Workers compensation is a state-mandated program that enables employees to receive compensation if they were…
Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that is meant to protect workers if they are injured on the job or suffer a work-related illness. The important factor here to remember is that the injury or illness has to be related to your job. For example, if you are in a car accident while you are out with friends, you wouldn’t qualify for coverage. If the accident occurred while you were driving as part of your job duties, you would likely be covered.
Here are some other points to know about workers’ compensation and how the program works in California:
You have to alert your employer to the illness or injury as soon as possible. Ideally, you will be able to let them know as soon as it occurs. Once you notify your employer, he or she will have to let their policy administrator know about the claim. This must usually be done within one business day. Additionally, the employer must authorize up to $10,000 in medical treatments necessary to treat the issue. This authorization must occur in one working day from your notification.
The doctor who treats you will determine what type of work, if any, you can do. This information must be conveyed clearly so that your employer knows what is allowable. The employer is expected to comply with doctors’ instructions. This means allowing you to have light duty assignments, which are known as transitional duty assignments, when it is appropriate to do so.
If the doctor says that you can’t work or the employer can’t meet the doctor’s requirements for work, you can’t be forced to work. This means that if the doctor gives you restrictions that don’t meet what the employer can offer, you won’t be able to work since the employer can’t just ignore the doctor’s orders.
Employers aren’t allowed to retaliate against you for having to file claims or use transitional duty, so make sure that this doesn’t occur. Retaliation means that you have negative effects because of the workers’ compensation claim. This could mean that you are fired, demoted, moved to a less desirable shift or given a pay cut simply because you were injured or got sick due to your work duties.
There are many variables that can impact workers’ compensation coverage for employees. Make sure that you understand what your rights and responsibilities are throughout the process so that you can protect your interests.