Worker’s Compensation FAQ

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Workers’ Compensation

How Do I File a Workers' Compensation Claim?

Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim in California requires you to take three steps. First, you must report your injury to your employer. Additionally, you should seek medical care as soon as possible. Next, you must file the claim with your employer. Finally, you should file an application for adjudication of claim with the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board.

Who Pays for Workers' Compensation Benefits?

In California, employers are required to provide their employees with Workers’ Compensation benefits by paying for Workers’ Compensation insurance.

Do I Have to Have Workers' Compensation Insurance?

Workers’ Compensation insurance is mandatory for all employers, even if the employer only employs one person. Additionally, the law requires the employer to carry insurance even if the company is headquartered in a state other than California.

What does Workers' Compensation not cover?

Workers’ Compensation does not cover certain categories of employees. This includes those employed by family members in some cases like domestic employment such as housekeeping. Additionally, those employees who work for aid as opposed to wages are not covered by Workers’ Compensation.

There are also injuries that are likely not covered by Workers’ Compensation. They include those that can be remedied with a first aid kit and those that occur outside the scope of employment or outside of the workplace. Generally, an injury must be work-related to be covered by Workers’ Compensation.

Can I lose my job while on Workers’ Compensation?

California law protects employees from being terminated because of injuries or disabilities that are a result of a work-related accident. Your employer cannot terminate you simply for applying for Workers’ Compensation. However, there are several instances in which they can terminate you, including company-wide lay-offs or if your disability makes it impossible to do your job.

How long do you have to go to the doctor for Workers’ Compensation?

If your injuries require emergency medical treatment, you should go to the emergency room as soon as you are injured. However, for those injuries that do not require medical emergency treatment, you should report the injury to a supervisor immediately. From there, you may be
required to see a specific physician. The important thing is reporting your injury to a supervisor. Waiting longer than 30 days to do so may result in you losing your right to benefits.

Can I still receive Workers' Compensation benefits if the accident was my fault?

Workers’ Compensation is a no-fault system. This means that liability does not need to be determined for you to receive benefits. However, grossly negligent employees may not receive benefits. This includes employees who are injured at work as a result of being intoxicated.

Can I see my own doctor?

You may be able to see your own doctor for the initial evaluation after your injury under certain circumstances. If you predesignate, you are permitted to see your own medical provider. Predesignating involves written notice to your employer before your injury informing him or her of your personal doctor. Otherwise, you will be required to see a doctor within the employer’s or insurer’s medical provider network first. After the initial visit, you will be permitted to switch to a personal medical provider.

What kind of benefits can I receive from Workers’ Compensation?

Benefits include medical treatment for a work-related injury, permanent disability for the loss of function, temporary disability for the loss of wages, and job displacement benefits for retraining.

Will I be able to keep my job?

Employees will be entitled to keep their jobs and cannot be fired because of a work-related injury or disability. There are reasons for which you may be released from your position; however, simply being injured on the job is not one of them.

What type of injuries qualifies for Workers’ Compensation?

Any injury that is related to your job that happens within the workplace or within the scope of employment qualifies for Workers’ Compensation with the exception of minor injuries, such as those that can be remedied with a first aid kit. Additionally, injuries as a result of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol will not qualify for Workers’ Compensation.

What is the time limit to file a Workers’ Compensation claim?

While you have 30 days to notify your employer of a work-related injury, filing a claim in California has a statute of limitations of one year. This means you have one year from the date the injury or disability occurs to file your claim.

Am I entitled to benefits?

If you’ve been injured on the job, whether at the fault of yourself or someone else, you’re likely entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits. Call the Arshakyan Law Firm at 888-851-5005 or visit our website to speak with a Workers’ Compensation attorney today.

Sexual Harassment

Who do I tell when I feel I am being sexually harassed at work?

If you feel you are being sexually harassed at work, you can initially inform a supervisor or your Human Resources Department. You can also file a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. If the Department of Fair Employment and Housing sends you a right to sue notice, you may file a civil claim for damages.

How do I report sexual harassment at work?

Your employer should have policies and procedures in place for reporting sexual harassment. Ensure you understand these procedures when filing a complaint, as failing to do so could affect your complaint in the future.

What qualifies as sexual harassment at work?

There are generally two types of sexual harassment: quid pro quo and hostile work environment. Quid pro quo harassment involves pressure to perform some sexual activity in exchange for benefits like a pay raise or job promotion. Hostile work environment harassment causes an employee to feel threatened or uncomfortable in his or her work environment and can include unwanted sexual advances or offensive comments.
Conduct that qualifies as sexual harassment must be unwelcome, severe or pervasive, offensive, and result in actual damages like lost wages or emotional distress.

What should I do if I was sexually harassed?

If you were sexually harassed at work, start by determining policies and procedures put in place for reporting and dealing with sexual harassment. Report the harassment to a supervisor or Human Resources department. If nothing comes of making a complaint, you can file a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Can I get fired for reporting sexual harassment to my employer?

An employer is prohibited from taking retaliatory action, such as terminating your employment, for reporting sexual harassment according to State and Federal law.

Does sexual harassment have to involve sex or other physical contact?

Sexual Harassment need not involve any type of sexual activity. The conduct must only be offensive against you because of your sex.

What is the time limit to file a sexual harassment claim?

Depending on whether you reported the sexual harassment to your employer in accordance with company policy, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing sets a statute of limitations for filing a claim at one year from the date of the last incident in which you were sexually harassed.

If you need help filing a sexual harassment claim, contact the Arshakyan Law Firm to speak with an employment law attorney today. Call 888-851-5005 or visit our website to schedule a consultation today.

Pregnancy Discrimination

Is it legal if I was bypassed for promotion because I’m pregnant?

Being bypassed for a promotion because you are pregnant is known as promotion discrimination, and it is illegal under both State and Federal law. Promotion discrimination occurs when an employer refuses to promote a member of a protected class because of his or her status as a protected class member. Discrimination based on sex includes pregnancy, childbirth, and other related conditions.

Can an employer ask an employee or an applicant if they are pregnant or if they intend to become pregnant soon?

While an employer is not prohibited from asking you about your pregnancy status or intent to become pregnant under Federal law, he or she should avoid this question as it could become the basis of a claim for discrimination based on sex. Additionally, under State law, a woman is under no obligation to inform her employer that she is pregnant or intends to get pregnant.

What workplace actions are prohibited under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act?

Pregnancy discrimination involves any unfavorable treatment of a pregnant employee because of her pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits any discriminatory act based on a woman’s pregnancy status when it comes to hiring, pay, promotion, training, benefits, and any other conditions of employment. Additionally, harassment on the basis of pregnancy or childbirth that results in a hostile work environment or an adverse employment decision is prohibited under the Act.

Can I get fired for being pregnant?

While you may be fired for other reasons while pregnant, an employer in California cannot fire you because you are pregnant. This usually includes firing you because you are sick while pregnant. In California, pregnant employees are entitled to leave under the Pregnancy Disability Leave Law if their employer has five or more employees. However, the employer is permitted to require a doctor’s note stating that you were sick because of your pregnancy.

If you believe you have been the victim of pregnancy discrimination, call the Arshakyan Law firm to speak with an employment law attorney. Call 888-851-5005 or visit our website to schedule a consultation today.