You have several options:
Your insurance carrier is required to provide you a supply of the Form DWC-1 First Report of Injury or Illness. Forms can also be downloaded from the Florida Workers' Compensation web site Rules & Forms page.
Call your insurance carrier or service representative. If you have a dispute regarding the risk classification codes, you can call the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) at 1-800-622-4123.
The law is very specific on this point. It is the employer's responsibility to pay the entire premium for workers' compensation insurance coverage.
The law covers all accidental injuries and occupational diseases arising out of and in the course and scope of employment. This includes diseases or infections resulting from such injuries. The law also covers death resulting from such injuries within specified periods of time. Even if you do not think an injury is covered, you must still file the First Report of Injury or Illness (DWC-1) with your insurance carrier for determination of responsibility within 7 days of your first knowledge of the accident/injury.
The law does not provide compensation for the following conditions:
Compensation will not be paid in several other instances:
An employer can be liable for double compensation if a minor child is injured while employed in violation of any of the conditions of the child labor laws of Florida. The employer alone, not the insurance carrier, is liable for up to double the normal compensation as provided by the Workers' Compensation Law. To receive further information regarding the Child Labor Law, call the Child Labor Office at (800)226-2536.
Under the provisions of Chapter 440, Florida Statutes, an injured worker has two years from the date of the accident to file a petition for benefits with the Division of Administrative Hearings. If an employer is providing benefits and return to work options, that should be sufficient to meet the ultimate goal of returning an injured worker to gainful employment. However, an employer/carrier's definition of "necessary care" and that of an injured worker may differ. When that happens, the injured worker has no remedy except to file a petition for benefits and have a judge of compensation claims determine whether the benefits that are being provided are sufficient, or if additional benefits not being provided are required by Florida law. If the employer is providing benefits, all expenditures must be reported to the employer's workers' compensation insurance carrier for statistical purposes.
Suspected workers' compensation fraud can be reported directly to the Bureau of Workers' Compensation Insurance Fraud, 200 E. Gaines Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399, or to the bureau's toll free hotline number at 1-800-378-0445. Suspected fraud can also be reported to the Florida Workers' Compensation, Bureau of Compliance's toll free hotline at 1-800-742-2214. Anonymous calls are accepted. You can also fill out the Non-Compliance Referral Form to report employer's who do not have workers' compensation insurance coverage. This form can be accessed under Databases.
By law, pain or other subjective complaints alone, in the absence of objective relevant medical findings, are not compensable. However, sometimes these types of claims do occur and they are sometimes settled by insurance carriers for a nominal amount of money to rid the employer/carrier of a nuisance case.
Compensation will still be paid, but indemnity benefits (partial wage replacement) may be reduced by 25 percent if the employee knew about the safety rule prior to the accident and failed to observe the rule, or if the employee knowingly chooses not to use a safety appliance which the employer has directed him to use.
If you implement a drug-free workplace program in accordance with the criteria set forth in s.440.102, Florida Statutes, you may be eligible for a 5 percent premium credit from your insurance carrier to your workers' compensation insurance premium. In addition to the premium credit, having a Workers' Compensation Drug-Free Workplace Program may make your workplace safer, resulting in fewer accidents, which may reduce your workers' compensation costs.
Becoming a carrier certified drug-free workplace is voluntary. However, without the certification, you would not be eligible for any of the benefits provided under this program.
In addition to the situations in which testing is mandatory, the law does not prohibit a private employer from conducting random testing or any other lawful testing of employees. A public employer may institute random testing of employees in "safety sensitive" or "special risk" occupations.
Under the Workers' Compensation Drug-Free Workplace Program, the use of a breathalyzer cannot be used as a testing method for initial or confirmation tests.
If an injured worker refuses to submit to a test for drugs or alcohol, the employee may forfeit eligibility for medical and indemnity benefits. If an employee or job applicant refuses to submit to a drug test, the employer is permitted to discharge or discipline the employee or may refuse to hire the applicant (if specified in the written Drug-Free Workplace Policy), since, by law, refusal to submit to a drug test is presumed to be a positive test result.
The adjudicator is bound to maintain this information confidential under s.443.1715(3)(b), Florida Statutes, until introduced into the public record pursuant to a hearing conducted under s.443.151(4), Florida Statutes. Under all other instances employers may not release any information concerning drug test results obtained pursuant to section s.440.102(8), Florida Statutes, unless such release is compelled by an administrative law judge, a hearing officer, or a court of competent jurisdiction or is deemed appropriate by a professional or occupational licensing board in a related disciplinary proceeding.
All information, interviews, reports, statements, memoranda and drug test results, written or otherwise, received by the employer through a drug testing program is confidential and cannot be posted in any public manner.
No, but if you choose to pay for an Employee Assistance Program, you have the right to choose the facility providing treatment. If an employee does participate in an Employee Assistance Program, you, the employer, are required to extend the same considerations as reflected under the federal guidelines established for the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act.
During the 180 day period after written notification of a positive test result, the employee who has provided the specimen shall be permitted by the employer to have a portion of the specimen re-tested, at the employee's expense, an Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) licensed or a USHHS certified laboratory of his or her choice.
The employer is responsible for payment of all drug tests they may require. However, if an employee wishes to have the specimen re-tested at a laboratory certified by the Agency for Healthcare Administration (AHCA), it will be at the employee's expense. If the workers' compensation insurance carrier uses a positive test result to determine the compensability of a claim, the carrier would be responsible to cover the costs of the test.