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Who Is NOT Covered by Workers Compensation Insurance?

If you are injured or ill on the job, Workers Comp insurance covers medical expenses and a portion of lost wages. Even though the State of California requires employers to carry Workers’ Compensation coverage, not every worker is covered. Here are some examples of those not covered by Workers Comp.

Business Owners and Volunteers

Business owners, from sole proprietors to partners are not covered by their company’s workers’ compensation insurance. Some business owners may elect to receive WP if they pay the premium. As for volunteers, they are not generally considered employees, so they are not eligible for WP. There are some exceptions like- volunteer police officers and firefighters who are requested by a firefighter or police officer to assist in an emergency.

Federal Employees, Railroad and Dock Workers

Federal employees, (postal workers, railroad employees, and dock workers are covered by the (FECA) Federal Employees Compensation Act. This act covers occupational diseases and industrial injuries

Railroad workers are covered by the Federal Employers Liability Act, which allows them to sue even if they are not covered by their state’s workers comp for their industrial accidents. The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act governs dock workers’ compensation for  occupational diseases or injuries that occur on US waters and piers.

Independent Contractors

Only an employee is covered by workers compensation, not an independent contractor. Independent contractors usually receive payment per job versus employees who receive wages on an hourly or salaried basis. This distinction matters a great deal when a worker is injured on the job. It is not uncommon for some employers to try to say an injured worker is an independent contractor so they do not have to pay for their workers comp benefits.

 Other Exceptions to Workers’ Compensation Coverage in California

  • Residential part-time gardeners or maintenance workers
  • Part-time housekeepers and nannies
  • Taxi drivers
  • Some agricultural workers


Let the professionals at KJT LAW GROUP help. If you have any questions regarding Workers Comp in California, we specialize in protecting workers when ill or injured on the job. Because we understand the complexities associated with Workers Comp, we can improve the chances of you receiving your rightful compensation. Call us at (818) 507-8525 or contact us for a free consultation. We will go over all the facts of your case and recommend the best ways to move forward.

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