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Do You Work for a Small Business? You Are Still Owed Workers’ Comp in California

  • Published: February 15, 2022

Workers’ compensation insurance protects workers in the event of a workplace injury. When an employee is injured on the job, they can file a claim so the employer’s workers’ comp insurance will cover medical expenses, lost wages, disability benefits, job replacement benefits, and other costs related to the work injury. California requires that all employers carry workers’ comp insurance for the benefit of workers. Workers’ comp is meant to protect workers at companies of all sizes, large corporations, and small businesses. Under California workers’ comp law, all businesses must carry workers’ comp insurance even if they only have one employee.

Workers’ Comp for Small Businesses

Employers can obtain insurance through a licensed insurance company or the State Compensation Insurance Fund. Employers can also meet their workers’ compensation requirements by becoming self-insured. Coverage is significantly more important for small businesses because they are typically more financially vulnerable than larger businesses. Without proper coverage, the consequences of a claim can financially have a great impact on a small business.

Lack of coverage means the small businesses will have to pay for any fees that result from the claim being paid out of pocket. The financial burden of a claim can be detrimental for a small business. Workers’ comp policies usually include employer’s insurance, which helps cover legal expenses if an employee blames their employer for an injury. California law requires coverage for the following benefits:

  • Medical care
  • Temporary disability benefits
  • Permanent disability benefits
  • Supplemental job displacement benefits
  • Return-to-work supplement
  • Death benefits

The California Department of Industrial Relations regulates workers’ comp insurance. California employers and workers can find resources for workers’ comp claims and laws through the agency’s Division of Workers’ Compensation.

Are There Penalties for Not Having Workers’ Comp?

Failure to carry workers’ compensation insurance in California is a criminal offense. The penalties include:

  • Stop orders issued to the business: violation could result in a fine of $10,000 or more and imprisonment in county jail for up to one year.
  • The uninsured employer’s benefit trust could file a lien against an employer’s property if it needs to pay benefits to an injured worker of an illegally uninsured employer.
  • A penalty assessed by the division of labor standards enforcement could be twice the amount the employer would have paid in premiums during the time of being uninsured or $1,500 per employee during the period they were uninsured.

If an employee is injured and the employer does not have workers’ comp, the employer could be liable for a penalty of $1,000 per employee at the time of injury if the case is compensable. They may also have to pay $2,000 per employee at the time of injury if that case is found to be non-compensable. The maximum penalty is $100,000.

Contact Our California Workers’ Comp Lawyers at KCNS Law Group

Workers deserve to have a safe and secure work environment. Unfortunately, accidents happen even in the safest work environment. Additionally, injuries may develop at work due to repetitive motion and stress. Workers who sustain injuries in an accident or through repetitive stress deserve to feel secure that they will have financial help in recovering and getting back on their feet. Workers’ compensation protects workers and gives them the chance to receive compensation for any damages or losses due to their workplace injury.

At KCNS Law Group, we are dedicated to ensuring workers obtain the compensation and justice they deserve. Our client-based approach concentrates on our commitment to providing individual and strategic representation tailored to our client’s specific needs. Call our workers’ comp lawyers office at (818) 937-9255 or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation.

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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