Summary: FACTS ABOUT WORKERS' COMPENSATION
The Way It Was
In the early 20th century, a worker injured on the job had to sue his employer to recover medical expenses and
Lawsuits took months and sometimes years. Juries had to decide who was at fault and how much, if anything, would be paid. In
most instances, the worker got nothing. It was costly, time consuming, and often unfair.
The Way It Is
Today, the California workers' compensation law provides a faster, fairer way to take care of injured workers... where fault doesn't
have to be proved to recover medical expenses and lost wages.
This job-injury insurance is paid for by your employer and supervised by the state. If you can't work due to a job-related injury or
illness, workers' compensation pays your medical bills and provides money to help replace lost wages until you can return to work.
Almost every employee in California is protected by workers' compensation, but there are a few exceptions. People in business for
themselves and unpaid volunteers may not be covered. Maritime workers and federal employees are covered by similar laws. If you
have a question about coverage, ask your employer.
Any injury or illness is covered if it's due to your job. It can be caused by one event like a fall, or repeated exposures, such as
repetitive motion over time. Everything from first-aid type injuries to serious accidents is covered. Workers' compensation even
covers injuries including physical or psychiatric injuries resulting from a workplace crime. (Some injuries from voluntary, off-duty
recreational, social or athletic activity for example, the company bowling team may not be covered. Check with your supervisor