New Virginia Workers Compensation Policy Takes Effect

Posted on: June 29, 2015 by titan-goodrich

The issue over whether or not workers are constituted as employees or independent contractors has long been a topic of debate. The construction industry has been particularly targeted for these labor practices. This policy change will affect many protections granted to typical employees such as Virginia Contractors Workers Compensation in addition to the FMLA and unemployment insurance.

These revisions are a direct result from Governor Terry McAuliffe’s 2014 executive order that determined misclassification of employees which resulted in Virginia payroll fraud. The Virginia Occupational Safety and Health policy (VOSH) will be implemented by the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI) beginning July 1, 2015. The main focus of this policy is to identify workers who have been misclassified as independent contractors instead of employees. With this shift, workers will gain access to the basic legal protections listed above.

Because this is such a new development, exact details of its enforcement are still unclear. However, the construction industry is going to be heavily regulated by VOSH, therefore employers of these businesses should expect a variety of factors to determine the status of their workers. These factors include identifying who has responsibility to control the work, who pays the wages, and who has the right to hire, fire, or change employment circumstances. Some of the other procedures VOSH will enforce include:

  • Not reducing penalty fines for employers due to good faith.
  • Requiring all contractors to show proof of DPOR license on a multi-employer job site.
  • Penalizing employers with fines, probationary terms and/or license suspension to those who contract with unlicensed workers.
  • Identifying if the contractor’s job is less than $1,000 and deeming a DPOR license unnecessary. If so, a written referral will be made to the Virginia Employment Commission to request potential audits to verify employment practices are in accordance with VOSH.

Compliance with these procedures is mandatory and following them can prevent your business from excess fines and penalties. At Goodrich & Watson, we strive to stay current with industry trends and provide ample insurance solutions for your construction business. To learn more about our workers compensation policy, as well as our other offerings, contact us today at (888) 829-5004.

Posted in: blog Contractors Insurance Worker's Comp

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