Did You Lose Your Employees Due To The Pandemic – Do You Still Need Workers’ Comp Insurance?

July 16, 2020
Sacks & Zolonz, LLP
Workers' Compensation Defense

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically affected the way of life for those inside California and throughout the United States. Unfortunately, the effects of this pandemic will last for the foreseeable future. This unprecedented health crisis has significantly affected businesses in this state. Many small businesses have had to shut down, while others have significantly reduced their staff. Some employers may be wondering whether or not they still need to pay for workers’ compensation after a reduction in their workforce. Here, the Los Angeles workers compensation defense attorneys at Sacks & Zolonz, LLP want to discuss this issue with you. 

What Is The Situation For Your Business?

The COVID-19 health crisis quickly became an economic crisis that we have yet to rise out of. As of this writing, the unemployment rate in California is around 16.3%, much higher than the rate during the Great Recession. Unfortunately, with bars and indoor restaurant seating closing back down, the unemployment rate in CA may rise once again. 

If you are an employer, you may have had to lay off some, or all, of your workforce. There are many small businesses that are operating solely with one employee (the owner) and maybe a family member. While this is not ideal, it is better than simply closing up shop, and we wish all business owners well during this trying period. 

First, a quick review of workers’ compensation requirements in CA:

  • All business owners must carry workers’ comp insurance for employees who regularly work.
  • Sole proprietors are not usually required to carry workers’ comp insurance unless they are a roofer. 
  • Part-time workers must also be covered by workers’ comp insurance. 

Back to the question about whether or not you must continue to carry workers’ compensation after laying off your workforce – if you do not have any employees, you generally do not have to pay workers’ compensation insurance premiums (again, unless you are a roofer). 

We understand that this is a time of flux for many business owners and that you may be sporadically using your employees as demand peaks. If you have someone work for you, they will need to be covered by workers’ comp insurance. If you do not have proper coverage for your workers, you could face significant penalties from the state, including major fines and even a misdemeanor charge that carries jail time. 

Contact Us For Assistance As Soon As Possible

If you have any questions about your business workers’ compensation needs or are facing allegations for not providing proper insurance for your employees, contact the team at Sacks & Zolonz, LLP today. We pledge to conduct a full investigation into your case and defend you against these charges. We have a thorough understanding of all California workers’ compensation laws, so let us get to work on your behalf immediately. You can contact us for a consultation of your case by clicking here or calling 310-216-7778.

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