In the state of Maryland, such an action report is necessary if an accident occurs and the injured employee is out on disability for a time period of more than three days. In that case, it is up to the employer to fill out a first report of injury and report it to the Workers’ Compensation Commission in the state. The Workers’ Comp Commish gives the employer only ten days after the first got notice of the injury to fill out one of these forms and get it in.
The state also requires that you send copies of this first report on injury form to the insurance carrier that you use for your workers’ comp coverage, as well as a copy to the state Department of Labor for the Licensing & Regulation Division of Labor and Industry in Baltimore. Don’t mistake these forms, though, for the employees claim for a compensation for the costs of their medical care. This is simply the first report of injury.
That comes when your employee actually fills out another form for the Employee’s Claim, which is also through the state Workers’ Comp Commission. This form is completely your employee’s responsibility to fill out.
All of this information can be easily relayed to your workers and their supervisors (if you have them) by following another regulation of the Workers’ Comp Commish and the Department of Labor in the state of Maryland, which is that you must have posted a workers’ comp poster that shares all of these details with every employer. We’ve talked about these posters before, so you probably already know that they must be placed somewhere in your office that is easily and often accessed by your employers. Well, duh, right—I can hear you say it. If this is information that your employees should have—and by them having it, it makes your life easier—then of course I should go somewhere easy to find and see.
Employers in Maryland have to be sure they are in compliance with the state’s workers’ comp laws as any employer does in any state in our great Union. In Maryland, this involves obtaining the workers’ comp coverage from an insurance company that is licensed to write the coverage in the state. Employers can also resort to what we talked about earlier, called self-insurance. In Maryland, employers have a third option called the Injured Workers’ Insurance Fund.
If you don’t do one of these three things, you can be found guilty of a misdemeanor in the state. Your penalty if found guilty could be a fine no less than $500, but no more than $5000. What’s worse, you could also be imprisoned for up to one year, or get the fine and the prison term.
You could be saying right now: Well, I am a big company. What are they going to do? Come after all of us? Well, not exactly. If your company is actually a corporation by law, the officer of the corporation who has the job of the general management of the company is liable for these penalties and prison terms in the event the state finds you guilty.
And take note, general managers and other employers. The whole costs of the workers’ comp coverage has to be taken up by the company itself. You can’t have your employees pay even a portion of it. If you get caught doing this, this is also considered a misdemeanor in the state of Maryland.
And as with many of the states that we’ve looked at now and before in this blog, all employers in the state of Maryland must put up signs in their work sites saying that they have workers’ comp insurance, and giving detailed instructions to their employees about what to do if they are injured.