Is Workers’ Compensation An Employee Benefit?
Who can benefit from workers’ compensation benefits?
Does every employee at every workplace get the protection, or do employers consider it an addition to certain employees?
We explain who legally qualifies for workers’ compensation in California and what qualifies as a work-related injury.
Who Gets Workers’ Compensation
Both full-time and part-time employees qualify for workers’ compensation benefits as long as the employer has coverage.
Every employer must possess coverage for California employees, even if they only have one worker or conduct business in a different state.
If the employer does not have coverage, the employee will not receive benefits. They will need to use their insurance for medical care, and the employer will face legal consequences.
Employees cannot legally help cover the insurance premiums via deductions out of their paycheck or any other form of payment as the responsibility solely falls on the employer.
If employees opt for personal medical insurance, private insurance covers them if they get ill or sick outside of work. The employer’s workers’ compensation insurance will cover work-related injuries.
Who Qualifies As An Employee?
An employee refers to someone who receives a W2 tax form from an employer at the beginning of the year with the yearly income information. Employees can work full time, work part time, work at the office, or work at home.
However, more and more people work as part of the gig culture as independent contractors, such as rideshare drivers and freelance web designers.
Independent contractors work for themselves, so the person who hired them for the gig does have a responsibility to cover them in the case of an accident, despite the cause. Contractors must provide their own insurance for themselves. If they get injured on the job, they need to use their own insurance to cover the medical expenses.
In a similar sense, business owners don’t fall under the coverage since they work for themselves. Business owners are not included as a covered person under their workers’ compensation policy for their employees.
Volunteers, as much as charitable organizations appreciate their hard work, do not qualify for workers’ compensation insurance.
This includes someone who volunteers at the soup kitchen once a year, the court ordered volunteers and weekly volunteers at the local community center.
Volunteer policemen and volunteer firemen do receive coverage from the municipality they serve.
What Qualifies as a Work-Related Injury?
A work-related injury refers to an injury that developed as a result of a person’s employment with an organization.
Injuries that happen while outside of regular work hours or on special missions qualify. Injuries during an off-duty visit can also qualify.
Things not covered include injuries during an employee’s commute or injuries that occur as a result of gross negligence or intoxication on the part of the employee.
However, more people are staying home these days.
While working from home reduces the possibilities of work-related injuries, employees may still come down with carpal tunnel syndrome from typing and other generally mild temporary or permanent disabilities.
Related Link: Why You Need a Workers’ Compensation
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