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Can Part-Time Employees Receive Workers Compensation in California?

  • Published: March 23, 2022
Workers Compensation in California

Strict California laws govern workers’ compensation benefits and coverage, and nearly every employee in the state is required to have coverage provided by their employer—including part-time workers. California law requires that every employer provide workers’ compensation to every employee full-time and part-time. Any employee who sustains an injury or illness caused by job-related duties will generally be able to receive various types of compensation. However, workers’ compensation does not cover all types of employees. Employees not covered by workers’ comp include independent contractors, sole proprietors, certain volunteers, and in some cases, directors or officers of corporations who are the only owners of their corporation.

Part-Time Employees and Independent Contractors: Who Gets Workers’ Comp?

Part-time and seasonal employees are eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits in California. Since the employer decides the job classification, you may be unsure whether you are a part-time employee or an independent contractor. However, there are no legal guidelines to determine whether you are part-time or full-time.  The general guideline is that The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does say that employees working under 35 hours a week should be considered part-time.

As an employee, it’s important to understand your job classification and whether you are entitled to workers’ compensation. Additionally, some employers and businesses may not be fair. They may attempt to convince part-time employees that workers’ compensation doesn’t cover them after an accident. They may also purposely misclassify an employee and claim they are an independent contractor instead of a part-time employee. If your employer has misclassified your employment classification or claims that part-time employees aren’t eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, you need an experienced California workers’ compensation attorney. An experienced attorney will understand California workers’ compensation laws and can ensure your rights and best interests are protected.

What if Your Employer Doesn’t Want to Cover Part-Time Employees?

Employers generally satisfy their obligation to provide workers’ compensation by purchasing workers’ compensation insurance. Large wealthy employers may set up a self-insurance plan with state approval. There are a few ways employers can meet the requirements of providing workers’ compensation. Regardless of their method, employers must have some form of workers’ compensation coverage.

In California, it’s a crime for an employer to fail to cover their employees, either by purchasing workers’ comp insurance or by setting up a self-insurance plan that the state approves. In addition to criminal punishment, the state may also assess civil penalties of up to $100,000 against employers. Furthermore, failing to purchase workers’ compensation insurance does not relieve the employer of providing required benefits to the injured employee. On top of the civil and criminal penalties, the employer will still be required to pay the employee’s medical expenses and other benefits provided under California law. Additionally, while workers’ compensation laws protect employers from being sued for workplace injuries, that protection may be lost if the employer is illegally uninsured. This means that the employee is not limited by workers’ compensation law and may also seek damages through a civil suit against their employer.

Find a Trusted California Workers’ Comp Lawyer at KCNS Law Group

At KCNS Law Group, we believe in protecting the rights of injured workers. We are a law firm specializing in workers’ compensation and personal injury. Whether you need help with a workers’ comp claim or help to pursue a personal injury claim against an employer who failed to provide you workers’ comp coverage, KCNS Law Group is here for you. Our client-based approach concentrates on our commitment to providing individual and strategic representation tailored to our client’s specific needs.

We know how challenging workplace injuries can be, legally, financially, and personally, which is why we are committed to helping ensure our clients receive the best possible outcome for their claim. Call (818) 937-9255 or fill out our contact form to speak with one of our worker’s compensation attorneys in California today.

KCNS Law Group LLP

Our client-based approach is concentrated on our commitment to providing individual and strategic representation tailored to our client’s specific needs.

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