On September 28, 2022, the State of California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) announced citations against home health care placement agencies for misclassifying workers. Altogether, the employers will be required to pay more than $1.8 million in financial penalties. More than five dozen workers were affected by the misclassification. The improper classification of employees is a major issue in workers’ compensation compliance. Here, our Bakersfield workers’ compensation defense attorney discusses the sanctions imposed against the California companies.
Employee Misclassification: Two Long Beach Companies Will Pay More than $1.8 Million
California regulators have cited two related home health care placements companies—Angel Connection Nursing Care and Angel Connection Nursing Services—for failure to properly classify workers as employees. The Long Beach-based home health care agencies reportedly misclassified more than five dozen workers as independent contractors instead of as employees. As a consequence, the workers in question were denied:
- Minimum wage protections;
- Overtime pay protection; and
- Workers’ compensation insurance coverage.
In total, the two Long Beach, CA, home health care placement agencies will pay more than $1.8 million in financial penalties—with most of that amount going directly to the individuals who were affected by the misclassification. In announcing the enforcement of action, California Labor Commissioner Lilia García-Brower emphasized that state regulators will continue to crack down on employee misclassification.
Know the Importance of Properly Classifying Workers (Workers’ Compensation (Insurance))
There are a number of different reasons why it is imperative that employers in California properly classify their workers. An employer that fails to classify workers correctly could face serious financial penalties and, in some cases, even criminal charges. Workers’ compensation insurance is one of the key reasons why it is so important for employers to ensure that their entire staff is properly classified. All employees in California are entitled to no-fault workers’ compensation insurance coverage. Independent contractors do not get workers’ compensation.
When an employer improperly classifies an employee as an independent contractor, it means that they are operating as an uninsured employer—at least for the purposes of the misclassified employee. Beyond the other financial sanctions that could be for wage and hour violations, the employer can also face penalties for operating as an uninsured employer. If the misclassified employee is injured on the job, they can file a personal injury lawsuit against their employer. Additionally, the employer may be fined up to $10,000.00 per uninsured employee and required to pay double workers’ compensation premiums for up to three calendar years.
Call Our Bakersfield, CA Workers’ Compensation Defense Lawyer Today
At Yrulegui & Roberts, our Bakersfield workers’ compensation defense attorney has the professional expertise that you can trust. If you have any specific questions or concerns about the misclassification of workers, we can help. Give us a call now or contact us online to set up a confidential, no-obligation appointment with a lawyer. From our offices in Bakersfield, Sacramento, and Fresno, we provide workers’ compensation defense services throughout the region.