Workers’ comp insurance is designed to cover employees should they become injured or sickened while on the job. It protects employees from being responsible for covering medical expenses for accidents and injuries that occur while they are working. Workers’ comp also protects employers by ensuring that they cannot be sued for payment of medical expenses by their employees.
Workers’ Comp Insurance Basics
In California, the law is pretty clear about the responsibilities of the employer when it comes to providing workers’ comp insurance. Even those companies who have only one part-time employee are required to have such insurance.
The penalties for not providing workers’ comp insurance are fines up to $10,000, sentencing to the county jail for not more than one year or both. California can also levy additional penalties of up to $100,000 against uninsured employees. Employers are required to bear the full cost of this insurance.
Is Workers’ Comp Required if There are no Employees?
California does not require you to have workers’ comp insurance if you are self-employed. However, while it is not required, it does not mean that such insurance is not a wise investment – not only for your own health but also for the health of your company. Think about the consequences of an injury that causes you to be unable to work.
If you are the sole employee of your business and you become injured while performing your job duties, it could spell disaster for the long term viability of your business. Common injuries such as those incurred as the result of a car accident or during a slip-and-fall could result in you being unable to fulfill your job duties. Without workers’ comp insurance, you might find it difficult to keep your business afloat while you are recuperating. You could also find yourself struggling to pay your personal bills as well.