1415 - Workers' Compensation


Benefits and Insurance

Audience List

  • 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’ Workers’ Compensation Program manages the State of California’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 employee’s 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 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



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.




cc: Department of Human Resources Benefits Division, Workers’ Compensation Program 1515 S Street, North Building, Suite 500 Sacramento, CA 95811





Related Policies

  • 1412: Industrial Disability Leave
  • 1414: Temporary Disability
  • 1416: Workers' Compensation Administrative Time Off
  • 1417: Workers' Compensation Liability Between Departments

Web Pages

Authorized By

Benefits Division
Benefits Division Inquiries, Benefits Division

Contact Person

Workers' Compensation Program
Phone: 916-322-0300
Email: WorkComp@calhr.ca.gov

Superseded Policies

Not Applicable.


View History

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Table of Contents

1000 - Equal Employment Opportunity

1100 - Selection

1200 - Appointments

1300 - Exempt Employees

1400 - Benefits and Insurance

1500 - Work Schedules

1600 - Third Party Pre-Tax Parking

1700 - Compensation

1800 - Savings Plus

1900 - Bona Fide Associations

2000 - Collective Bargaining

2100 - Leave

2200 - Travel/Relocation

2300 - State Owned Housing

2400 - Employee Recognition

2600 - Layoffs

2700 - Retirement

2800 - Training

2900 - Workforce Planning

3000 - Examination and Hiring

3100 - Drug-Free Workplace

3200 - Medical Screening

3300 - Apprenticeships

3400 - Temporary Assignment

3500 - Classification Plan