How to Find Out if Your Employer Has Coverage
California law requires nearly every business that has at least one employee to maintain appropriate workers’ compensation coverage. However, this does not mean that every business owner is compliant. Sometimes an employee injured on the job files a claim only to find that his or her employer does not have workers’ compensation coverage. Fortunately, workers in California do have recourse, not only to ensure their employers have coverage — but also to receive compensation if they do not.
While the Division of Workers’ Compensation does not maintain a database of information regarding specific employers and their insurance carriers, employees can inquire about their employers’ coverage in two ways:
- Employees can make online inquiries about the companies that underwrote workers’ compensation policies for specific employers through the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau.
- The Office of Self Insurance Plans (OSIP) within the Department of Industrial Relations keeps a roster of the self-insured employers throughout the state. However, this usually applies only to larger employers.
Employees who are injured on the job while working for an uninsured employer have the option of pursuing a civil lawsuit for personal injury compensation. Unfortunately, because many companies that operate without insurance are also undercapitalized, this may often not be an effective option. That is why employees in this position may also claim benefits from California’s Uninsured Employers’ Benefit Trust Fund (UEBTF).
If you are injured on the job and your employer refuses to process your workers’ compensation claim, you need to contact an Orange County workers’ compensation attorney immediately. Every employee has the right to file a claim and to receive a determination on that claim through the administrative process created by law.