If employees in California suffer from an injury or illness as a result of their employment, their employers are legally obligated to pay for the employees' workers' compensation benefits, notes CA.gov. Applicable injuries and illnesses may be the result of an isolated incident, such as a car accident or chemical burn, or repeated exposure to harmful activities that result in injuries such as wrist strain or hearing problems. In order to start the process of claiming workers' compensation, employers are legally bound to issue employees with the DWC 1 claim form to fill out as of 2015.
Employees are entitled to a maximum of $10,000 to cover medical treatment costs as of 2015, states CA.gov. If wages are lost while recovering from a work-related injury or illness, employees are also entitled to temporary disability benefits or permanent disability benefits if there is no complete recovery. For those who do not recover completely, supplemental job displacement benefits are also available in the form of vouchers to assist in the cost of retraining for alternative employment.
If an employee is killed as the result of the employment, employers are required to pay workers' compensation to the surviving spouse and dependents.
It is important to note that independent contractors, meaning those who control the manner of their own work, are not protected by workers' compensation laws in California.