Florida’s new workers’ compensation rules modify employer penalties and exemption procedures
The Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation recently finalized amendments to various administrative rules, including those governing employer penalties and exemption procedures. The amendments cover various topics, including the number of days to comply with a written request for business records, the calculation of penalties and penalty credits, and the implementation of an online workers’ compensation tutorial to reduce assessed penalties by 15 percent. These amendments, including changes to various forms, were made to conform with recent legislative changes made to Florida’s Workers’ Compensation.
The amended administrative rules, including those discussed below, became effective July 18, 2023.
Updated Forms. The amended rules incorporate recent updates made to various forms, including the following forms used by corporate officers electing to be exempt from Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Law.
- Form DWC-250 Notice of Election to be Exempt
- Form DWC-252 Certificate of Election to be Exempt
- Form DWC-251 Notice of Election of Coverage
- Form DWC-251-R Revocation of Election of Coverage
Exemption Tutorial. The rules were amended pursuant to a recent statutory amendment that requires corporate officers electing to be exempt to certify that they have completed an online workers’ compensation coverage and compliance tutorial developed by the department.
15 Percent Penalty Reduction. The rules were amended pursuant to a recent statutory amendment that gives employers an opportunity to reduce an assessed penalty by 15 percent. Under the amended rule, the Division of Workers’ Compensation will reduce the final assessed penalty by 15 percent if:
- The employer has not been previously issued a Stop-Work Order or Order of Penalty Assessment; and
- The employer takes an online workers’ compensation coverage and compliance tutorial and correctly answers at least 80% of the questions within 21 days after the employer’s receipt of the Division’s written request to product business records.
The online tutorial must be taken in one of the specified district offices located throughout the state during standard business hours. Under the amended rule, eligible employers may make multiple attempts to achieve a minimum passing score of 80%.
Production of Business Records. The rules were amended pursuant to a recent statutory amendment that requires employers to produce records within 21 days after receiving a written records request from the department. Employers previously had ten business days to produce the requested records.
The extent to which an employer may be affected by the recent amendments to Florida’s administrative workers’ compensation rules will depend on the circumstances. Employers need to understand if and how these changes may impact their operations.
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