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Uninsured employers and workers' compensation in California

California employers face many types of challenges regarding employer/employee relations in the workplace. When a worker is injured, the situation may be complicated. However, if an employer has purchased required workers' compensation insurance, there shouldn't be much of a problem so long as the appropriate reports and claims are filed. Uninsured employers, however, may face significant problems that are best addressed alongside experienced guidance.

Workers' compensation provides benefits that can help injured workers pay for medical treatment and replace lost wages regarding missed time from work while recuperating. Some employers fail to obtain insurance and find themselves facing precarious circumstances when employees seek to file injured worker claims. In such situations, uninsured employers are typically held personally responsible for paying all expenses related to the incident.

Operating a business without proper coverage is a misdemeanor crime in California. An employer who does not have proper insurance may also face time in prison as well as substantial monetary fines. It is also possible that an employer who has not secured proper insurance may be penalized as much as $10,000 per employee.

Given the serious potential consequences uninsured employers may face, it is typically advisable to seek immediate assistance from an experienced business lawyer in these circumstances. An attorney would be able to review individual circumstances and determine whether there are options available toward a positive outcome. An attorney can also guide someone through the process of obtaining necessary workers' compensation insurance as an employer doing business in the state of California.

Source:, "DWC FAQs for employers", Accessed on Aug. 10, 2016

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