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What should I know about workers’ comp in CA?

For California workers, being hurt on the job can be a devastating experience. Loss of income can quickly lead to financial instability, which is why most employers are obligated to carry workers’ compensation insurance to protect their employees in the event of a workplace injury. Knowing the ins and outs of workers’ compensation law is crucial to this end, so that you can be sure that your employer is abiding by all pertinent rules and regulations.

According to the State of California Department of Industrial Relations, all businesses with one or more employee must provide workers’ compensation coverage. Additionally, employers are obligated to post signage listing workers’ rights in terms of compensation if injured. If proper signage is not posted, employers run the risk of incurring a fine of $7,000. Employers are also mandated to provide new hires with a pamphlet explaining their rights and benefits.

For some injured workers, a doctor may approve a return to work under certain conditions. These work restrictions as they are known often limit what kind of tasks an employee can and cannot do. In the event that a workplace has no tasks suited to an injured worker with restrictions, then that worker will not be able to return to work until which time he or she is cleared by a doctor.

Employers without appropriate workers’ compensation coverage will face serious legal reprisal. For instance, state fines for lack of coverage can cost as much as $100,000. Employers can also face an additional $10,000 fine and the possibility of up to one year in prison. Employers will also be tasked with paying for the injured workers medical care, and workers can file suit against the employer for lack of coverage (civil suits are not possible for work injury cases where an employer has appropriate coverage). 

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