Pennsylvania law mandates that most employers in the state carry workers’ compensation coverage, so many employees are eligible to receive compensation in case they are hurt while on the job. However, state law does allow for certain employers to be exempted from carrying workers’ comp. In some cases, an employer can seek and receive an exemption.
It is important to know that some employers that are exempt from workers’ compensation are still mandated to cover worker injuries under other laws. If you work for the federal government, are a longshoreman, or do work on a railroad, there are laws that govern how you are to be compensated for a workplace injury. Some employers can also cover domestic servants, but state law considers this optional.
In some instances, employees can elect to not be covered under workers’ compensation for various reasons. State law specifies that an employee can seek an exemption due to personal religious beliefs. Sometimes an employee holds an executive status in a corporation and may want to be exempt from workers’ compensation coverage. These circumstances are still subject to the approval of the state.
Additionally, some agricultural workers are exempt from workers’ comp. However, these exemptions apply in cases where the workers have not performed a lot of work. To be exempt from coverage, an agricultural worker cannot have completed thirty days or more of work, or have earned less than $1,200 from a single employer.
Make sure that you confirm that your employer is legitimately exempt from carrying workers’ compensation. An employer that is operating deceptively to avoid carrying workers’ compensation is opening itself up to civil litigation from employees and can also face criminal prosecution. Keep in mind that this article is not written to give you legal advice, only to inform you about workers’ compensation in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.