Almost all California employees are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Employers cannot pick and choose which employees to cover. Nor can employees be asked to give up their right to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
As a general rule, independent contractors are not covered by workers’ compensation. However, some employers misclassify their employees as independent contractors. A workers’ compensation lawyer can clarify this issue in case of doubt.
A worker who only works for one business, who is subject to close supervision by that business, and who is told when and how to perform the work might meet the legal definition of an employee and be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, even if the business treats the worker as an independent contractor.
A worker who has been classified as an independent contractor and who experiences an on-the-job injury should seek legal advice if the worker wonders whether he or she should have been classified as an employee.