(a)(1) Every employer liable under this act to pay compensation shall insure the payment of compensation in the State Workmen's Insurance Fund, or in any insurance company, or mutual association or company, authorized to insure such liability in this Commonwealth, unless such employer shall be exempted by the department from such insurance. Such insurer shall assume the employer's liability hereunder and shall be entitled to all of the employer's immunities and protection hereunder except, that whenever any employer shall have purchased insurance to provide benefits under this act to persons engaged in domestic service, neither the employer nor the insurer may invoke the provisions of section 321 1 as a defense. An employer desiring to be exempt from insuring the whole or any part of his liability for compensation shall make application to the department, showing his financial ability to pay such compensation, whereupon the department, if satisfied of the applicant's financial ability, shall, upon the payment of a fee of five hundred dollars ($500), issue to the applicant a permit authorizing such exemption.
(2) In securing the payment of benefits, the department shall require an employer wishing to self-insure its liability and a group of employers approved to pool their liabilities under Article VIII to establish sufficient security by posting a bond or other security, including letters of credit drawn on commercial banks with a Thomson Bank Watch rating of B/C or better or a Thomson Bank Watch score of 2.5 or better for the bank or its holding company or with a CD rating of BBB or better by Standard and Poor's. This paragraph shall not apply to the Commonwealth or its political subdivisions.
(3) The department shall establish a period of twelve (12) calendar months, to begin and end at such times as the department shall prescribe, which shall be known as the annual exemption period. Unless previously revoked, all permits issued under this section shall expire and terminate on the last day of the annual exemption period for which they were issued. Permits issued under this act shall be renewed upon the filing of an application, and the payment of a renewal fee of one hundred dollars ($100.00). The department may, from time to time, require further statements of the financial ability of such employer, and, if at any time such employer appear no longer able to pay compensation, shall revoke its permit granting exemption, in which case the employer shall immediately subscribe to the State Workmen's Insurance Fund, or insure his liability in any insurance company or mutual association or company, as aforesaid.
(b) Any employer who fails to comply with the provisions of this section for every such failure, shall, upon conviction in the court of common pleas, be guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree. If the failure to comply with this section is found by the court to be intentional, the employer shall be guilty of a felony of the third degree. Every day's violation shall constitute a separate offense. A judge of the court of common pleas may, in addition to imposing fines and imprisonment, include restitution in his order: Provided, That there is an injured employe who has obtained an award of compensation. The amount of restitution shall be limited to that specified in the award of compensation. It shall be the duty of the department to enforce the provisions of this section; and it shall investigate all violations that are brought to its notice and shall institute prosecutions for violations thereof. All fines recovered under the provisions of this section shall be paid to the department, and by it paid into the State Treasury and appropriated to the Office of Attorney General if the prosecutor is the Attorney General and paid to the operating fund of the county in which the district attorney is elected if the prosecutor is a district attorney.
(c) In any proceeding against an employer under this section, a certificate of non-insurance issued by the official Workmen's Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau and a certificate of the department showing that the defendant has not been exempted from obtaining insurance under this section, shall be prima facie evidence of the facts therein stated.
(d) When any employer fails to secure the payment of compensation under this act as provided in sections 305 and 305.2, 2 the injured employe or his dependents may proceed either under this act or in a suit for damages at law as provided by article II. 3
(e) Every employer shall post a notice at its primary place of business and at its sites of employment in a prominent and easily accessible place, including, without limitation, areas used for the treatment of injured employes or for the administration of first aid, containing:
(1) Either the name of the employer's carrier and the address and telephone number of such carrier or insurer or, if the employer is self-insured, the name, address and telephone number of the person to whom claims or requests for information are to be addressed.
(2) The following statement: “Remember, it is important to tell your employer about your injury.”
The notice shall be posted in prominent and easily accessible places at the site of employment, including such places as are used for treatment and first aid of injured employes. Such a listing shall contain the information as specified in this section, typed or printed on eight and one-half inch by eleven inch or eight and one-half inch by thirteen inch paper in standard size type or larger.
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