


 


Mike

(post #117085, reply #5 of 15)

But doesn't that $3100 pay for insurance, including disability pensions and survivor's insurance, on yourself ?

.

Phill Giles

The Unionville Woodwright

Unionville, Ontario

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Phill Giles

The Unionville Woodwright

(post #117085, reply #6 of 15)

WC should be a part of your cost of doing business... obviously your state is trying to close some loopholes .. with everyone a so-called Independent Contractor.. when someone gets hurt on the job.. who is going to take care of them?


should they become a ward of the state?


should they sue the homeowner they are doing the work for?


no.. they should be insured for WC..


these IC's you use .. what happens to them if they fall off the roof and become quadriplegics for the rest of their lives?  what happens to you after their Personal Injusry lawyer gets done with you?


I applaude your state for trying to solve this thorny problem...ALL workers should be protected and insured by WC...


Mike Smith   Rhode Island : Design / Build / Repair / Restore

Mike Smith   Rhode Island : Design / Build / Repair / Restore

(post #117085, reply #7 of 15)

Mine is about ten grand total for a year, based on 14% of labor paid out.

No, it covers nothing on myself. It sounds like maybe the Florida rules are starting to require independents cover themselves.

In my mind, this becaomes a constitutional issue, in that the US constitution recoognizes the rights of individual citzens to make and honor contractural agreements between themselves. This was a reaction to the corruption of the crown in selling licenses to perform or engage in certain kinds of workmanship. It is a right that few are really aware of and so it has been steadily eroded through time.

In Maine, any individual can enter an agreeemnet to perform work for another without the workers comp rules kicking in. I buy the insurance to cover my self from the liability of workers for me getting hurt but it doesn't cover me in any way. I can choose to buy it for myself but then they would fail to pay for down time from an injury, arguing that I can still manage the business from the hospital bed with a phone.

Excellence is its own reward!

 

 

Oh Well,

We did the best we could...

(post #117085, reply #8 of 15)

Hey piffin, Mike Smith, and Phill,  How you guys been?


Yeah Florida is finally trying to close some loopholes and I agree with you Mike, its good to have the coverage but at what cost?  Anyone I have ever used, was fully licensed and therefore fully insured by themselves as in my area you cannot obtain a license without proof of insurance.  Sure, I would never want to see an injured employee left hurt and unable to work for the rest of his life but is it really fair for me to have to fork out such a large sum of money if I decide I just want to work on my own and say, just hang doors or install kitchen cabinets by myself?


I think what happened is Florida went so long without doing anything that so many cases were brought up that now they have over extended to account for the financial costs and now the little guys must pay.


The bad part about all this is the huge number of unlicensed guys is going to really expand in the state.  It has been somewhat of a problem lately but I bet now it really goes up.


Oh well, I got out a few months ago and now have other fish to fry with a bunch of high school kids staring at me each day while holding power tools.  YIKES!


Mike 

(post #117085, reply #9 of 15)

good for you Mike... all the teachers i know retired before they were 52...


as to the WC, since we're incorporated, i'm just another employee, so i'm covered by comp just like my guys..


there was a period in the late '80's for about two years when i had no employees.. just "subs".. not very reassuring .. when RI finally reformed some of the WC laws  i jumped right back in... now i sleep at night again..


Mike Smith   Rhode Island : Design / Build / Repair / Restore

Mike Smith   Rhode Island : Design / Build / Repair / Restore

(post #117085, reply #10 of 15)

Yeah, you just have to look at it as another cost of doing business once you get in that deep and the customer pays it eventually.

Excellence is its own reward!

 

 

Oh Well,

We did the best we could...

(post #117085, reply #13 of 15)

Getting better Mike: the cast is off my arm and I'm walking short distances without the cane now.

.

Phill Giles

The Unionville Woodwright

Unionville, Ontario

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Phill Giles

The Unionville Woodwright

(post #117085, reply #14 of 15)

The W/C law change Mike is talking about applies to commercial projects valued at $250,000 or greater. Which means, according to Bulletin #234 from the Division of Worker's Comp., sole proprietors, partners or corporate officers can hold a certificate of exemption for everything EXCEPT commercial construction $250,000 or over. If you have a desire to know all about the wonderful laws of Florida you can look up the W/C statute: 440.05, F.S. at http://www2.myflrida.com/les

(post #117085, reply #15 of 15)

Hi , Ralph !.. got your car packed for Duhammel's yet ?

Mike Smith   Rhode Island : Design / Build / Repair / Restore

Mike Smith   Rhode Island : Design / Build / Repair / Restore

(post #117085, reply #11 of 15)

Mike -

Thanks for taking time to explain.

I'm kinda torn on this one. The idea that everyone who is doing contracting work should be covered by WC is noble. But I would be concerned about how difficult that would make it for guys to make the jump to being contractors.

There have certainly been plenty of guys here who have talked about starting out on their own. Most of them start out doing side jobs evenings and weekends after their regular full time jobs. Forcing them to get WC insurance right off the bat would make the leap much more difficult.


"Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing. "

(post #117085, reply #12 of 15)

when i started , without the proverbial pot to ____ in.. i paid WC, GL, 7 paid holidays, Blue Cross... .. now , we ask a guy to do WC & Gl.. & that's too hard ?


 


hah... either be a pro or go home...who's gonna protect the homeowner ?


and what do the signs "Fully Insured" mean ?


not much .. to judge by what the average "contractor " is carrying ..


Mike Smith   Rhode Island : Design / Build / Repair / Restore

Mike Smith   Rhode Island : Design / Build / Repair / Restore