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Workers’ Compensation for Amish Contractors

Generally, all workers need workers’ compensation coverage.  The board must make sure that anyone entering the community association property to perform work is covered.  This coverage is evidenced by a certificate from the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (“BWC”).  As an example, a snowplowing company must provide a certificate to the board that shows its employees are covered and specifies the dates of the coverage.  If the certificate shows that the coverage will expire before the snowplowing season ends, the association must ask to see the renewal certificate to make sure that workers are covered for the entire time period that they perform work on the property.

In some parts of the state, associations often ask whether a community association can hire Amish workers and if so, whether an Amish worker must have workers’ compensation coverage.  In many instances, the Amish work as subcontractors for a general contractor who drives the Amish and provides their workers’ compensation coverage.  If the association wishes to hire an Amish person directly, however, the board must make sure that the worker is covered in the same way as any other person that performs work on the property unless the worker can provide proof that he has obtained an exemption from coverage that is available to certain members of religious sects.  To qualify for a religious exemption, the Amish employer and employee must meet certain qualifications and apply to the BWC to obtain exempt status.

The bottom line is that the board is responsible to make sure that workers on the community association property are either covered or exempt from coverage.  Therefore, the board must ask to see the coverage certificate or proof that the worker is exempt from coverage before the worker performs any work on the community association property.