CFO Alex Sink's Consumer eViews Newsletter

                Volume 5  Number 39  September 26, 2008

CONSUMER SERVICES HELPLINE 877-MY-FL-CFO

 

CFO SINK PROMOTES WORKPLACE SAFETY WITH FREE WORKERS’ COMPENSATION CLASSES
Free workers’ compensation classes to help business owners, employers and contractors create a safe working environment

Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, who oversees the Department of Financial Services and the Division of Workers’ Compensation, announced today that the department will begin offering free classes to help employers and contractors better protect their most valuable assets – their employees.

“Floridians work hard and we want them to go home whole and healthy everyday, so we will enforce workers’ compensation laws to protect them,” said CFO Sink. “Our goal is to make it easy for employers to comply with the law so that employees can work in safe environments.”

Classes will begin October 1, 2008, and will be led by 15 compliance investigators and supervisors who are licensed to provide instruction in Florida’s coverage and compliance requirements. The classes will provide information on what is required under Florida’s workers’ compensation law, when exemptions apply, what resources are available to help employers and contractors comply with the law, and training on workplace safety. Contractors who successfully complete the classes will be eligible for continuing education credits. For an initial class schedule and to register, click on www.myfloridacfo.com/wc  and look under “Notices.”

Under Florida law, non-construction businesses with four or more employees must have workers’ compensation coverage, and construction-related businesses with one or more employees must have the coverage. Workers’ Compensation investigators can order non-compliant businesses to close their doors until they have coverage, and in the last fiscal year that ended June 30, 2008, the division conducted 27,674 worksite investigations, issued 2,518 stop-work orders and assessed $48.5 million in fines.

Premiums have dropped by more than half since the Legislature passed legislation in 2003 that, among other reforms, put in place tougher enforcement penalties. In addition, compliance and enforcement activities have added more than 43,000 employees to the workers’ compensation system during the last four years.