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May 2017 Archives

What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

While workplace injuries are often associated with high-risk professions, even office workers in Los Angeles face the possibility of injuring themselves at work. Carpal tunnel is one condition that can greatly impact your ability to perform basic work functions, and may even prevent you from holding gainful employment in the future.

Can you question your employee's medical documentation?

As an employer in Los Angeles, you likely want to do all that you can to ensure that your staff members are able to complete their jobs to their utmost abilities. Oftentimes, due to a disability caused by an injury or existing medical condition, an employee may tell you that he or she needs certain accommodations to continue working. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires you to make such accommodations. Yet doing so can have an impact on your business. Thus, the question becomes whether you are required to accommodate an employee for his or her stated disabilities without medical documentation supporting his or her claims?

Reviewing California’s Employer’s Bill of Rights

As an employer in Los Angeles, you likely view the safety and well-being of your employees as one of your top priorities. Like many of those that we here at Sacks and Zolonz LLP have worked with in the past, that is why you work to ensure that your staff is covered by workers’ compensation insurance in the event of a workplace accident. Yet should such a benefit need to be used, the cost could be reflected in you having to pay more for your coverage. You may be fine with that provided that an employee’s claim is completely valid. Do you have any recourse, however, if you believe one is not?

Defining who is an employee

As most of those who employ people in Los Angeles likely know, state law requires that any company or party for whom more than one employee works is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to protect its workers. Yet how the state defines an employee may be the determining factor as to whether or not one who may employ someone informally (i.e., a landlord paying a person to handle the landscaping duties on his or her property, a parent paying a neighbor to babysit his or her kids multiple times in a week) is required to comply with this law.

Employee rights in high-heat work areas

With summer nearly here, the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration held a press conference to educate and remind employers of the necessary safety steps to protect workers from the rising temperatures. Since workers are most at risk in industries where they are outdoors in the summer heat, Cal/OSHA does targeted inspections during the hotter months of the year on outdoor worksites, such as for construction sites and farms and other agricultural workplaces.

Latino workers face higher workplace death rate

California is typically one of the safest states in the nation, Safety.BLR reports that new findings show Latino workers have a higher risk of dying on the job. Although the Golden State has a fatality rate of “2.2 workers per 100,000, each year, compared to 3.4 per 100,000 nationally,” the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that Latino workers faced a fatality rate of 4.0 per 100,000. There were 903 total deaths of Latino workers in 2015. This is up from 2014 by almost 100 fatalities in one year (804 in 2014).

Physicians and pharmacists said to be part of insurance scam

Most employers in California know that carrying workers' compensation insurance is something they have to do, with a few exceptions based upon the nature of the company. For those companies who are required to carry this insurance, one thing they should be able to count on is that the system will be responsibly used by people who are legitimately injured or ill. Similarly, it would be wonderful if employers could trust that all other entities involved in the workers' compensation system operated honorably.

Examples of false workers' compensation claims

If you are employed in California, you should be able to trust that workers' compensation benefits may be available to you if you should ever be injured in an on-the-job accident or if you should ever develop a work-related illness. If you must file a claim for these benefits, you should know that your claim will be reviewed carefully as, sadly, there are people who attempt to cheat the system. For this reason, the workers' compensation program must assess every claim with this in mind.

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