If you have a business in Oklahoma and you have employees you generally must have workers’ compensation insurance coverage. Workers’ compensation insurance will provide your employees with medical treatment, rehabilitation, payment for time lost, and disability if they suffer a work-related injury or illness. In the case of accidental death, workers’ compensation provides benefits to the employee’s dependents. And, workers’ compensation insurance protects you as the employer from lawsuits filed by employees.
According to the Oklahoma Department of Labor, all employers must have workers’ compensation except for employers with domestic or household employees with a total annual payroll of less than $10,000, and agricultural or horticultural employers with an annual payroll of less than $100,000. Certain licensed real estate salespersons or brokers are also exempt.
Employers with five or fewer employees, all of whom are related by blood or marriage, are not required to carry workers’ compensation in Oklahoma. Sole proprietors and members of partnerships are not required to carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage on themselves. Also exempt from the requirement are members of a limited liability company who own at least 10% of the capital and stockholders of a corporation who own at least 10% of the stock. Owner-operators of trucks and drive-away owner operators are not required to have coverage. And persons who perform voluntary services and receive no wages are not covered.
Independent contractors are not considered employees and are not covered by workers’ compensation. But according to the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Court, if an independent contractor subcontracts part of a job and a subcontractor employee is injured on the job both the independent contractor and the principal employer could be held liable if the subcontractor does not have workers’ compensation coverage.
You can purchase a workers’ compensation insurance policy from any authorized private insurance company licensed to provide workers’ compensation in Oklahoma. Or you can obtain coverage through CompSource Oklahoma. This is a separate entity of the Oklahoma state government set up to provide a market for workers’ compensation at the lowest possible cost. CompSource sells workers’ compensation insurance directly to businesses in Oklahoma or through insurance companies that have an agency agreement with CompSource.
Another possibility would be to request approval from the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Court Administrator to be self-insured or to be a member of a group self-insurance association.
The Oklahoma Department of Labor offers a Workers’ Compensation Premium Reduction Program. This program enables employers to earn up to a 15 percent reduction in their workers’ compensation insurance premium by passing a certification process to demonstrate a strong commitment to workplace safety and health and a resulting reduced rate of occupational injuries and illnesses. Qualified professionals provide assistance and training to help develop safety and health management plans.
Employer’s FAQ, Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Court
Workers’ Compensation in Oklahoma, Oklahoma Department of Labor
Workers’ Compensation Premium Reduction Program, Oklahoma Department of Labor