|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||CONTACT:|
|May 7, 1997||Christine Baker|
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
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.