Who Is Required To Carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

March 16, 2018
By Glauber Berenson Vego

The fear of being injured on the job may not keep you up at night due to your confidence that your employer in Glendale will take care of you if such a thing ever happened. Yet what if you were to be injured at work and then later were told that your company does not offer workers’ compensation benefits? Like most, you assume that the law requires all employers to carry such coverage. Yet many employers may claim that their unique business structure does not require them to follow the law. Given the complexity of employment law, yours might be relying on you to simply take its word on it and not press the issue.

Its word, however, is likely wrong. Per the California Department of Industrial Relations, all employers (even those who employ only one worker) must carry workers’ compensation insurance. Furthermore, companies that operate outside of the state yet employ people within it must abide by the local laws even if those in the states where they are based do not require it (this applies only if their local employees work primarily here in the state). The only people not required to be covered under workers’ compensation are executives, corporate officers and sole proprietors. While they must carry it for their employees, they may choose to opt out of such coverage.

What if your employer truly does not carry workers’ compensation insurance? It is still required to cover all costs related to your injury. You should also notify the state’s Division of Workers’ Compensation, as such a failure mandates that your employer pay fines and penalties ranging between $10,000 and $100,000, and could potentially also result in jail time. Not to worry; your company cannot retaliate against you for reporting such a violation.