1415 - Workers' Compensation
Benefits and Insurance
- Health and Safety Officers
- Personnel Officers
- Personnel Transactions Supervisors
- Return-to-Work Coordinators
This policy statement will provide direction for departments for:
- Basic responsibilities regarding workers’ compensation notices
- Volunteer coverage
The workers' compensation system provides benefits to employees for work-related injuries or illnesses. These benefits may include medical treatment, payments for lost wages, payments that compensate the injured employee for having a permanent impairment or limitation, vouchers to pay for retraining, and death benefits.
All state employees are covered by workers' compensation. The cost of this protection is paid by the State of California, the employer. Workers’ compensation benefits are tax free and are not subject to Social Security deductions.
The California Department of Human Resources’ (CalHR) Workers’ Compensation Program manages the State’s Master Agreement with State Compensation Insurance Fund (State Fund) to provide workers' compensation claims processing and legal representation for all the participating departments. The Master Agreement is an Interagency Agreement. Not all State of California agencies, departments, boards, and commissions are participants in the Master Agreement. Some have opted to purchase an insurance policy from State Fund to cover the risks inherent to the workers’ compensation system.
Before Any Injury or Illness
Every employer shall post and keep posted in a conspicuous location frequented by employees a Notice to Employees. It shall be posted in both English and Spanish where there are Spanish speaking employees.
At Time of Hire
Employers shall provide to every new employee at the time of hire or by the end of the first pay period, written notice concerning the rights, benefits, and obligations under workers’ compensation law. This notice shall also contain a form that the employee can use to pre-designate their personal physician or medical group to treat them in case of a work related injury or illness.
When Notified of a Potential Injury or Illness
Employers shall provide a claim form and notice of potential eligibility to their employee within one working day of notice or knowledge that the employee has suffered a work related injury or illness. Employers shall also provide a complete written guide to the Medical Provider Network (MPN).
Public employers may choose to extend workers' compensation coverage to volunteers that perform services for the organization. Workers’ compensation coverage is not mandatory for volunteers as it is for employees. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, and with few exceptions, the exclusive remedy for injuries and illnesses suffered while working. If your volunteers are covered, they will be entitled to the same benefits as any of your paid staff. Workers’ compensation benefits are finite and limited to medical, disability, and retraining costs associated with a specific impairment. If your volunteers are excluded from workers’ compensation coverage, they can seek remedy in the civil court system. The court may award compensation for pain and suffering plus other damages. While the volunteer must prove fault, the civil awards are often much higher than the corresponding workers’ compensation benefits. If your department has volunteers, please notify State Fund of your determination whether or not to extend workers’ compensation coverage to your volunteers. If your department has previously notified State Fund of your determination, you only need to update your notification if there is a change to your volunteer program. If your department has a governing board, they need to adopt a resolution to extend workers’ compensation coverage to volunteers. Documentation concerning the resolution should be included when notifying State Fund.
This is specific to the legally uninsured state departments participating in the Master Agreement. Departments with an insurance policy for workers’ compensation coverage should contact their State Compensation Insurance Fund (State Fund) office to discuss the status of volunteers.
This sample letter can be used to notify State Fund of your determination regarding your volunteers. The letter must be signed by the agency director or equivalent.
The letter should be mailed to:
State Contract Services – Sacramento
ATTN: Program Manager
State Compensation Insurance Fund
2275 Gateway Oaks Drive
Sacramento, CA 95833
RE: Volunteer Coverage (DEPARTMENT) (3 DIGIT AGENCY CODE NUMBER)
Dear Program Manager,
Volunteers at (DEPARTMENT NAME) (ARE/ARE NOT) deemed to be employees of the (AGENCY, BOARD, DEPARTMENT, or COMMISSION) for workers’ compensation purposes. (DEPARTMENT NAME) currently has approximately (NUMBER) volunteers under its supervision.
(TITLE and CONTACT INFORMATION)
cc: Department of Human Resources Benefits Division, Workers’ Compensation Program 1515 S Street, North Building, Suite 500 Sacramento, CA 95811
- California Code of Regulations, title 8, section 9767.12
- California Code of Regulations, title 8, section 9880
- California Code of Regulations, title 8, section 9881
- Labor Code section 3363.5
- Labor Code section 3550
- Labor Code section 4600
- Labor Code section 4616
- Labor Code section 4616.3
- Workers Compensation: Frequently Asked Questions
- State Fund DWC 7: Notice to Employees
- State Fund E13546: Guide to Workers’ Compensation for New State of California Employees
- State Fund E13547: Guide to Workers' Compensation for State of California Employees
- State Fund E13761: New Disaster Service Workers' Guide to Workers' Compensation
- State Fund E3067s: Employer’s First Report of Occupational Injury or Illness Form
- State Fund E3301: Employee’s Claim for Workers’ Compensation Benefits (English/Spanish)
- State Fund E3851: Employee’s Guide to the State Fund MPN by Harbor Health
- State Fund New Claim FAX Coversheet: State Fund New Claim FAX Coversheet
- State Fund SCIF3580: Inmate Employees' Report
- PML 2015-009: PML 2015-009 - 3/4/2015 - Workers’ Compensation Coverage for Volunteers
- PML 2015-010: PML 2015-010 - 3/17/2015 - Workers’ Compensation – Employer Responsibilities
- 1412: Industrial Disability Leave
- 1414: Temporary Disability
- 1416: Workers' Compensation Administrative Time Off
- 1417: Workers' Compensation Liability Between Departments
- State Fund Forms: State Compensation Insurance Fund Forms
- State Fund Website: State Compensation Insurance Fund Website
Workers' Compensation Program
Program Managers, Workers' Compensation
Chief (Acting), Benefits Division