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Workers’ Compensation: Employer basics

New Hampshire law requires employers to provide workers' compensation insurance to protect their employees if they are hurt while at work. The state Department of Labor provides guidelines, forms and information about their insurance responsibilities. While the laws can address complex employee situations, the basics are not complicated.

Employers must provide Workers' Compensation insurance for any employee. This includes family members and part-time workers. Temporary, immigrant and undocumented workers are covered in most cases. Non-profit companies must comply with the law as well. A sole proprietor, partners in a business and self-employed persons aren't required to maintain a Workers' Compensation policy, but they may choose to do so by obtaining a policy on themselves. For corporations or limited liability companies with no employees other than its executives, a policy is only required if the executives number four or more.

Policies can be obtained from any insurance agency offering them for employers in New Hampshire. Health or liability insurance does not take the place of Workers' Compensation insurance.

An injury to a worker must be reported to the commissioner no later than five days after an employer learns of the injury. If that deadline expires, an employer may be fined up to $2,500 for failure to file a First Report of Injury. Employers with five or more employees must reinstate an employee to his or her former position if the employee is medically released to return to work within 18 months of the injury date. Also, temporary alternative duty must be offered under the same criteria. Job modification reimbursement to an employer may be available.

Fault for the injury doesn't matter in Workers' Compensation cases. Disputed cases can be heard by the Workers' Compensation Division. Appeals of a hearing officer's decision can be filed with the Compensation Appeals Board.

Source: New Hampshire Department of Labor, "Frequently Asked Questions, Worksheet" accessed Mar. 06, 2015

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