Almost all employers across the United States are legally required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Unfortunately, not every employer who is required to be insured follows the law, and may not have workers’ compensation insurance. When one of these uninsured employers has an employee approach them about a work injury, they have no coverage to offer them.
If you were hurt at work and recently learned that your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance, you may be wondering where you can turn. There are other options for injured workers who cannot rely on their employer to provide workers’ compensation benefits.
Is Your Employer Required to Carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
Although most employers need to have workers’ compensation insurance, every employer does not need to be insured. There are some exceptions to workers’ compensation law, and those exceptions vary by state.
In California, the following positions do not need to be covered by workers’ compensation insurance:
- Domestic workers employed by their immediate family members
- Amateur sports officials
- Deputy sheriffs and clerks
- Volunteer positions and employees who work for non-wage benefits such as food, shelter, etc.
Employees who do not fit into these categories should be covered by workers’ compensation insurance.
My Employer is Illegally Uninsured. What Are My Options?
If your employer is legally required to carry workers’ compensation insurance and they are not, they are breaking the law. The California Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) accounts for these situations with programs that provide benefits to the employees of uninsured companies.
The Uninsured Employers’ Benefits Trust Fund (UEBTF) provides benefits to workers who are not covered by employer insurance. To file a claim with the UEBTF, you will need to retrieve forms from the DWC and follow the necessary processes. You can also report your employer’s violations to the DWC. The penalties for failing to obtain workers’ compensation insurance may include jail time and fines. In addition to UEBTF claims, injured employees may be able to file a lawsuit against their employer.
Recovering workers’ compensation benefits when your employer is illegally uninsured can be complex — the Law Offices of Wax & Wax can help. Our firm’s goal is to recover just compensation for the victims of work injuries.
To schedule a free consultation with our attorneys, complete our contact form or call (818) 946-0608.