Numerical Exceptions: You must have Worker's Compensation if any of your business:
Usually employ three or more full-time or part-time employees. You must get insurance immediately.
Employ one or more full-time or part-time employees to whom you have paid combined gross wages of $500 or more in any calendar quarter for work done at one or more locations in Wisconsin. You must have insurance by the 10th day of the first month of the next calendar quarter.
If you are a farmer who employs 6 or more workers on the same day for any 20 days during the calendar year. You must get insurance by the 10th day after the 20th day of employment. A calendar year is January through December.
Out-of-state employers must have worker's compensation insurance if they have employees working in Wisconsin. The policy must be with an insurance company licensed to write in Wisconsin and endorsed to name Wisconsin as a covered state in Section 3a of your policy.
Individual Waivers Allowed: No
Sole Proprietor: Excluded from coverage/may elect to be included - Sole proprietors that have no employees are not required to carry worker’s compensation insurance in Wisconsin. Sole proprietors are not considered or counted as employees under the Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation Act. If included a sole proprietors work comp payroll is set at $42,640 which is used for rating purposes as of 10-1-11, $44,408 as of 10-1-2012, $45,708 as of 10-1-2013, $46,384 as of 10-1-2014.
Partners: Excluded from coverage/may elect to be included - Partnerships that have partners only and no employees are not required to carry worker’s compensation insurance in Wisconsin. Partners are not considered or counted as employees under the Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation Act. If included a partners work comp payroll is set at $42,640 which is used for rating purposes as of 10-1-11, $44,408 as of 10-1-2012, $45,708 as of 10-1-2013, $46,384 as of 10-1-2014.
Corporate Officers: Included in coverage/may elect to be exempt under certain circumstances - Corporate officers are considered employees of the corporation and the corporation is subject to the Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation Act. However, if a closely held corporation has no more than two (2) corporate officers and has no other employees, a worker’s compensation policy is not required if both officers elect not to be subject to the Worker’s Compensation Act. A closely held corporation is defined as a corporation with not more than 10 stockholders. If included, a corporate officers workers compensation payroll is banded between a min/max of $12,792/$63,960 for rating purposes as of 10-1-11, $13,312 / $66,612 as of 10-1-2012. $13,728 / $68,588 as of 10-1-2013. $13,936 / $69,576 as of 10-1-2014.
LLC Members: Excluded from coverage/may elect to be included- Limited liability companies that have members only and no employees are not required to carry worker’s compensation insurance in Wisconsin. Members of limited liability companies are not considered or counted as employees under the Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation Act. If included a members work comp payroll is set at $42,640 which is used for rating purposes as of 10-1-11, $44,408 as of 10-1-2012. $13,728 / $68,588 as of 10-1-2013. $13,936 / $69,576 as of 10-1-2014.
Note About Forms: Also be sure to contact your insurance company for information about additional forms they may use for exclusion or inclusion of coverage.
Contractors: Independent Contractor Definition s. 102.07(8), Wis. Stats.:
Under s. 102.07(8), Wis. Stats., a person is required to meet a nine-part test before he or she is considered an independent contractor rather than an employee. A person is not an independent contractor for worker’s compensation purposes just because the person says they are, or because the contractor over them says so, or because they both say so, or even if other regulators (including the federal government and other state agencies) say so.
To be considered an independent contractor and not an employee, an individual must meet and maintain all nine of the following conditions:
Maintain a separate business
Obtain a Federal Employer Identification number from the Federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or have filed business or self-employment income tax returns with the IRS based on the work or service in the previous year. (See note below)
Operate under specific contracts.
Be responsible for operating expenses under the contracts.
Be responsible for satisfactory performance of the work under the contracts.
Be paid per contract, per job, by commission or by competitive bid.
Be subject to profit or loss in performing the work under the contracts.
Have recurring business liabilities and obligations.
Be in a position to succeed or fail if business expense exceeds income.
Note: When requesting a Federal Employee Identification Number (FEIN) from the IRS, the independent contractor inform the IRS of the requirement by Wisconsin Worker's Compensation law to obtain a FEIN. A social security number cannot be substituted for a FEIN and does not meet the legal burden of s. 102.07(8).
Special Notes: Farmers need Worker's Compensation insurance if they have 6 or more employees (at one or more locations), working on the same day for 20 days (consecutive or non consecutive) during a calendar year. After the 20th day, farmers have 10 days to obtain insurance.
There is no wage threshold for farmers. It doesn’t matter how much a farmer pays in wages. What matters is the number of employees (after excluding certain employees who are family members, relatives or "exchanged workers" as described in more detail below).
For farmers, the threshold is 6 employees, farmers should note:
a calendar year starts on January 1st and ends on December 31st.
the 20 days do not have to be consecutive.
on each of the 20 days, it can be the same 6 employees or 6 different people.
the 6 employees may be full-time or part-time.
the 6 employees may be at more than one location within the state.
certain relatives are not counted in determining whether there are 6 employees.
A worksheet is available from the Division of Workers Compensation to help determine if a farm is exempt from worker's compensation requirements.
Wisconsin Workers Compensation Subrogation: The State of Wisconsin provides its statutory information about workers compensation subrogation in state statute 102.29. 102.29 is called Third Party Liability and is found under Chapter 102, Workers Compensation. Wisconsin publishes Chapter 102 in a pdf format and is viewable by using the link below. Once on their pdf you will have to scroll down the page to 102.29 to view it.
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Information on this page is provided only as a reference. While we strive to mantain accurate information on this site please realize workers compensation laws are complicated and subject to change at any time. No warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of this information is provided or to be implied. You must verify this data before use with the individual governing authority for this state. If you need help with a workers compensation problem or have a specific situation or question please contact our office. Otherwise please consult your states governing authority or an attorney in your state of residency for assistance.