Most Nevada businesses with employees are required to pay for workers' compensation insurance (WC or workers' comp insurance). The insurance provides compensation to employees who suffer work-related injuries. Here are some basic facts that you need to know about workers' comp insurance in Nevada as a business owner and employer.
If your Nevada business has just one employee, you're generally required to carry workers' compensation insurance. There are, however, some limited exceptions. Among the most important:
In addition, some sole proprietors and partners in partnerships are not required to be covered by workers' compensation insurance.
The Nevada Department of Industrial Relations (DIA) is the primary state agency that handles workers' comp claims. Most of the law for WC insurance is contained in Nevada Industrial Insurance Act (Chapters 616A – 616D of the Nevada Revised Statutes). In addition to the Act, there are also administrative rules that cover workers' compensation in Nevada.
In Nevada, workers' compensation insurance is available through private insurance companies. There is also an option to self-insure, but this may not be advisable for smaller businesses, in part because it requires that a lot of money be set aside to cover potential claims.
An injured employee should provide you with a Form C-1, Notice of Injury or Occupational Disease (Incident Report), within seven days of the accident or injury. You must keep a supply of these forms available for employees. The employee and his or her health care provider also must complete a Form C-4, Employee's Claim for Compensation/Report of Initial Treatment. Within six days of receiving notice of the accident or injury (Forms C-1 and C-4), you must file Form C-3, Employer's Report of Industrial Injury or Occupational Disease, with your WC insurer.
Beyond these initial steps, there are subsequent steps to the WC claims process, not covered here. The DIR does publish a Time Frames for Filing document that provides some additional guidance on other forms to be filed by you and your employee.
Your insurer is responsible for the initial decision about an employee's workers' comp claim. If the insurer denies the employee's claim, the insurer must notify the employee of that denial. If the insurer does not deny the claim, you must first attempt to resolve the matter through an informal review involving a qualified medical provider. If you are unhappy with the results of the review, there are various appeals procedures under the Industrial Insurance Act that may lead to a hearing handled by the DIA. You may also have the right to subsequent appeals in district court and, ultimately, the state supreme court.
If you don't carry workers' compensation insurance your business may be subject to various penalties, such as:
In addition, you can be sued by an injured employee in civil court and may be subject to criminal penalties. Some of the penalty rules are contained in Sections 616D.200 and 616D.345 of the Industrial Insurance Act.
There are many other workers' compensation requirements for Nevada employers that are not covered here, such as putting up posters about workers' compensation coverage where employees can see them. For more information, see the Nolo website section on workers' compensation and the Nevada Department of Industrial Relations website.