Ouch! Really Bad Arguments Result in Big Fines from the Labor Commissioner

Whenever a complaint is filed with the Labor Commissioner, the defendant will be required to provide proof of workers' compensation insurance. This is something that an employer should take seiously.  Even if an employer has not maintained work comp insurance, when it receives the form, it should immediately purchase insurance so it can certify, under penalty of perjury, that it currently has insurance.  

Recently, a Bakersfield employer received a wage complaint from the Labor Commissioner.  The employer told the Deputy Labor Commissioner he could not afford work comp coverage.  This resulted in a penalty if $45,000.  The employer also admitted that due to the cost he could not hire the workers as employees.  Thus, he treated them as independent contractors and did not provide them with itemized wage statements (paycheck stubs).  That cost the employer another $35,000.  

Hey, don't defend wage claims on your own thinking it is a simple process without significant risk.  This particular employer did not learn that lesson until it was $80,000 too late.