Employers and Employees Subject to Workers’ Comp
working for an employer doing business in the state of Georgia who has at
least three employees is covered by Georgia’s workers’ compensation laws,
including employees of the state of Georgia, city and county governments,
boards of education, corporate employers, unincorporated partnerships,
sole proprietorships, non-profit companies and out-of-state employers
whose employees are injured in Georgia. Employers who do not have three
employees may agree to the protections and obligations of workers’
compensation laws by purchasing workers’ compensation insurance coverage.
Need help answering your difficult questions?
with attorney Hank Barnett for guidance.
Federal employees and railroad employees are
not subject to the Georgia workers’ compensation laws. Federal employees,
such as those working for the Postal Service, are covered by a separate
workers’ compensation system. Railroad employees have another claims
system. You should consult with a qualified attorney if you are a federal
employee or a railroad employee about your rights or obligations.
Certain industries, for political or other
reasons, are expressly exempt from Georgia’s workers’ compensation laws.
These include farms and those employing domestic labor such as
Q1. I was injured on the first
day of my new job. Am I covered by workers’
Yes. Coverage begins immediately upon starting
Q2. My employer has at least three employees,
but tells me they are not subject to workers’ compensation laws. What
should I do?
If you are injured on the job, never accept
what your employer tells you with regard to their obligation to have
workers’ compensation coverage. Your employer may not know they are
required to cover their employees or they may want to stop you from filing
a claim. Always assume you are covered and contact a qualified attorney.
The lawyer will ask the necessary questions to determine whether you are
or should be covered for workers’ compensation benefits.
Q3. I am self-employed and was working on a
project for a client at his factory when I
was injured. Am I covered by workers’ compensation?
Businesses that hire independent contractors
are not required to maintain workers’ compensation coverage for the
contractors, even though they have coverage for their own employees. If
you are involved in an accident while working for a business as an
independent contractor and the injuries were caused by the business or one
of its employees, you may have a personal injury claim for negligence that
is not barred by workers’ compensation laws.
Q4. I was injured on my job and my employer
told me I am not covered by workers’
compensation insurance because I was an independent contractor, not an
employee. What should I do?
Whether you are an employee or an independent
contractor depends on many factors. The more control the employer has over
your work, the greater the chances you are an employee and not an
independent contractor. What your employer calls you does not really
matter. Whether your employer deducts payroll taxes is only one factor and
does not determine whether you are an employee. If you believe you are an
employee and not an independent contractor, seek the advice of a qualified
Q5. My employer is a subcontractor on a
construction job. When I was injured my employer told me they do not have
workers’ compensation coverage. Am I out of luck or can I still pursue
This is a common situation. If your immediate
employer does not have coverage but you were injured while working on a
job site, you may be covered under the workers’ compensation insurance of
the company that hired your employer as a subcontractor, or even the
general contractor. If your employer will not contact the general
contractor, you should do so yourself or seek the advice of a qualified
attorney or your union, if applicable.