Commision on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation


Information Bulletin

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASECONTACT:
May 7, 1997Christine Baker
(415) 557-1304


Commission Recommends Measures to Identify and Bring Illegally Uninsured Employers Into Compliance


SAN FRANCISCO -- The California Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation voted unanimously at its April 1997 meeting to support recommended actions to identify employers that are illegally uninsured for workers' compensation and bring them into compliance.

Employers that are not covered for workers' compensation impose a burden on injured workers, on employers who comply with the workers' compensation insurance requirements, and on the state's taxpayers. To address these problems, the Commission, with the assistance of the University of California, convened an Advisory Committee consisting of representatives from employers, employees, insurance, self-insured employers, attorneys, the Employment Development Department, county governments, the Department of Industrial Relations, and the Department of Insurance.

Based on the findings from the meetings of the Advisory Committee, the Commission has published an Issue Paper discussing various methods for dealing with uninsured employers, including increased notification of the requirement to secure workers' compensation coverage, the identification of non-complying employers, and increased enforcement.

Three pilot projects were suggested to identify employers who are out of compliance with the workers' compensation coverage requirement. The Commission, the Department of Industrial Relations, the Employment Development Department, and the Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau are all working together on implementation of the pilot projects.

The first pilot project will identify employers who have been experience-rated but have no current coverage on record with the Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau.

A second pilot project will target employers in industries with high rates of noncompliance and high cost to the state's Uninsured Employers Fund, which pays workers' compensation benefits to injured workers of illegally uninsured employers.

A third pilot project will test methods of improving new employer's knowledge of the requirement for compensation coverage and identifying new employers who willfully avoid compliance.

The Commission, created by the workers' compensation reform legislation of 1993, is charged with overseeing the health and safety and workers' compensation systems in California and recommending administrative or legislative modifications to improve their operation. The Commission was established to conduct a continuing examination of the workers' compensation system and of the state's activities to prevent industrial injuries and occupational diseases and to examine those programs in other states.

Further information about the Commission and its activities can be obtained by writing to Christine Baker, Executive Officer, Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation, 30 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 2122, San Francisco, CA 94102, by calling (415) 557-1304, or by faxing a request to (415) 557-1385. Information is also available through the Internet by accessing the Department of Industrial Relations' home page at www.dir.ca.gov.

####