As a worker in California, you might know your basic rights, such as receiving workers’ compensation benefits if you are injured on the job. However, do you know what happens if your employer doesn’t have this coverage?
Unfortunately, this is a scenario that is too common in the state. Workers who are injured on the job but who don’t have insurance may still be able to recover compensation. Keep reading to learn more.
Penalties for employers with no workers’ compensation insurance
If an employer does not have workers’ compensation coverage in California, it’s considered a criminal offense. It’s a misdemeanor crime that can be punished by imprisonment for up to a year in the county jail, fines of up to $10,000 or both. Also, the state may issue a penalty of up to $100,000 against employers who are uninsured but should be.
What are your rights in this situation?
If you suffer a work-related illness or injury and your employer doesn’t have workers’ compensation insurance, your employer may be required to pay all bills and costs related to your illness and injury.
The main legal remedy you have for injuries you suffer on the job is workers’ compensation injury. However, these are only available if your employer has the proper insurance coverage. If you are in a situation where your employer is uninsured, and you suffer a work-related illness or injury, it’s possible to file a civil lawsuit against them. This is in addition to filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Protecting your rights as an injured worker in California
Dealing with situations where your employer doesn’t have proper workers’ compensation coverage can be challenging. However, you have legal rights and options. Be sure to know yours so you can recover the compensation you are entitled to.