North Carolina requires its businesses to carry workers’ compensation, provided the business hires three or more employees on a regular basis. So if you are an employee working for a business in this situation, you might think you are eligible for workers’ comp coverage. However, state law does exclude some workers as employees who may receive workers’ comp.
According to the North Carolina Industrial Commission website, the definition of an employee encompasses many people. It includes people who work full time, part time, temporarily, or seasonally, and are hired by contract, appointment, or by an apprenticeship. An employer can expressly hire a person or imply the person is an employee. The law also includes minors and undocumented workers.
Still, state regulations do exclude some workers as employees, and thus they do not receive workers’ comp coverage. These include casual employees or individuals who perform work for an employer but the work is not part of the trade, profession or occupation of the employer. The law also excludes domestic servants who receive direct employment from a household, and also particular railroad employees.
Additionally, if you are an agricultural worker and even if your workplace hires more than three employees, your employer might not have to carry workers’ compensation. An agricultural employer would have to hire ten or more workers full-time and non-seasonal before the law requires the employer to carry workers’ comp. The employer must also hire the workers on a consistent basis.
Some employees have an uncertain status when it comes to workers’ compensation. If you are a business partner, a sole proprietor or an LLC member, the law would not automatically consider you as an employee. You could try to receive inclusion for workers’ comp, but you would need to meet specific stipulations under state regulations. Conversely, some corporate officers might want to exclude themselves from workers’ comp in favor of their own insurance and may choose to do so.