Vermont law requires all employers to carry workers’ compensation for their employees, but not all employers do. This can cause a lot of problems for the employer, including subjecting them to financial penalties and stop-work orders when the Vermont Department of Labor finds out. It can also cause even bigger problems for an employee who is injured and wants to pursue a Vermont workers’ compensation claim against their uninsured employer.
You can find out if your employer has workers’ comp insurance by looking up your employer and date of injury on a database. If you’re injured at work and your employer doesn’t have workers’ comp insurance, your employer — and potentially the individual owner(s) of the company — becomes personally liable for your injuries and Vermont workers’ compensation benefits. This means that if you prove you have a valid workers’ compensation claim, payment has to come out of your employer’s pocket, rather than an insurance company’s. This can be problematic, because paying workers’ compensation benefits can be very expensive, and many employers don’t have a large amount of cash available to pay. In addition, employers are’t trained in adjusting workers’ comp claims and are therefore quite ignorant about what must be done or not done as the claim progresses.
If you’ve been injured at work and your employer didn’t have workers’ comp coverage, it might make sense to speak with an attorney. It’s a safe bet that your employer will be, just as soon as the Department of Labor finds out they’re uninsured.