Compliancewith Tennessee Workers' Compensation Law
The Compliance Program of the Bureau is charged with the responsibility to stop employers from denying workers the protection to which they are legally entitled under state workers' compensation law.
Everyone pays for non-compliance
An economic domino effect occurs when a person is injured on the job and the employer does not have valid workers' compensation insurance. The injured worker may not have the means to pay for medical care or family expenses. A death may have other co-workers feeling fearful or lose trust in their employer. When an employer does not fulfill its legal obligations to its employees, Tennessee taxpayers bear a financial burden. TennCare, Social Security Disability Insurance, unemployment, and other public assistance programs provide benefits that should have been paid by the employer. The results of non-compliance are more than just numbers: They involve real Tennesseans.
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Educating the public about the importance of workers' compensation insurance coverage us an important part of the work of the Compliance Program. Language barriers and immigration status can often prevent Spanish-speaking workers from pursuing their workers' compensation cases, even though they are entitled to the same benefits as other workers.
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We investigate employers who may be trying to gain financially by violating the law. Compliance specialists research and investigate cases to identify and penalize non-compliant employers. We look to ensure a proper workers' compensation coverage is provided that payroll is properly reported to avoid falsely low insurance premiums. For construction service providers, we verify that a company's workers are not falsely misclassified as "independent contractors" to avoid paying workers' compensation coverage on those misclassified employees.
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The Exemption Registry allows a business owner to exempt him or herself from the requirement to carry workers' compensation insurance. Exemption is only available to individual business owners engaged in the construction services industry and applies only to the owners themselves. Investigations revealed troubling cases where some employers and insurance agents were inappropriately signing employees up for the Exemption Registry without their knowledge. If the employees were injured on the job, they had to pay for their injuries themselves.