State law in Rhode Island mandates that all employers report all employee injuries at a certain time period depending on what sort of injury they were. For instance, if an employee was hurt bad enough to require medical care at an emergency room, from a private doctor, or from a walk-in treatment clinic—and then they are out of work for at least three consecutive days—then the employer has 10 days to report the injury to their workers’ comp carrier and the workers’ comp division in the state of Rhode Island.
Got that? A three day or more disability requires a reporting on injury within 10 days of the actual incident going down. If the accident causes a death to the injured employee, on the other hand, then employers have only 48 hours to let their insurance carrier and the state workers’ comp division know about it.
In either case, if you fail to tell your workers’ comp insurance company and the state workers’ comp division about the worker injury, then you could be opening yourself up to a $250 fine from the state.
And in Rhode Island, don’t feel that it is your employee’s job to fill out the first report of injury form. No, in Rhode Island, the employee tells you about their accident. But it is entirely up to the employer to fill out the form that goes to the workers’ comp insurance company and the Rhode Island workers’ comp government division. The only report for an injury that the employee can fill out would be one that you may have special within your organization to announce that the injury took place.
Workers’ in Rhode Island, though, unlike in many other states, can choose what doctor they want to go to for their first medical treatment.
Rhode Island recently updated its Workers’ Compensation Law in 1999, so it’s worth looking at these changes that they put in. The gist of the new Rhode Island law is that any employer who has employees working in the same business has to have workers’ comp coverage for those employees.
The law, though, has some exemptions to this rule, some of which we’ve seen before in other states before Rhode Island. These exceptions include sole proprietors, or people who own their own business and have no one else working for them. People in business partnerships without employees don’t need workers’ comp either. Also excluded are those folks considered independent contractors.
You can also count real estate employers, agricultural workers, and domestic servants in this list as well of people in Rhode Island who don’t necessarily have to be covered by workers’ comp insurance.
If you are an employer and aren’t sure about whether or not you should have workers’ comp coverage, it is highly advisable that you find out. Breaking the Rhode Island Workers’ Compensation Law can lead to civil and administrative issues with the state of Rhode Island. Owners can even face criminal proceedings if they fail to have the proper workers’ comp coverage for their workers in Rhode Island.
There is also mention in the Rhode Island law that employers there have to let employees know at the time of interviewing them for a job, or when hiring them, whether or not they are supposed to have workers’ comp insurance, or if they are exempt. And as we’ve talked about so much at this blog, employers in the state of Rhode Island must also let their current employees know the deal about their workers’ comp coverage with the appropriate state labor law poster, which can be hung up with the other state and federal posters.