We’ve basically covered every state out there when it comes to the basics of workers’ comp systems. We looked at how different states have different requirements when it comes to which employers in their state have to have the workers’ comp insurance. And we’ve looked at how some states require employers to post their workers’ comp insurance information on the wall.
What we haven’t looked at yet is exactly how the workers’ comp system really works on the ground floor. We haven’t looked at the nitty gritty of the workers’ comp system, and what happens exactly when an employee actually gets hurt on the job and files a claim.
In Alabama, the basic steps in the process are that an employee is required to notify their supervisor immediately if they are hurt on the job. If you are a small business, you as the head boss could be that supervisor. Basically, the worker has to notify an authority figure of their predicament.
Then you as the supervisor, manager, or boss must then let the employee know which doctor they are allowed to go visit for their medical care, if needs be. As we have seen in many states, including Alabama, employees cannot go to any doctor they want when they have a work related injury. When it comes to Alabama and workers’ comp injuries, employers and or their insurance companies get to pick the doctors that the employees go to for medical care.
Then as an employer you are responsible for filling out certain claims forms for your injured worker, including the first report of injury form, a supplementary form, and the claim summary form. When the state and the insurance company receive these forms, then they can determine if the worker and their injury qualify truly for workers’ comp coverage.
It is one of the unique facts, and serious issues, confronting employers in the United States that every different state in the Union has a different set of rules and regulations about workers’ comp. Take the state of Alabama. Employers in this state must know whether or not they are liable if one of their employees gets hurts.
There are certain qualifiers that every Alabama employer must meet before such workers’ comp coverage is mandatory in the state. The first qualifier is that the employer must have at least five employees under them. This could include full time employees, as well as any part time employees you might have. This could even include corporate officers for bigger companies and members of an LLC.
Another determinant in Alabama for whether or not you need workers’ comp for your employees is if you are what is called an “independent subcontractor.” In this case, the term independent subcontractor refers to subcontractors who have fewer than five employees and who directly work for a residential builder who builds single family homes.
Once you got it figured out whether or not you need the workers’ comp insurance for your employees—and unless you are a tiny small business or an independent contractor, you will need it—the next thing Alabama employers need to figure out is where they can get this type of coverage. Workers’ comp is a type of insurance product, you see, but unlike most forms of insurance, in many states you cannot just go to your local insurance agent and ask for it.
However, in Alabama, workers’ comp can be bought from your local insurance agent. In many states, on the other hand, employers sometimes have to buy workers’ comp from specialty insurance companies, or directly from a state based insurance company.
How much does an employer have to pay its regular employees for business travel? Actually, the State of Alabama does not govern the minimum rate. In fact there is no law that even requires them to pay any set rate for mileage. Most employers do, however reimburse their employees for travel expenses, including mileage.
I, like so many others, wondered how current gas prices would affect these rates. As it turns out, Alabama follows all federal regulations and has no separate wage and hour laws. In fact, the only law with regard to mileage costs became effective August 1, 1992. The law states that employers must pay mileage costs to injured employees for miles traveled to and from medical and rehabilitation providers. The payout needs to be at the same rate as persons traveling on official state business.
As of January 2003, those traveling on official business for the state or any of its departments or agencies would receive a rate per mile in lieu of actual transportation expenses. Officers and employees of the state are entitled to an allowance for mileage from their base station to the destination location and the return or for miles they actually traveled from home to destination and return, whichever is less.
The rate at which mileage is to be paid will be based on the standard rate set by the IRS. As of January 1, 2006 the current rate is $.445 per mile. Though as late as December of 2005, the set price was 48.5 cents per mile. The IRS will adjust the amount in accordance with the current trend in gas pricing, new car costs, and insurance rates.
In conclusion, with the exception of employees of the state, and those who have been injured on the job, there are no set guidelines that employers have to follow to reimburse their employees for mileage put on personal vehicles for business purposes.