Who is Covered by the Administrative Workers’ Compensation Act?

  1. Worker's Compensation
  2. Who is Covered by the Administrative Workers’ Compensation Act?

Generally, the Oklahoma Administrative Workers’ Compensation Act covers all employees who suffer on-the-job injuries on or after February 1, 2014. Although there are some exceptions to this general rule, most employees have workers’ compensation coverage if they are injured.

Workers Whom Workers’ Compensation Insurance Does Not Cover

Some types or classes of workers do not have workers’ compensation insurance coverage if they suffer a work-related injury. These individuals include:

  • Agricultural or horticultural workers whom an employer employs with less than $100,00 in payroll costs for these workers in the previous calendar year
  • Employees of the federal government or who have coverage for work-related injuries under federal law
  • Licensed real estate associates or brokers who work on commission
  • Anyone providing services in a medical care or social services program, or participants in work training programs administered by the Department of Human Services, unless federal law requires workers’ compensation coverage (this exception does not apply to nursing homes)
  • Any person employed by an employer who has five or fewer employees, all of whom are:
    • Related within the second degree by blood or marriage to the employer,
    • Dependents living in the employer’s household, or
    • A combination of relatives and dependents
  • Independent contractors
  • Sole proprietors of a business (they are not required to maintain workers’ compensation insurance for themselves but may elect to do so)
  • Partners of an LLC who own at least 10% of the LLC capital or stockholder-employees of a corporation who own at least 10% of the stock in the corporation (they are not required to maintain workers’ compensation insurance for themselves, but may elect to do so)

Independent Contractors and Workers’ Compensation Insurance Coverage

One commonly disputed issue in workers’ compensation claims is whether a worker injured on the job qualifies as an employee or an independent contractor. An employer cannot simply call a worker an independent contractor or take a single action that makes a worker an independent contractor. Instead, you must consider several different factors to determine whether a worker is classified as an employee or an independent contractor, including the following:

  • The nature of the employment contract and if it defines the workers as an independent contractor
  • The degree of control that the employer exercises over the worker
  • Whether the worker is engaged in a specific business or occupation for others
  • The kind of occupation in terms of whether the work is usually done under the direction of an employer or by a specialist without supervision
  • Whether the occupation requires special skills, licensing, education, or training
  • Whether the worker supplies all or most of the materials needs to do the job
  • The length of the job, and whether it is a one-time job or a job to be performed regularly
  • The worker is paid as a separate contractor
  • Whether or not the work is part of the regular business of the employer
  • Whether or not the parties believe that they are creating a master-servant relationship
  • The right of either party to terminate the relationship without liability

Injuries that Workers’ Compensation Insurance Does Not Cover

Generally, injuries that do not occur due to employment-related activities are not covered under the workers’ compensation insurance program. Some examples of non-covered injuries might include:

  • Injuries sustained while in a parking lot or other area adjacent to the worksite when an employee is reporting for or leaving work unless the employer maintains exclusive control over the area where the injuries occur
  • Injuries caused by using alcohol or drugs; an employee who had a positive drug test or refusal to take an alcohol or drug test following an accident creates a rebuttable presumption that intoxication caused the accident
  • Injuries sustained while engaging in recreational or social activities for the personal pleasure of the employee
  • Injuries caused by pre-existing conditions when the course and scope of employment has caused no significant or identifiable aggravation
  • Injuries sustained while on a break from work unless a supervisor has authorized the break and the injuries occur while inside the work facility
  • Employees can recover compensation for mental injuries only if they suffer physical injuries and not if they are victims of a crime of violence

Call Us Today and Learn How We Can Help

The attorneys and staff of Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C., are here to assist you with your workers’ compensation claims and related legal needs. We have the experience and knowledge that can be invaluable in handling your workers’ compensation claim. To find out more about the legal services that we can offer you, contact us today at (918) 582-2500 or visit us online for more information.

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