California’s workers’ compensation laws generally provide that workers’ compensation is the exclusive remedy against an employer for an employee’s injury or death that arises during the course and scope of employment. Labor Code section 3600 provides all of the essential conditions that must exist for the exclusive remedy rule to apply. As with many rules of law, there are often exceptions. Under some circumstances, the exclusive remedy rule does not apply and an injured employee may assert a civil claim against his or her employer for a work related injury.
Consider whether you want to accept a case and deem an injured worker an employee or whether you want to accept a case AOE/COE that might be questionable because of the application of the exclusive remedy rule as the workers’ compensation arena may be more legally advantageous than the civil arena or vice-a-versa.