Two bills, requiring greater workers’ compensation for employees hired by construction contractors and subcontractors, have been introduced in the Texas State Legislature.
Under current state law, only a public employer in Texas is required to obtain workers’ compensation coverage.
The introduced legislation would remove what has been an optional approach for all construction contractor and subcontractor work, making workers’ compensation a requirement.
Currently around 28 percent of all employers in Texas do not carry workers’ compensation insurance, up from 22 percent in 2016.
Texas is the only state in the country that allows employers to decide whether or not to carry workers’ compensation coverage.
In addition, the legislation would require written verification of workers’ compensation coverage for all construction contractors and subcontractors working on public projects.
The House version of the bill, introduced by representative Armando Walle, is currently under review in the House Business and Industry Committee; while the Senate legislation was introduced in the Senate Business and Commerce Committee by Senator Jose Rodriguez.
The Texas Legislature is set to conclude its regular 2019 session on May 27, 2019.
By Garry Boulard
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