Must Employers Purchase Worker's Compensation Insurance?

Wisconsin law requires that a subject employer with employees working in Wisconsin must have a worker's compensation insurance policy with an insurance company licensed to write worker's compensation insurance in Wisconsin.

Each individual employer must provide a worker's compensation insurance policy for its employees. One employer cannot provide worker's compensation insurance coverage for another employer's employees even where or whether or not they voluntarily sign a contract to provide the coverage. Every employer, as described in s. 102.04 (1), Wis. Stat., is required under s. 102.28 (2), Wis. Stat., to have a worker's compensation insurance policy in the name of the employer/owner or in the name of the business entity.

An employer subject to the Worker's Compensation Act may not withhold or collect any money from employees or any other person, including independent contractors and subcontractors, to pay for worker's compensation insurance. To do so is illegal. Also, no agreement by an employee waiving rights to compensation is valid. [s. 102.16 (3) and (5), Wis. Stat.]