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How Age, Job Classification, and Documentation Affect Workers’ Compensation Eligibility

 Posted on June 28,2023 in Uncategorized

b2ap3_thumbnail_Untitled-5.jpgCalifornia has some of the strongest workers’ rights laws in the country. Therefore, it should not necessarily be surprising that the state broadly protects the rights of most employees – whether part-time or full-time – to pursue workers’ compensation benefits in the event that they are hurt or become ill while engaged in work-related activities. Yet, due to a variety of factors, including employers that would rather not make these protections widely known or understood, many workers are unaware of this particular legal protection. Some are even led to believe that they are ineligible for benefits due to their age, immigration status, or another fundamental aspect of their identity as a worker.

Eligibility for California Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Because California seeks to protect as many workers as possible, there are no workers’ comp coverage exemptions for small businesses, as there are in many other states. In California, unless a business is part of a handful of specialty industries – including many maritime and railroad operations – it is required to carry workers’ compensation coverage, even if the business only employs one individual. Each employee, regardless of their age, status as a temporary, seasonal, part-time, or full-time worker, and regardless of whether they are documented or undocumented, is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

The only California workers operating in non-specialty industries who are generally not covered by workers’ compensation insurance are independent contractors. Yet, even this distinction can get fuzzy. Sometimes, employers unintentionally misclassify workers as independent contractors, when they are lawfully entitled to status as employees. Other employers intentionally make this “mistake” in an effort to avoid paying for an employee’s benefits. As a result, if you are an independent contractor and you get hurt on the job, you may still be entitled to benefits if you have been misclassified.

Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with a Gilroy Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today to Learn More 

It is not always easy to understand how the ins and outs of state and federal law apply to any individual’s unique circumstances. As a result, the reputable team of Santa Clara County, CA workers’ compensation lawyers at Cramer + Martinez is proud to offer risk-free legal consultations at no cost. We welcome the opportunity to answer questions from any injured worker who is interested in learning more about their rights and options under the law. After all, there is little point in passing workers’ rights laws if workers are kept in the dark concerning their rights and how to exercise them effectively.

To get started, you can either submit a contact form on our website or call our offices directly at 408-848-1113. It can take great courage to stand up for yourself. Just know that with our team by your side, you will not have to stand up alone. We look forward to hearing from you.  


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