Employer Responsibilities to Provide Workers' Comp Insurance


After you have suffered an occupational injury or illness, the medical bills can quickly pile up. That is where workers’ compensation comes in. The workers’ comp process is designed to provide financial relief to employees who have suffered on-the-job injuries and illnesses. Are all employers required to provide workers’ comp coverage?

Workers’ Comp Requirements in California

In the state of California, employers with 1 or more employees must have workers’ compensation insurance. This is in accordance with the California Labor Code Section 3700. Directors of corporations and executive officers must also be covered by workers’ compensation insurance. However, if they fully own the corporation, they may opt out of workers’ comp benefits.

Employers may purchase workers’ compensation insurance coverage from a licensed insurance company. They also have the option of purchasing workers’ compensation insurance through the State Compensation Insurance Fund. Employees must not be required to pay for workers’ compensation coverage, as the insurance is part of the cost of business.

Penalties for Failing to Comply with Workers’ Comp Requirements

Failing to purchase workers’ compensation insurance for employees is a criminal offense. Under the California Labor Code, employers who fail to provide workers’ compensation benefits could be charged with a misdemeanor.

Penalties for being illegally uninsured include:

  • Fines of up to $10,000
  • Imprisonment in the county jail for up to 1 year
  • Additional penalties of up to $100,000 by the state

If an employee is injured on the job, and the employer does not have workers' comp insurance, the employer will be responsible to pay for all medical bills and other costs related to the injury or illness. Furthermore, the employer may be held liable in a civil lawsuit. With the penalties so severe, it is important for all employers to purchase workers’ compensation insurance coverage for their employees.

The Law Offices of Wax & Wax provides aggressive representation to injured workers. Contact our Glendale attorneys today to discuss your options for filing a workers' comp claim in California.

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