Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation
Information Bulletin

August 13, 1999 Christine Baker
(415) 703-4220

Commission Commission Approves Recommendations for Further Action on Illegally Uninsured Employers

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation approved recommendations for additional activities in support of its project to identify employers illegally uninsured for workers' compensation and bring them into compliance.

The Commission’s project on Illegally Uninsured Employers is continuing with a focus on the motor carrier industry.

The California Vehicle Code and the Public Utilities Code require certain specified motor carriers to annually report the number, classification, and compensation of all employees and owner-operator drivers. The agency is then supposed to transmit the information to the employer's insurance plan administrator. The responsibility for regulating motor carriers of property was transferred from the PUC to the Department of Motor Vehicles in 1966 and the DMV has been at somewhat of a loss as to how to comply.

The following recommendations, developed in conjunction with an advisory group from the workers’ compensation community, were approved by the Commission:

Recommend amendments to Labor Code to:

Require DLSE to establish a program for targeting industries with a high incidence of failure to secure the payment of compensation, to identify employers with payroll but no record of insurance coverage, to follow up with contacts and inspections, and to report annually to the Legislature on the effectiveness of the program.

Require the Labor Commissioner to include enforcement of the statute requiring employers to secure the payment of compensation as one of the priorities of the field enforcement.

Give further consideration to either substituting a useful reporting format, or repealing certain sections of the California Vehicle Code and the Public Utilities Code.

Study UEF and WCAB records to determine the exact reasons for so many uninsured employers of drivers and lumpers. When the nature of these employers and the reasons for their lack of insurance are determined, plan a pilot project to identify these employers and secure compliance with insurance requirements.

Determine ways in which the Department of the California Highway Patrol can assist in the identification of uninsured employers and study whether statutory or regulatory changes are necessary to facilitate this assistance.

Encourage cooperation between Division of Labor Standards Enforcement and the California Highway Patrol.

Because the carrier permits are evidence that the employer had insurance or was permissibly self-insured when the permit was issued, support the CHP efforts to require a copy of the permit in each vehicle.

Encourage dissemination of information concerning insurance fraud and willful noninsurance to trade associations and unions in the motor carrier industry.

Convene an advisory group of interested members of the workers' compensation community to assist in developing the pilot project, to review its results, and recommend any legislative, regulatory, or administrative action warranted by the results of the project.

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 may be obtained by writing to Christine Baker, Executive Officer, Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation, 455 Golden Gate Avenue, 10th Floor, San Francisco, California 94102, by calling (415) 703-4220, or by faxing a request to (415) 703-4234. Information is also available at