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Does California workers’ compensation cover part-timers?

California requires employers to hold workers’ compensation insurance. It requires them to cover their employees, regardless of the hours they work for the company. So, if you work part-time, you should be covered.

Yet what if you work for more than one job? What then?

Workers’ compensation is particular to the company itself. So if injured while working for employer A, you claim against employer A’s insurance. If injured while working for employer B, you claim under their insurance.

What if my employer tries to say my injury or illness occurred at the other place of work?

Employers or their insurers sometimes contest claims by saying a worker’s injuries or illnesses occurred elsewhere. It is easier for them to do so when there was no singular event to which you can attribute the harm.

  • Example 1: You are working in a warehouse for employer A when a forklift reverses into you and squashes you against the shelf, breaking your legs. It is clear you need to claim against employer A.
  • Example 2: You work at a computer for employer A three days a week and at a computer in the office of employer B two days a week. You start to feel wrist pain, and a doctor diagnoses a repetitive strain injury. Things are not so clear here.

Multiple part-time jobs can make workers’ compensation cases far more complex. Aside from working out where to claim, you also need to know if the payout will cover you being unable to do the other job. Or if your other role requires different physical capabilities if you are still allowed to work it even though your injury prevents you from doing the first job. Do not risk trying to work it out alone. Get help to give yourself the best chance of getting the benefits you need.