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Can I Be Exempt From Workers’ Comp in Florida?

Almost all businesses are required to have workers’ compensation in Florida. So, when a worker finds out that their employer does not carry workers’ compensation, they are often surprised. However, it is indeed possible for you and/or your employer to be exempted from workers’ compensation in Florida. Learn whether you are indeed exempted from workers’ comp and what you can do if you were misclassified.

Workers’ Compensation In Florida

Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that provides salary replacement and coverage of medical bills for workers who were injured while performing their roles as an employee. Workers are provided this insurance coverage in exchange for their right to sue their employer for damages.

In Florida, most businesses are required by law to carry workers’ compensation. However, there are specific laws for various industries, as well as who must provide workers’ comp and which employees are covered.

As a rule of thumb, businesses with more than three other employees besides the owner and partners, they are required by Florida law to carry workers compensation.

Who Is Exempt From Workers’ Compensation In Florida?

As you already know, there are exemptions to this law. If the business has less than 4 employees, they are not required to carry workers’ comp insurance. However, this doesn’t apply to those in the construction industry or in construction-related work as they are required to carry insurance even if they have only one employee. This includes business owners and partners in an LLC.

In the agricultural industry, meanwhile, companies employing 6 or fewer full-time employees or less than 13 seasonal employees are exempt from workers’ compensation insurance.

Corporate workers of non-construction companies that have good corporate standing may exempt as well.

Regardless of the industry, however, workers who are classified as independent contractors are also exempt from workers’ compensation insurance of the company that hires them. Instead, they or their agency are required to carry the insurance for themselves.

The challenge, now, is which workers are considered “employees.” Nowadays, there are a lot of classifications of employees, such as independent contractors, who may work for a business but still not be officially hired.

Why Employers Exempt Workers From Workers Compensation

Nowadays, it’s common for employees to find out they’ve been classified as independent contractors when they file their workers’ comp claim. Though it is sometimes a mistake, some companies intentionally do this in order to save money from insurance and many other benefits. This is where the point of contention lies.

One test that is performed to verify if an employee were misclassified is the “right to control” test. Specifically, this test looks into the level of independence a worker has over the work performed and how it is performed. For instance, whether the employer regularly supervises the worker, whether the work performed is within or outside of the employer’s business hours, or if the worker maintains a separate business.

Sometimes instances of misclassification are honest mistakes, but sometimes they were consciously done. If you believe that you were misclassified as an independent contractor, you should contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in Florida to help you.


To answer the question of whether you can be exempt from workers’ comp: yes, it is possible. However, as you have seen, exemptions require very specific cases. More importantly, your employer should have been clear about your classification as an employee and your workers’ compensation insurance coverage from the beginning. If you were hurt and are now being told you are not covered by workers’ comp, head on to our site for a consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer.

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