In Illinois, the law requires most businesses to provide workers’ compensation insurance to everyone who is hired in the state.
If you suspect your employer is doing something illegal, here are some steps you can take.
Look For a Poster Display About Workers' Comp
The law requires employers to post information about workers’ compensation, in addition to actually carrying the coverage for their employees. The poster should be in the break room or otherwise prominently displayed. It should look something like this example from the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission (IWCC). The company may be breaking the law if you see no similar poster in plain sight.
Search Online for Workers' Comp Information
You can use this database from the IWCC. If you do not find your employer’s name registered there, they might be using a loophole, or they might be out of compliance. Keep doing some digging to determine whether your employer is skirting the law or not.
Document All Attempts to Verify Coverage
Anytime you seek to verify whether workers comp insurance exists, you should try to capture evidence of the request for your own records. Make photocopies, save them as a PDF, screenshot emails or take photos of the workplace environment.
Sometimes it falls to citizen whistleblowers to hold companies accountable. If you sustain an injury during the course of your work and are afraid that your employee will not cover the costs, talk to others in similar situations and seek advice to ensure you get what you deserve.