Uninsured Employers Representation and Defense of Serious & Willful Misconduct & Labor Code Section 132(a) Claims

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Avoid costly lawsuits, criminal fines, and myriad of workers’ compensation penalties.

Contact Joseph Igoa


California law requires that all employers secure workers’ compensation insurance coverage for employees injured on the job. This is different from liability insurance which only protects from premises injuries involving non-employees. Employers who do not have effective workers’ compensation insurance coverage for employees run the risk of being deemed an illegally uninsured employer. They may be subject to criminal fines, civil lawsuits, as well a myriad of workers’ compensation penalties, procedures and benefits as determined by the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, including costly medical treatment as well as temporary and permanent disability compensation. Employers who run afoul of the law may also be subject to liens on their properties, as well as business closures as ordered by the state.

The uninsured employer facing such a claim must be able to identify all defenses and minimize all consequences that may arise, not the least of which is whether there is coverage, employment, or injury as alleged, and how to navigate through the workers’ compensation litigation in order to avoid fines and penalties, and achieve a reasonable and affordable resolution of the case.


California employers may also be subject to penalties that, by law, are not insurable under any workers’ compensation policy. These are claims of willful misconduct or discrimination arising out of an injury to an employee. Serious & Willful Misconduct claims may arise when a known dangerous condition or practice exists in the workplace, and the employer fails to take corrective action that results in serious injury to an employee. The penalty for Serious & Willful Misconduct is set by law at one-half, or 50%, of the cost of all workers’ compensation benefits provided.


Labor Code Section 132(a) provides that it is unlawful for any California employer to discriminate against an injured worker by discharging or threatening to discharge an employee who files or makes known his or her intention to file a claim for compensation or receives a rating, award or settlement. Employers who violate this provision may be guilty of a misdemeanor and may be subject to an increase of one-half of the employee’s compensation up to a maximum of $10,000.00, with costs of $250.00. Such employees may also be awarded reinstatement and reimbursement of lost wages and work benefits as caused by the violation of this law.

Yrulegui & Roberts provides expert and effective representation to employers in Central California who find themselves caught up in an uninsured employer claim, or a claim of misconduct or discrimination associated with a workers’ compensation case. Joseph Igoa of the Fresno office of Yrulegui & Roberts has been defending employers in such cases for over 40 years and is dedicating his practice to such clients in need of relief and representation before the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board. His goal is to achieve a resolution of these claims in a cost-effective manner, while using his experience to provide an aggressive and effective defense where the claims may be unfounded.

About Joseph Igoa

Contact us today to learn more about your rights and remedies, and how we may be of assistance to you as a defendant-employer in a California workers’ compensation claim.