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Does my employer have to have workers' compensation?

Workers' compensation is a great program that helps ensure you are protected if you are injured on the job. It also protects your employer because it prevents you from suing in court. The program is handled by the state. In Kentucky, most employers will have to carry workers' compensation insurance, but the Department of Workers' Claims explains some employers may be exempt.

While some states limit who must carry insurance based on the number of employees, Kentucky does not. The state requires employers with any employees to carry it. In addition, the number of hours worked by employees does not matter. However, some employers are not required to carry workers' compensation, even if they have employees.

Exemptions include homeowners with domestic servants, farms and some federal employers. Religious reasons may also exempt an employer. If you own a business, you do not have to carry insurance on yourself or your partners. The only exception is if you own a corporation. In that case, you do have to have coverage. 

Independent contractors working for an employer are usually not covered under workers' compensation. Employers do not have to provide them coverage. However, in some cases, coverage is required. It depends on the nature and conditions of the work being done. 

You should note that while your employer may be required to have workers' compensation, you can deny coverage. Your employer cannot force you to deny coverage. It must be voluntary. However, if you deny coverage and get injured, you will have to go to court to get the coverage you would have gotten under the insurance. 

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