Some states do not require employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance for their employees, but under California state law, workers’ compensation insurance is mandatory for most employers. There are a few exceptions to this requirement described in more detail below.
California workers’ compensation laws benefit injured employees, but the claims process can be complicated, especially when your employer or insurance company is working against your interests. If you have been injured at work, attorney Joseph Kritzer can help you work through the claims process while protecting your workers’ comp rights.
How Workers’ Compensation Works In California
In California, work comp is no-fault insurance, so employees are entitled to recover for any work injuries, regardless of who caused the accident and resulting injuries. There are limited circumstances where employees may be denied compensation for injuries, such as when an employee is under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of a work accident. In the majority of work injury cases, however, employees are entitled to receive benefits, including lost wages and medical bills.
Employers also benefit under California workers’ compensation laws because employees are prohibited from suing their employers for workplace injuries. This helps employers avoid the uncertainty of litigation and the potential significant expense of employee pain and suffering awards. Workers’ compensation insurance does not provide compensation to injured employees for the pain and suffering they experience as a result of their work injuries.
Employees That Are Entitled To Work Comp Insurance
As previously mentioned, most employers are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance for all of their employees. There are a few exceptions to this rule, such as for sole proprietors and non-working LLC members, but in general, employees are entitled to coverage.
For workers’ compensation purposes, employees may include non-traditional employees such as part-time and contract employees. Out of state employers may also be responsible for providing workers’ compensation insurance to employees who regularly work in California, as well.
What If Your Employer Does Not Carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
If your employer fails to provide you with workers’ compensation insurance coverage in violation of California law, your employer may be facing criminal penalties, including significant fines and incarceration. Additionally, you may have a personal injury claim against your employer.
Workers’ compensation benefits limit recovery to medical bills, lost earnings, disability, and death benefits. Personal injury claims allow for more recovery options, such as emotional damages and punitive damages.
Additional Workers’ Comp Rights And Employer Responsibilities
In addition to required workers’ compensation coverage, injured employees are entitled to specific work injury protections. For example, if an injured employee has medical work restrictions, employers must assign work that does not violate those restrictions. If employers do not have work available to injured employees that meet the restrictions, employees are not required to work.
Employers are also prohibited from firing, demoting, or otherwise punishing injured employees for exercising their workers’ comp rights to make injury claims. California provides injured employees with rights and protections, but as attorney Joseph Kritzer knows, employers sometimes violate their legal duties to employees. Fortunately, employees have remedies available to them under California’s workers’ compensation law.