Clarke & Sampson Blog

VA Workers Compensation - Employer Penalties

Posted by Matt Stephens

Feb 22, 2017 1:03:00 PM


Workers’ compensation is a system of no-fault insurance that provides monetary and medical benefits to employees or their survivors for work-related injuries, diseases and deaths. Workers' compensation is governed by state law.

The Virginia Workers' Compensation Act (WCA) establishes requirements employers must follow and imposes penalties for noncompliance. The Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission (Commission) monitors and enforces compliance with the WCA throughout the state.


The WCA requires all employers in Virginia to maintain adequate workers’ compensation insurance coverage for their employees if:

  • They regularly employ three or more employees (part-time or full-time) in the same business; or
  • They are underground coal mine operators (regardless of the number of individuals they employ).

Employers must also file proof of their workers' compensation coverage with the Commission within prescribed time periods (usually within 30 days of inception).

An employer that fails to comply with the coverage requirement or that fails to report its coverage to the Commission may be subject to:

Civil Penalties


Class 2 Misdemeanor charges

  • Up to $250 per day for each day of noncompliance($50,000 maximum)


A fine of $1,000, six months in prison or both.(for knowing and intentional violations)


The WCA prohibits employers from allowing their employees to contribute, in any manner, to the cost of providing workers’ compensation coverage. An employer that allows an employee to contribute to his or her coverage may be subject to a fine of up to $100 for each offense and may be ordered to refund any of the contributed amount to the employee.


Along with the coverage reporting requirement, the WCA imposes additional recordkeeping and reporting obligations on employers. Specifically, employers must:

  • Report work-related injuries and deaths to the Commission within 10 days (minor injuries may be reported within 60 days, other reports must be filed as required by the Commission);
  • Upon request, indicate how many employees they employ, their employees’ hours of labor and the number of days the business has been in operation;
  • Immediately file all medical reports they receive relating to an employee’s claim and provide copies to the employee;
  • Promptly notify both the employee and the Commission when a claim is denied; and
  • File with the Commission reports concerning the payment and suspension of WCA benefits for all work-related injuries that do not meet the definition of a minor injury.

Employers that fail to comply with any of these requirements may be subject to:

Civil Penalties


Class 2 Misdemeanor charges

Up to $500 per violation


Between $500 and $5,000(for willful violations)




Contact Clarke & Sampson, Inc. or visit the Commission’s website for more information on workers’ compensation laws in Virginia.

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Topics: Virginia Workers Compensation, Employers Penalties, VA Workers Compensation Employey Penalties