The Arkansas Department of Labor recently announced the schedule of health conferences for 2010.
The agency schedules annual worker safety conferences. There are separate conferences for public and private employers. The conferences focus on worker safety and compliance including improving safety for teen workers. Initial findings show that fatal workplace accidents were down in 2009, due in part to increased safety awareness by employers, including those who attended conferences.
For private employers including businesses, the first 2010 Arkansas Safety and Health Conferences was held on February 25 in Little Rock. Additional conferences will be held in Pine Bluff on March 25, in Russellville on May 6 and i (more…)
Employers, in the state of Arkansas you could save yourselves a lot of trouble if you just go ahead and post the state workers’ comp posters in each of your work sites. Not only will it protect you from fines and make sure you get the maximum protection under the state workers’ comp laws. But you will also be assured that your workers get the instructions they need to know what to do in the unfortunate event that they get hurt on the job.
For instance, your workers will know that in Arkansas it is the employer or their insurance company’s rights to pick the doctors that all injured workers go to. They will know this because it is the duty of the employer in Arkansas to tell their employees that they withhold this right and exactly which doctors they have chosen for these medical services.
If you have chosen to go with a managed care organization, or MCO, for your workers’ comp medical treatment benefits, then you also have to post what is called a health notice—or Form H—in your work sites to let your employees know about it. Whichever medical provider you choose to use, they will be the ones sending you the bill when your employee gets hurt on the job and seeks medical care.
The doctor sends you the bill, and then it is your job to get that notice of payment to your insurance company so that can know they will be soon processing a claim. If you don’t get that notice of a bill out to your workers’ comp insurance company, you could be delaying your employee’s treatment. Your delay could lead to a bill processing delay at the insurance company. Instead, as with the first report of injury that is required to be sent to your insurance company, get the medical bill out as soon as you get it too, which is recommended by Arkansas officials.
As we talked about in Arizona’s workers’ comp system, one of the biggest differentiators between states could be whether or not they limit, or don’t limit, what can cause an injury and make an employer liable to pay for that injury to an employee on the job. One of the more basic differentiators is whether or not employers have to have workers; comp coverage at all.
Arkansas employers, listen up to me now, if you haven’t been listening before, because I am about to let you know what you need to know when it comes to the peculiarities of your workers’ comp system. So far, we’ve seen states that mandate that an employer only have one employee before they need workers’ comp. We’ve seen a state that requires that an employer have five employees.
Arkansas law falls right in the middle of that range. According to Arkansas code on workers’ comp coverage, most employers with three or more employees ought to have coverage for them. As with the other states that we have looked at, there are exemptions to this rule, and to find out if you meet one of these exemptions—never assume—you should contact your insurance agent, or double check with the state commission.
One thing is for certain and similar in most states in the Union, though, and that is that employees shouldn’t have to foot the bill for their workers’ comp coverage. And like most other states in the Union, in Arkansas, you the employer cannot deduct the workers’ comp payments from the employee’s paycheck every week, or after they get injured.
There is another thing similar between Arkansas and other states: If you fail to follow these rules and other workers’ comp regulations in the state, you could face stiff fines and other penalties.
How much does your employer have to pay you for mileage? There is no state law governing the amount. In fact, by law your employer is not even required to reimburse you for mileage. If your employer has a business travel policy, it is by choice. I was surprised to learn that it wasn’t a law, given that so many employers pay for travel related expenses, sometimes giving a travel allowance and others in the form of reimbursement for expenses paid or a set rate for miles traveled.
In my research I have found that while there are no hard and fast rules, most employers will follow the same procedures for business travel as that of the state. There will usually be some provisions as to what qualifies as reimbursable. There is usually a set rate per mile for the use of a personal vehicle while traveling.
Some employers pay their employees at a rate lower than that set forth by the IRS and in that case the difference may be deducted for tax purposes, however if paid at a higher rate than the excess will be counted as taxable income. They may use any rate they see fit.
The Arkansas Workers Compensation Commission approves mileage reimbursement rates as medical expenses relating to an injury or illness arising out of and in the course of employment. The rate is for actual miles driven. The chief fiscal officer of the state establishes the rates. The current rate is $.39 per mile.
Injured employees are expected to use the most economical means of transportation when seeking medical treatment. Personal vehicle mileage shall be reimbursed using map mileage between the travel site destination and the employee’s official station or residence whichever is less. The shortest major highway route will determine the maximum mileage allowed.