The Basics of Restaurant Workers Compensation Insurance

Mark StraussBusiness | Commercial Insurance, Worker's Compensation

Restaurant workers compensation insurance is one of the necessary restaurant insurance policy coverage basics that you need to have in place. The coverage provides funding for injured employees, and you also receive protection from lawsuits stemming from a worker’s injuries. State laws govern workers’ compensation, and every state has a slightly different set of rules and payment rates. It’s important for you to understand the basics of how your restaurant workers compensation insurance works.

Who Is Covered Under Restaurant Workers Compensation Insurance
Only work-related illnesses and injuries are covered by restaurant workers compensation insurance. However, this does not mean the injury has to happen in the workplace. If an employee is injured while out driving a company car off the premises of the restaurant, the injuries will be covered. Both sudden and gradual injuries are covered if they are work related. An example of a sudden injury would be if an employee slipped putting away glass ware, and a gradual injury might be a chef that develops carpal tunnel syndrome due to repetitive motions of working with a knife.

What Restaurant Workers Compensation Insurance Does Not Cover

  • Self-inflicted injuries
  • Injuries from drug or alcohol use
  • Injuries resulting from horseplay
  • Injuries following termination or a layoff
  • Injuries sustained from fighting
  • Felony-related injuries
  • Independent contractor injuries
  • Injuries sustained while off duty but on workplace premises

When Employees Can Sue Their Employer
Employers are not protected from employee lawsuits in all situations. When an employee’s injuries are due to the employer’s intentional actions or there is no restaurant workers compensation insurance, the employee is allowed to sue the employer in a court for a wide range of damages. In some cases, employees may also be able to sue third parties that are involved and have caused damages.

Restaurant Workers Compensation Insurance Benefits
There are several provisions made possible by workers’ compensation. These include the following:

  • Replacement income when employees are off work
  • Vocational rehabilitation training or replacement assistance
  • Medical expense payments for physician appointments, drugs and surgeries

In your employee is unable to work temporarily, that individual usually receives about 66 percent of their income as disability payments. There is a fixed ceiling amount for this percentage, and the benefits are available to people who are unable to do the same type of work that was done prior to the disability’s beginning. Some people may be able to perform other types of work, but there are people who are unable to work at all. If this is the case, such a person will usually receive permanent disability payments.

Carrying Restaurant Workers Compensation Insurance
If you do not have restaurant workers compensation insurance in place for your restaurant you are vulnerable to lawsuits that may be filed by injured workers. In addition to carrying insurance, you should post notices and provide employees with information about your employees legal rights. Any posted notices should be placed in areas that employees use frequently during working hours.

I’ve already discussed  how your restaurant workers compensation insurance rate is determined. In my next article I will discuss experience rating which affects your restaurant workers comp insurance rates. An employer that has better experience ratings will be given credits, but those with less will be given debit ratings.

Mark Strauss
Insurance Broker & Advisor
As a trusted Portland Oregon Insurance broker I take a thorough approach in my work and listen to what you have to say and help solve your risk concerns. I don’t have an allegiance to any one insurance company, you can be certain not only will you be insured correctly but the insurance in place will be the most competitive premium that is available. Contact me to help diagnose what your insurance needs might be, my hands-on approach will offer you personalized peace of mind.