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2024 Who Can Be Excluded from Workers’ Compensation in California?

Workers’ compensation is a vital aspect of the American labor system. It provides financial support and medical care for employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. While the majority of workers in California are entitled to these benefits, certain categories of employees may not be eligible. By having a strong appreciation for the nuances of workers’ compensation exclusions, employers and employees can better prepare for potential issues.

Independent Contractors

In California, independent contractors are generally not eligible for workers’ compensation coverage. These individuals are considered to be self-employed, and they typically negotiate their terms and conditions of employment. Independent contractors assume responsibility for their own insurance and tax liabilities. However, determining whether an individual is truly an independent contractor or an employee can be a complex process. In some cases, employers may misclassify employees as independent contractors to avoid workers’ compensation obligations. Workers must understand their rights and ensure they are classified correctly. That way, they can avoid losing out on essential benefits.


Volunteers, by definition, do not receive financial compensation for their work. As a result, they are generally not covered under workers’ compensation laws in California. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. Certain nonprofit organizations may choose to provide workers’ compensation coverage for their volunteers, even though it is not legally mandated. In addition, some volunteers, such as volunteer firefighters, may be eligible for coverage under specific state provisions.

Sole Proprietors and Partners

Sole proprietors and partners of a business are not automatically covered by workers’ compensation insurance in California. As the business owners, they are responsible for securing their own insurance coverage. However, they may opt to purchase workers’ compensation insurance to protect themselves in case of work-related injuries or illnesses. This can be particularly important for individuals working in industries with a high risk of accidents or injuries.

Family Members

In some cases, family members employed by a family-owned business may be excluded from workers’ compensation coverage. However, this exclusion is not automatic and varies depending on the type of business entity and the family members’ roles within the company. For instance, a corporation may be required to provide coverage for all employees, regardless of their familial relationship. However, a sole proprietor may have the option to exclude immediate family members from coverage.

Domestic Workers

Domestic workers, such as housekeepers, nannies, and caregivers, may be excluded from workers’ compensation coverage under certain circumstances. In California, an employer is not required to provide coverage for domestic workers who work less than 52 hours within a 90-day period. However, if the domestic worker exceeds these thresholds, the employer must provide workers’ compensation coverage.

Agricultural Workers

Agricultural workers in California may face exclusions from workers’ compensation. Their qualifications will depend on the size of the farm and the number of employees. Farms with fewer than five employees working in a calendar year are not required to provide workers’ compensation coverage. However, once these thresholds are met, employers must provide coverage for all eligible workers.

FAQs About California Workers’ Compensation Exclusion Law

What Is California Workers’ Compensation for 2024?

California workers’ compensation is a state-mandated insurance program. It is designed to provide medical care, wage replacement, and other benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. The program ensures that injured workers receive the necessary support during their recovery. It also protects employers from potential claims. Workers’ compensation benefits in California may include:

  • Payment for medical expenses
  • Temporary or permanent disability benefits
  • Vocational rehabilitation services

The specific benefits and amounts in 2024 depend on the severity of the injury and the employee’s ability to return to work.

Does a Single-Member LLC Need Workers’ Compensation Insurance in California?

In California, a single-member LLC may not be required to carry workers’ compensation insurance if the sole owner is the only person working for the company. However, once the LLC hires employees, it is obligated to provide workers’ compensation coverage for them. It is important for single-member LLC owners to understand their responsibilities. They must also ensure that they follow state regulations. Furthermore, an LLC owner may choose to purchase workers’ compensation coverage for themselves voluntarily. They may be particularly inclined to do so if they work in an industry with a higher risk of injury.

What Is the Going and Coming Rule in California Workers’ Compensation?

California workers’ compensation has a going and coming rule. It operates on the principle that employees are not covered for injuries sustained while traveling to and from work. This rule is based on the idea that the employee’s commute is not considered part of their job duties. Therefore, any injuries that occur during this time are not deemed work-related. However, there are exceptions, such as:

  • The employee is performing a work-related task during their commute.
  • The employer provides transportation.
  • Travel is a significant part of the employee’s job responsibilities.

Can an Injured Worker in California Choose Their Own Doctor if the Insurance Company Misses the Deadline to Assign One?

In California, the insurance company has the right to select the treating physician for workers’ compensation claims. They must assign a doctor within five working days after the employee makes the request. However, they have ten days if the request is made by mail. If the insurance company fails to meet this deadline, the injured worker gains the right to choose their own doctor for treatment. Employees must understand this aspect of the workers’ compensation process. This can have a significant impact on their medical care and recovery following a work-related injury or illness.

Contact Canlas Law Group Today

At Canlas Law Group, our attorneys can help injured employees throughout California understand their rights. We can ensure they receive the full benefits of workers’ compensation. We are dedicated to protecting the rights of injured workers and fighting to ensure they receive the coverage they deserve. To learn more about our services or to schedule a consultation, contact us today. We are always eagerly standing by with the full resources of our office to help our clients achieve their legal goals.

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