Legislation supported by the California Chamber of Commerce to assist victims of the underground economy was signed by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. on July 21, 2014.
AB 1746 (Alejo; D-Salinas) expedites hearings for injured employees of employers that are illegally operating without workers’ compensation insurance.
The expedited hearings with the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) will help to quickly resolve issues and ensure the injured employees receive access to appropriate benefits and care.
Unrepresented injured workers who work for illegally uninsured employers do not enjoy the same access to medical care and wage-replacing indemnity benefits when they are injured on the job.
In contrast, for employees of an appropriately insured employer, these benefits are easily accessible and promptly provided. Claims administrators are audited and penalized for any failure to meet their obligations.
Unrepresented injured workers with an illegally uninsured employer, however, are left to struggle through the consequences of a workplace injury without the safety net that is provided by responsible employers. These workers are left to fend for themselves until the WCAB determines that they are eligible to receive benefits from the Uninsured Employers Benefit Trust Fund.
AB 1746 will ensure the WCAB determines eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits in a timely manner.
AB 1746 also offers the additional benefit of identifying illegally uninsured employers faster so that enforcement agencies will be able to more quickly and effectively take actions against employers that are failing to meet their requirements under the law.
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