It’s a felony in Illinois for an employer not to have workers’ compensation insurance if they have any employees, even if they are just part time. You are covered from the moment you start working.
I’m surprised but not surprised at the number of companies which break this law. These are the same groups that will pay people under the table in order to avoid payroll taxes (illegal) and call actual employees independent contractors (also illegal).
There are even some high risk employers like construction companies that we’ve seen not have insurance. What’s crazy is that some of them must forge documents because in many jobs they can’t get the work without having work comp coverage.
One trend we’ve seen is a company telling an injured employee that they don’t have work comp coverage when in fact they actually do have it. This is just a lie they tell with the hopes that you’ll not bring a claim. The reality is that when they fail to report a claim right away they risk losing their coverage which might cause them to have to pay all of your medical bills and other benefits out of pocket.
While some companies do break this law, the truth is that most do not. Do check if your company actually does have coverage you can go to https://www.ewccv.com/cvs/ which is a public database of all employers and who their workers’ compensation insurance is with.
The best way to search on that website is by the tax ID number which should be on your paycheck. We often find that a company will have a public name that isn’t listed in the database, but a corporate name which is. The tax ID number is the best way to find that out.
Even if you don’t see coverage, all might not be lost. If they were a sub-contractor on a job or loaned you out to another company, it’s possible that company’s insurance will have to pick up the case. There’s also a state fund for employees who have been screwed and you can also go after the company itself.
Like any other case or question, the best thing to do is not panic and let a lawyer investigate this. It’s free and you get the benefit of our experience. We’ve turned over a lot of stones in the past to find actual coverage when there didn’t appear to be any.