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Workers' Compensation for Wisconsin Businesses
What are the legal requirements for workers’ compensation insurance in Wisconsin?
According to Wisconsin.gov:
“All employees working for an employer (other than farmers) with three or more workers are protected immediately by the Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation Act. Employers with fewer than three workers come under the law if they pay wages of $500 or more in any quarter of a calendar year. Their workers are covered 10 days after the end of that quarter. Farm workers are covered if the farm employer has six or more employees on 20 or more days in a calendar year.
Nearly all workers in Wisconsin are covered. This includes both public and private employers. Nearly all private and public employees in Wisconsin are covered under the Act, including employees who are family members (except for farmers in some cases), minors, part-time employees and corporate officers.
There are a few classes of workers who are covered by federal laws and are not covered by the Act. Employees of the federal government (such as postal workers, employees at a veteran’s administration hospital, or members of the armed forces) are covered by federal laws. People who work on interstate railroads are covered by the Federal Employers Liability Act. Seamen on navigable waters are covered by the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, and people loading and unloading vessels are covered by the Longshoremen’s and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act.
The only employee exceptions to the Act’s insurance requirement are: (1) domestic servants, (2) any person whose employment is not in the trade, business, profession or occupation of the employer, (3) some farm employees, (4) volunteers, including volunteers of non-profit organizations that receive money or other things of value totaling not more than $10.00 per week, (5) religious sect members that qualify and are certified for an exemption, (6) employees of Native American tribal enterprises (including casinos), unless the tribe elects to waive its sovereign immunity and voluntarily become subject to the Act. Virtually all other workers and employers are subject to the Act.”
What does workers’ comp insurance cover in Wisconsin?
In the event of a workplace accident, workers’ comp insurance provides both medical coverage and payments for lost wages and permanent disabilities. This can include temporary or permanent benefits.
Temporary workers’ comp benefits refer to the scenarios of when your employee is unable to work for more than one week, your worker is able to receive compensation for the lost wages, which are called “lost time benefits.” Your employee’s doctor must certify your employee is not able to work.
Lost time benefits are 2/3 of your employee’s monthly income and determined by your employee’s earnings the month before the individual gets sick or is injured in the workplace. This benefit is considered temporary and only lasts while your employee’s doctor is actively treating you. When your employee’s doctor determines that your team member is able to return to work, your employee will receive a letter from the insurance company called a Notice of Claim Status, which clarifies that the doctor said you can officially work again.
If your employee is unable to return to work full-time or can only do modified work, and as a result they are earning less than they usually do, your employee can continue to get time lost benefits, which will be two-thirds of the difference in their earnings.
Permanent workers’ comp benefits refer to the scenario when your employee’s doctor finds that your employee’s condition is stationary, or not expected to improve any further. In this case, the doctor will determine whether your employee has a permanent disability. If your employee does, the doctor will give your worker a percentage of disability. This number, along with your employee’s age, education, work history helps determine your employee’s rate of compensation.
*2017 business stats provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics
number of Wisconsin residents employed by small businesses
number of workplace injuries
barrels of craft beer produced annually
acres of state parks & forests
Wisconsin Businesses We Cover with Workers' Comp Insurance
Food & Beverage
Bars, Bistros, Cafeterias/Buffets, Candy Stores, Caterers, Coffee Shops, Doughnut Shops, Fast Casual, Fast Food, Fine Dining, Health Supplement Stores, Juice Shops, Tea Houses, Taverns and NightclubsGet a Free Quote
Data Processing, Ecommerce, Hosting, Graphic Design, Network Installation/Repair, Office Machine Installation/Repair, Programming, Strategy & Management Consulting Services, and Software/Web Development (includes SOLOpreneuers!)Get a Free Quote
Athlete/Actor/Entertainer Agents, Court Reporters, Lawyers & Attorneys at Law, Notaries and TranscriptionGet a Free Quote
Bakeries, Beer/Wine/Liquor Stores, Butcher/Meat Markets, Convenience Stores/Gas Stations, Discount Stores, Fish, Seafood, Fruit & Vegetable Markets, Grocery Stores, Laundromats, Pet Stores, Pharmacies/Drug Stores, Specialty Food StoresGet a Free Quote
Computer Training, Cosmetology/Barber Schools, Exam Preparation/Tutoring, Fine Art Schools, Language Schools, Libraries/Archives, Management Training, Professional Training, & Translation/Interpretation ServicesGet a Free Quote
Microbreweries (less than 15,000 barrels produced per year) & Wine Making (no growing or production of grapes/fruit)Get a Free Quote
Barber Shops/Salons, Cemeteries/Mausoleums, Crematoriums, Funeral Homes, Interior Design, Pet Kennels/Groomers, Photography/Photofinishing, Gyms, Nail Salons, Self-Storage, Tanning Salons, Tattoo/Piercing, and Wedding/Event PlannersGet a Free Quote
Bridal Stores, Clothing Stores, Dry Cleaners, Formal Wear/Costume Rentals, Luggage & Leather Goods Stores, Shoe Retail/Repair, and Tailor ShopsGet a Free Quote
Personal Product Retail
Art Galleries/Stores, Auto Parts, Beauty/Cosmetics, Bike Stores, Bookstores, Camera/Photo Supplies, Cell Phone Retail/Repair, Computer Stores, Jewelry Stores, Musical Instruments, Sporting Goods , Tobacco/Vaping & Video GamesGet a Free Quote
Blood Banks, Dental Labs, Dentists/Orthodontists, GP/Medical Specialists, Kidney Dialysis Centers, Medical Diagnostics & Testing, and VeterinariansGet a Free Quote
Architecture & Engineering Services
Architects & Drafting, Engineering, Surveyors, & Window Treatment Stores (we do not cover construction contractors or trucking companies)Get a Free Quote
Accounting, Auditors, Banks/Credit Unions, Bookkeeping, Collection Agencies, Financial Advisors/Trust Companies, Mortgage & Loan Brokers, Payroll Services, Tax Preparation, Title & Title InsuranceGet a Free Quote
Scientific Research & Development/Consulting, Technical Consulting, & Environmental ConsultingGet a Free Quote
Office, Home, & Garden
Hearing Aid Stores, Hobby/Craft/Art Stores, Gift/Novelty Stores, Florists, Floor Covering Stores, Mailing/Packaging Stores, Models/Toy/Games, Office Supplies, Optical Stores, Paint/Wallpaper Stores, Perfume Stores, Plumbing & TaxidermistsGet a Free Quote
Acupuncture, Chiropractors, Mental Health Practitioners, and Physical & Occupational TherapyGet a Free Quote
Explore commonly asked questions about business type, industry and state.
How is Workers' Compensation related to payroll? What do I do when I hire, give raises or fire employees?