Ex
empt And Included Employees
Workers Compensation Benefits

In order to obtain benefits under a workers’ compensation statute, an applicant must be an employee. Under workers’ compensation statutes, certain non-employees are classified as employees. On the other hand, there are instances where an employee is excluded from workers’ compensation coverage. For example, a company may hire a security guard through a security company. Let’s assume that the security company does not have workers’ compensation insurance and the security guard is injured on the job. The courts have held that the company who hired the security company is liable for workers’ compensation coverage because security is the type of work traditionally handled by companies in-house. The security guard is an included employee.

Let’s consider another example. A company hires an independent contractor to perform certain work for which a license is needed. Let’s also assume the worker is not covered by workers’ compensation insurance. If this worker is injured on the job, even though he is not an employee, he is entitled to coverage for workers’ compensation benefits by the company. This is because Los Angeles’s workers’ compensation law presumes such an individual to be an employee under circumstances where he performs the service with the relevant license.

On the other hand, a maid who cleans a home for her master usually is not covered under workers’ compensation. The rationale offered in this particular instance is that the householder does not sell any product or service and therefore is not in a position to pass the cost of doing business to the consumer; the basic premise of the workers’ compensation system.

The links below discuss instances where a worker who is not an employee in the traditional sense may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, and instances where a covered employee is denied coverage, with a view toward extending coverage to all employees.