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Do You Know the Rule? Colo. Exclusions, Exemptions

01 Jun, 2023 Frank Ferreri

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Denver, CO (WorkersCompensation.com) -- Not all workers are covered under states' workers' compensation laws. So, how are you to know who is and isn't under the workers' compensation umbrella?

Like many states, Colorado spells it out. The following chart breaks down the Centennial State rules.

Exclusions & ExemptionsExplanations
Partial list of occupations and individuals excluded from mandatory coverage under the Workers' Compensation Act--> Certain casual maintenance or repair work: Employment is “casual” when the total labor cost for that employment is less than a certain amount in any 30-day period, regardless of the number of workers employed. If an employer’s total labor cost equals or exceeds that amount in any 30-day period, the employer must provide coverage on a going-forward basis. Effective July 1, 2023, employment is casual when the total labor cost is below $1,062.63.
--> Certain domestic work, maintenance, or repair work for a private homeowner that is not done full time.
--> Licensed real estate agents and brokers working on commission.
--> Independent contractors who perform specific for-hire transportation jobs.
--> Drivers under a lease agreement with a common or contract carrier.
--> Any person who volunteers time or services for a ski area operator.
--> Persons who provide host home services as part of residential services and supports.
--> Federal employees (covered under federal laws).
--> Railroad employees (covered under federal laws).
What "employee" excludes(1) Any person employed by a passenger tramway area operator, or other employer, while participating in recreational activity, who at the time is relieved of and is not performing any duties of employment, regardless of whether the person is utilizing, by discount or otherwise, a pass, ticket, license, permit, or other device as an emolument of employment.
(2) Any person who is confined to a city or county jail or any department of corrections facility as an inmate and who, as a part of the confinement, is working, performing services, or participating in a training or rehabilitation or work release program.
Exception: Workers' compensation coverage does apply to:
(a) An inmate who is working for a private employer under a contract of hire wherein the private employer is required to maintain workers' compensation insurance for its employees. In that case, the inmate will be an employee of the private employer.
(b) An inmate working for a joint venture. In such a case, the inmate will be an employee of the joint venture.
(c) An inmate working for a private person or entity. In that case, the inmate will be an employee of the private person or entity.

(3) Any person who volunteers time or services for a ski area operator, or for a ski area sponsored program or activity. No contract of hire, express or implied, is created between any volunteer and a ski area operator. Notice will be given to the volunteer in writing that the volunteering of time or services does not constitute employment for purposes of the "Workers' Compensation Act of Colorado" and that the person is not entitled to benefits.
(4) Any person who is working as a driver under a lease agreement with a common carrier or contract carrier. Any person working as a driver with a common carrier or contract carrier will be eligible for and will be offered workers' compensation insurance coverage by Pinnacol Assurance or similar coverage.
(5) Any person who performs services for more than one employer at a race meet or at a horse track.
ExemptionsA corporate officer of a corporation or a member of a limited liability company may elect to reject the requirement to carry workers' compensation insurance.
The election to reject coverage (be exempt) is completed by providing written notice on Form (WC 43) Rejection of Coverage by Corporate Officers or Members of a Limited Liability Company.

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    About The Author

    • Frank Ferreri

      Frank Ferreri, M.A., J.D. covers workers' compensation legal issues. He has published books, articles, and other material on multiple areas of employment, insurance, and disability law. Frank received his master's degree from the University of South Florida and juris doctor from the University of Florida Levin College of Law. Frank encourages everyone to consider helping out the Kind Souls Foundation and Kids' Chance of America.

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