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Serving California
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January 2017 Archives

A whistleblower's rights and protections

California employees who notice wrongdoings in their workplace may be tempted to become a whistleblower in order to call attention to the issues at hand. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, provides protection for those people so they do not have to fear backlash from employers for calling them out. Additionally, whistleblowers have rights to keep them protected, as well.

What is a whistleblower?

Workers in California like you have the right to carry out your jobs in a safe environment where you don't fear for your safety, life, or job security. So what happens if your upper management is making attaining those things impossible?

If your employee tests positive for marijuana use

Employers in California have a responsibility to their employees to provide a safe workplace, but if an employee is hurt on the job, it is the workers’ compensation insurance that covers the costs related to the injury. Carrying this insurance saves a company money, but the high costs of claims may drive up the rates. This factor makes it important to ensure that worker claims are valid, and that injuries are caused by a compensable incident.

Beyond negligence: serious and willful misconduct

As a California employer, having an employee sustain a minor, serious or fatal injury on the job may be at the top of your list of things you never want to happen. Sometimes, though, accidents do occur. In these cases, your workers’ compensation insurance should provide benefits for an employee’s medical costs and some of the lost wages, regardless of whether it was a working condition that caused the injury, or the employee’s own negligence or carelessness. However, at Sacks & Zolonz, LLP, we understand that there are times when dishonest employees make false claims in an attempt to hold the employer liable beyond what is covered by workers’ compensation.

How to combat worker’s compensation fraud

Workers’ compensation fraud costs everyone in California money. However, employers are usually the first victims of this crime. According to the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, there is a small number of people who actually try to scam the workers’ compensation system, but even a small number of fraudulent claims can create a huge expense. The cost of fraud includes a loss of jobs and pay, more expensive premium costs, closure of businesses and higher prices for consumers.

What is the Uninsured Employers Benefits Trust Fund?

If you get injured on the job in California, you are entitled to payment for your medical expenses through workers’ compensation. Employers are legally required to carry this insurance, but some employers may choose not to carry it. If this happens, you are not left without recourse should you get injured. The state has set up the Uninsured Employers Benefits Trust Fund, which will step in and pay what workers’ compensation should have.

What can I do if my work injury claim is denied?

If you are a worker in California, you may have concerns about the proper reporting of workplace injuries. In some cases, your claim may be denied if a particular injury is not considered to be worthy of coverage. To this end, there are steps you can take to appeal your denial, which is imperative for getting the compensation necessary to make a recovery.

How does CA deal with workers’ compensation fraud?

For employers in California, workers’ compensation fraud can be a real issue. Fortunately, the state recognizes just how damaging this type of fraud can be to businesses and the public at large, and as a result has devised methods for dealing with workers who engage in nefarious practices regarding workplace injuries.

Sacks & Zolonz, LLP
638 North Eckhoff Street
Orange, CA 92868

Toll Free: 800-461-0268
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Sacks & Zolonz, LLP
400 Corporate Pointe, Suite 800
Culver City, CA 90230

Toll Free: 800-461-9246
Phone: 310-216-7778
Fax: 310-216-9552
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