Can the boss pay for me if I get sued while working for him?

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Can the boss pay for me if I get sued while working for him?

Let’s say that my new boss wanted me to sign a contract that states that I’m responsible for my own insurances and accidents. However, is there a law or contract that could protect me from getting sued while working for him? For example, if I was a hairstylist and I accidentally cut their ear and they wanted to sue. Is there a law that says the boss has to pay instead because we are his workers?

Asked on August 8, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

An employer is liable for the negligence of an employee which occurs during the course and scope of employment.
For example, as you mentioned, a hairstylist who accidentally (negligently) cuts a customer's ear.  
However, if the act (cutting a customer's ear) was intentional, it is considered to be outside the scope of employment, and the employee is liable instead of the employer.
Also, if you are an independent contractor instead of an employee, then you are personally liable for your negligent act. The employer is not liable.
Regarding your example of the hairstylist, the hairstylist may be an independent contractor instead of an employee. 


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