In the case of Edwin Chavez Coreas v. Thien Ton Landscape (TTLI), the uninsured employer claimed that they did not owe compensation to an employee who suffered an accident on the job. Their defense was that they did not have the minimum number of employees to be required to provide workers’ compensation. The Employer also claimed that their business was not in the construction industry, meaning they did not have to adhere to those guidelines of workers’ compensation.
TTLI was judged not to be within the construction industry under Class Code 9102, since the primary work of the company was in landscaping. Under this classification, the requirement to have workers’ compensation insurance when employing two or more employees does not apply.
However, according to statute section 440.02(17)(b)(2), non-construction businesses are still required to provide workers’ compensation benefits when four or more employees are employed within their business.
TTLI denied that they had four or more employees, but the claimant, disputed this claim. The Claimant was found to have one co-worker who testified that multiple workers would be hired alongside him. This testimony was trusted since TTLI did not know the names of people that had been working for them for years, and neither the claimant or witness had a history of filing workers’ compensation cases prior.
TTLI was found to have at least four employees. Therefore, the employer was required under 440.09(1) to provide compensation and medical benefits to employees that had an accident in the workplace.
Claim for compensability GRANTED; Claim for adjustment of AWW GRANTED; Claim for TTD benefits DENIED; Claim for TPD benefits GRANTED; Claim for authorization of medical evaluation/treatment GRANTED; Claim for court/attorney’s fees GRANTED
Source: The 440 Authority