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OSHA Rules Protect Employees Against Retaliation for Workers’ Compensation Claim

Posted on in Employment

San Jose employment law attorneys, workers' compensation claim, workplace retaliation, OSHA rules, employee protectionOn-the-job injuries can happen in any occupation. When they do, workers’ compensation benefits can provide a lifeline for employees during their recovery. Unfortunately, some employers may try to discourage their workers from filing claims, try to dispute the injury or how it occurred, or may engage in workplace retaliation as a result. In these situations, knowing your rights under the law can protect you in your current job, and may help prevent long term losses associated with any lasting disabilities you suffer.

Your Rights to Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Workers compensation is a federally mandated program that acts as a form of insurance. Administered through the Department of Industrial Relations, the California workers’ compensation program provides important benefits, which are available to workers who suffer on-the-job accidents and injuries or occupational illnesses as the result of exposure to toxic substances or other conditions in the workplace. Benefits available include:

  • Reimbursement for lost wages during recovery;
  • Coverage of medical expenses, including diagnostic testing, treatments, follow up visits, and medications associated with the injury or illness; and
  • Compensation for any temporary or permanent disabilities the worker suffers as a result of his or her condition.

Employees are entitled to receive benefits regardless of who was at fault for their accident, injuries, or illness. In exchange, they are generally prevented from filing a lawsuit against the employer. California law dictates that even if you are the only employee of the company, the owner must provide coverage.

There are strict guidelines employers must follow in terms of filing claims and paying benefits. In the event your claim is disputed or rejected, you are entitled to appeal the decision and request a review of your case.

Retaliation and Other Workers’ Compensation Disputes

Paying out benefits to injured workers costs employers money. Unfortunately, and despite laws designed to prevent it, there are cases in which workers are discouraged from filing claims. The company owner may attempt to dispute the severity of your injury or illness or the circumstances under which it occurred, or may threaten your job security as the result of you filing a claim.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires regular reporting of injuries and illnesses and closely monitors these situations. OSHA rules include three provisions designed to protect workers:

  • Employers must provide clear instructions and reasonable procedures for reporting on-the-job accidents and injuries;
  • Employers are prohibited from discouraging employees to report accidents or potentially dangerous situations; and
  • Employers are prohibited from taking actions that could be seen as retaliatory — such as laying off workers or reducing their pay — when injuries or illnesses are reported and a claim is filed.

Contact Us Today for Help

If you have suffered a work-related injury or illness and have been denied benefits or faced retaliation on the job site as a result, reach out to Jachimowicz Law Group. Our dedicated San Jose employment law attorneys can protect you against these practices while helping you get the benefits you need to recover. Call or contact our office online and request a consultation today.

Source:

https://www.osha.gov/recordkeeping/modernization_guidance.html

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