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Are the Self-Employed Exempt from Workers’ Compensation in California?

 Posted on January 20,2021 in Workers' Compensation

Hollister workers compensation attorney

Unlike in many other states, workers' compensation is mandatory for all employers in California. It does not matter if an employer has hundreds of employees or only one. It also does not matter if the injured employee was working full-time or part-time. Typically, self-employed individuals are not covered by the hiring entity’s workers’ compensation insurance. However, workers who have been misclassified as independent contractors may actually fall under the category of employee, which means that they would be entitled to coverage through workers’ compensation.

Individuals Who Are Not Covered by Workers Compensation in California

California has wider-reaching workers’ compensation coverage than many other states. However, there are still some individuals who are not covered by workers’ compensation, including:

  • Independent contractors

  • Most sole proprietors

  • Individuals who are compensated for work by housing or other aid

  • Certain individuals involved in amateur sports

  • Domestic workers who are relatives of their employer

  • Certain volunteers

  • Deputy sheriffs and deputy clerks

Misclassification of Independent Contractors

Carrying workers’ compensation insurance is expensive and many employers design their businesses to avoid workers’ compensation. One way for employers to do so is to hire independent contractors instead of employees. However, California has recently passed strict rules about when a worker may be classified as an independent contractor. According to Assembly Bill 5, a worker is an independent contractor if each of the following criteria is satisfied:

  • The hiring entity does not have control over how the worker performs his or her work

  • The worker performs work that is beyond the normal scope of the work performed by the hiring entity

  • The individual performing the work is customarily involved in independent work similar to the work performed for the hiring entity

Misclassification of employees as independent contractors is a common problem in California. If your employer has classified you as an independent contractor but you do not meet the criteria listed above, you may actually be an employee. You could potentially be entitled to workers’ compensation coverage and not even know it.

Contact a San Benito County Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Independent contractors and some other types of workers may not be entitled to workers’ compensation coverage. However, workers are often misclassified. If you were hurt on the job, speak with a workers’ compensation lawyer to discuss your rights. You could be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost income due to missed work, and more. Discuss your case with a skilled Hollister workers’ compensation attorney from Cramer & Martinez, LLP by calling 408-848-1113 today.



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