I know that most employers are aware of Minnesota’s worker’s compensation plan. It’s required that employers provide worker’s compensation or “workman’s comp” insurance for all employees. Worker’s compensation insurance is available privately through an insurance carrier or through a state fund. This is how workers get paid for wage loss or injuries that are job-related.
I personally know several employers who feel their employees are exempt from worker’s comp, either because the employees are family members or because the family business is a small farm and they carry a liability policy. This is only partially true. If your family farm only paid out $8,000 in wages last year, you aren’t required to carry worker’s compensation insurance. Also if your total annual wages paid out are less than the national average AND your insurance coverage is at least $300,000 with $5,000 in medical coverage to laborers, then you would be exempt.
As far as family employees, it’s my understanding that only immediate family can be exempt from worker’s compensation coverage. Your mother-in-law, for example, would not fall under that exemption.
Worker’s compensation covers full medical benefits to employees. There is no time limit and no set dollar amount. If the employee has a physician already in the company’s managed care plan, they must use someone in the plan network—but otherwise the employee can choose their own doctor.
Disability payments are calculated using a percentage of the worker’s wage. Payments may continue for 104 weeks, or longer if the employee is in a retraining program. If the employee elects to quit rehabilitation or has been at the maximum level of medical improvement for 90 days, the disability payments will stop.
Disabled employees may request vocational rehabilitation if the injuries prevent them from returning to work, or if the employer is not able to offer a job that fits their new work restrictions. Rehabilitation may include modifying the current job, finding a job with a new employer, or retraining for a different type of work.
The full list of Minnesota labor laws can be found alongside the federal requirements on the Minnesota Complete Labor Law poster. This one poster will reflect all the necessary information regarding worker’s compensation.
I understand that Florida’s Child Labor Law is in place to protect children from long, unsafe work practices. The law lets employers, workers, and parents know when, for how long, and what jobs a child may work.
When school is in session, 14 and 15-year-olds may work three hours a day on school days, or eight hours a day on weekends. When school is not in session, they may work eight hours per day between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m., and up to 40 hours per week. 16 and 17-year-olds can work up to 30 hours a week when school is in session, eight hours per day between 6:30 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. There are no limits on weekend or vacation hours.
Children can’t work during normal school hours, and they can’t work more than six consecutive days. Children are also not allowed to work for more than four hours without a 30-minute break.
I know that the Florida Law is meant protect minors while encouraging them to remain in school, but some children may be exempt. Waivers may be granted on a case-by-case basis by the courts. Teens are also exempt from the hours restrictions if they have been married, graduated from an accredited high school or hold a high school equivalency diploma, served in the military, or are authorized by a court order.
Some jobs are too dangerous for children to do, and the Florida law spells those out. Children under the age of 18 may not work with explosives or radioactive substances, logging, meat processing, demolition, roofing, mining, toxic substances and pesticides, firefighting, electric wiring. They may also not drive or operate heavy machinery. 14 and 15-year-olds are also restricted from working with freezers or meat coolers, slicing machinery, cooking and baking equipment, loading and unloading trucks, handling dangerous animals, door-to-door sales, and spray painting.
Employers are required to keep proof of age on all child employees. Employers must also post information outlining the Child Labor laws in a visible place. The Florida Complete Labor Law poster reflects not only the child labor laws but also all of the state, federal, and OSHA requirements. Employers who violate the Florida Child Labor laws may be fined up to $2,500 per offense and/or be guilty of a second degree misdemeanor.
Florida’s Unemployment Compensation Law provides temporary wage replacement benefits to workers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own. As I understand the law, unemployment taxes are paid by the employer and cannot be deducted from an employee’s wages.
Employees may be eligible to receive unemployment compensation benefits if they:
1. Are totally or partially unemployed through no fault of their own
2. Are registered for work and file a claim.
3. Have sufficient employment and wages (usually )
4. Are ABLE to work and AVAILABLE for work
An unemployed worker can qualify for benefits only if they have worked for a minimum time and earned a minimum amount of wages in the base period (usually a year). The worker must have worked in two or more quarters of the year, earn a minimum of $3,400, and benefits are limited to $275 a week.
I know that Florida also has compensation plans in place for workers displaced by special circumstances, such as a state disaster, a reduction in hours to part-time, and if a worker is displaced by foreign imports. There is also a separate process for ex-service members.
Employee benefits may be denied for a number of reasons:
• Quitting either part-time or full-time work for personal reasons or no good cause
• Being discharged for misconduct connected with work.
• Not being able to work or available for work.
• Refusing an offer of suitable work.
• Being on a leave of absence requested by the employee,
• Knowingly making false statements to obtain benefit payments.
An employee may request an appeal for non-payment, but the appeal must be filed within 20 calendar days after the determination.
Employers must register with the Department of Revenue, and post a notice of the Florida Unemployment Compensation Law in their place of business. All of the most current Florida laws can be found on the Florida Complate Labor Law poster reflecting all of teh state, federal, and OSHA laws.
I am pleased to read that on January 1, 2006, the District of Columbia increased their minimum wage amount to $7.00 an hour. The law also includes a definition of overtime pay: after 40 hours of work in a week, an employee receives time-and-a-half pay.
Of course, there are always exceptions and caveats to the rules, and this law sets compensation rates for other employees. Employers only need to pay tipped employees $2.77 an hour. However, if the tips (averaged weekly) and the $2.77 an hour don’t equal $7.00, the employer must pay the balance.
I know that employers must also pay for employee uniforms or protective clothing, or add the cost onto the minimum hourly wage. The different costs of purchasing and maintaining clothing are defined in detail. Other deductions may be made for meals, lodging, travel, split shifts, and tools, if they are paid by the employer.
An itemized wage statement showing all deductions must be provided with each pay check. Every employer must show accurate time and payroll records for each employee for up to three years. Every employer shall pay all wages earned to his employees at least twice during each calendar month, on regular paydays designated in advance by the employer. However, no more than ten (10) working days may elapse between the end of the pay period covered and the regular payday.
In the event of an employer violation, I believe that The District of Columbia Government may recover back wages, and employers may face civil or criminal action. Any employer who violates the minimum wage laws may be penalized up to $300 for the first offense and up to $500 for subsequent violations; and additionally, any employer who willfully violates these laws shall, upon conviction, be subject to fines up to $10,000 or imprisonment.
Employees may not be discharged for filing a complaint or participating in any proceeding. Some workers may be paid more or less than the minimum wage if they are covered under another law. The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services can determine which laws apply to specific employees. The District of Columbia Complete Labor Law poster is available with all of the most current information regarding minimum wage as well as all the federal laws.