Am I covered by California Workers' Compensation? | Workplace Injury

California Workers' Compensation FAQ

Am I covered by California workers' compensation?

You will be covered by California workers’ compensation if you are an employee hired or regularly employed in California by an employer. Employers include state and local governments and agencies (but not federal) and all corporations and persons who have employees. There are some situations where out of state employees can file a claim for California workers’ compensation. If you are outside the state of California and think you may have a claim for California workers’ compensation benefits, consult with an attorney to find out if you can file a claim.

Are you an employee or an independent contractor?

You must be an employee to be eligible for workers’ compensation. Independent contractors are not covered. What is the difference? As with most areas of the law, it is not black and white. You are probably an employee if:

  • You are paid a regular salary or wage.
  • Your employer withholds taxes and pays part of your Social Security taxes.
  • Your employer provides you with benefits, such as medical insurance, paid vacations and holidays.
  • You work at your employer’s offices and your employer provides equipment and supplies.
  • You are required to work certain hours or days.
  • Your employer has control over the details of how you do your job.

Conversely, you are probably an independent contractor if:

  • You are paid by the project, rather than by the hours you work.
  • You pay your own Social Security and self-employment taxes.
  • You are not paid any benefits.
  • You provide your own equipment and supplies and work from your own office.
  • You don’t work for just one business, but offer your services to any companies that might need them.

It does not matter what your employer calls you. Even if your employer calls you an independent contractor, you may actually be an employee if your employer treats you like one.

Other workers not covered by California’s workers’ comp

In addition to independent contractors, the following categories of workers are not covered by California workers’ compensation:

  • Federal employees, seamen, and railroad employees.
  • Longshoremen, harbor workers, and employees on defense bases.
  • Some part-time workers, such as house cleaners and gardeners, who worked few hours or earned limited amounts in the 90 days before their injury.
  • Most volunteers.
  • Students, unless injured while participating in on-the-job training.
  • Most self-employed business owners, unless specifically listed under their business’s workers’ comp policy.


Pasadena Workers' Compensation Attorney

At Robert M. Harman & Associates, we care committed to protecting your rights and your future.  We have the knowledge and experience to help you obtain the most compensation possible.  We will work diligently and will keep you updated throughout the whole process.

Providing Workers' Compensation Services to the Greater Los Angeles Area since 2002



The information contained on this web site is of a general nature and is not intended as a substitute for legal advice. No attorney client relationship is created by your viewing of this site or contacting us via e~mail. This web site is intended only to solicit clients within the state of California.

WARNING: Making a false or fraudulent Workers’ Compensation claim is a Felony Subjecto to up to Five Years in Prison or a Fine up to $50,000.00 or Double the Value of the Fraud whichever is Greater, or by both Imprisonment and a Fine.