(a) If the employer fails to pay the compensation required by Section 3715 to the person entitled thereto, or fails to furnish the bond required by Section 3715 within a period of 10 days after notification of the award, the award, upon application by the person entitled thereto, shall be paid by the director from the Uninsured Employers Benefits Trust Fund. The expenses of the director in administering these provisions, directly or by contract pursuant to Section 3716.1, shall be paid from the Workers’ Compensation Administration Revolving Fund. Refunds may be paid from the Uninsured Employers Benefits Trust Fund for amounts remitted erroneously to the fund, or the director may authorize offsetting subsequent remittances to the fund.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature that the Uninsured Employers Benefits Trust Fund is created to ensure that workers who happen to be employed by illegally uninsured employers are not deprived of workers’ compensation benefits, and is not created as a source of contribution to insurance carriers, or self-insured, or legally insured employers. The Uninsured Employers Benefits Trust Fund has no liability for claims of occupational disease or cumulative injury unless no employer during the period of the occupational disease or cumulative injury during which liability is imposed under Section 5500.5 was insured for workers’ compensation, was permissibly self-insured, or was legally uninsured. No employer has a right of contribution against the Uninsured Employers Benefits Trust Fund for the liability of an illegally uninsured employer under an award of benefits for occupational disease or cumulative injury, nor may an employee in a claim of occupational disease or cumulative injury elect to proceed against an illegally uninsured employer.
(c) The Uninsured Employers Benefits Trust Fund has no liability to pay for medical, surgical, chiropractic, hospital, or other treatment, the liability for which treatment is imposed upon the employer pursuant to Section 4600, and which treatment has been provided or paid for by the State Department of Health Services pursuant to the California Medical Assistance Program.
(d) The Uninsured Employers Benefits Trust Fund shall have no liability to pay compensation, nor shall it be joined in any appeals board proceeding, unless the employer alleged to be illegally uninsured shall first either have made a general appearance or have been served with the application specified in Section 3715 and with a special notice of lawsuit issued by the appeals board. The special notice of lawsuit shall be in a form to be prescribed by the appeals board, and it shall contain at least the information and warnings required by the Code of Civil Procedure to be contained in the summons issued in a civil action. The special notice of lawsuit shall also contain a notice that if the appeals board makes an award against the defendant that his or her house or other dwelling and other property may be taken to satisfy the award in a nonjudicial sale, with no exemptions from execution. The special notice of lawsuit shall, in addition, contain a notice that a lien may be imposed upon the defendant’s property without further hearing and before the issuance of an award. The applicant shall identify a legal person or entity as the employer named in the special notice of lawsuit. The reasonable expense of serving the application and special notice of lawsuit, when incurred by the employee, shall be awarded as a cost. Proof of service of the special notice of lawsuit and application shall be filed with the appeals board.
(1) The application and special notice of lawsuit may be served, within or without this state, in the manner provided for service of summons in the Code of Civil Procedure. Thereafter, an employer, alleged to be illegally uninsured, shall notify the appeals board of the address at which it may be served with official notices and papers, and shall notify the appeals board of any changes in the address. No findings, order, decision, award, or other notice or paper need be served in this manner on an employer, alleged to be illegally uninsured, who has been served as provided in this section, and who has not filed an answer, otherwise made a general appearance, or furnished the appeals board with its address. The findings, orders, decisions, awards, or other notice or paper may be mailed to the employer as the board, by regulation, may provide.
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), if the employer alleged to be illegally uninsured has not filed an answer, otherwise made a general appearance, or furnished the appeals board with its address, the appeals board shall serve any findings, order, decision, award, or other notice or paper on the employer by mail at the address the appeals board has for the employer. The failure of delivery at that address or the lack of personal service on an employer who has been served as provided in this section, of these findings, order, decision, award, or other notice or paper, shall not constitute grounds for reopening or invalidating any appeals board action pursuant to Section 5506, or for contesting the validity of any judgment obtained under Section 3716 or 5806, a lien under Section 3720, or a settlement under subdivision (e) of Section 3715.
(3) The board, by regulation, may provide for service procedures in cases where a request for new and further benefits is made after the issuance of any findings and award and a substantial period of time has passed since the first service or attempted service.
(4) The director, on behalf of the Uninsured Employers Benefits Trust Fund, shall furnish information as to the identities, legal capacities, and addresses of uninsured employers known to the director upon request of the board or upon a showing of good cause by the employee or the employee’s representative. Good cause shall include a declaration by the employee’s representative, filed under penalty of perjury, that the information is necessary to represent the employee in proceedings under this division.
(Amended by Stats. 2003, Ch. 228, Sec. 28. Effective August 11, 2003.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018