This section is the basic introduction to the study of the California workers' compensation insurance program that provides benefits to California employees that are injured in the course of their employment. The concept of a no-fault system was the centerpiece of the creation of the state system of compensation for injured workers. The system evolved in Europe and in the United States following the industrial revolution in the mid 1900s. The industrial revolution caused an increase in the risk of injuries and the social costs of these injuries. The fault-based or tort system of compensation was an inadequate remedy. It was replaced by a no-fault system on a state-by-state basis, and an administrative system in each jurisdiction to regulate and adjudicate the provision of benefits under each of these systems. Topics in this section include this history and rationale and the evolution of the system as it now exists.
This book does not cover the more than 2.7 million federal employees and postal workers that are covered under the Federal Employees' Compensation Act, which provides compensation for wage loss and medical care for federal employees injured or killed on the job and helps injured federal employees to return to work as well as provides benefits to survivors. In 2010, the federal program paid employees $1.9 billion in wage loss and paid $898 million for medical care provided to injured federal employees.