Employers in California are required by law to provide safe and healthy working environments for their employees. Occasionally however, despite the attempts on the employer’s behalf, situations arise in which employees end up getting injured or harmed in some capacity.
Job related injuries can include anything from broken bones or aggravation to pre-existing conditions, to occupational illnesses and psychological injuries. Understanding your rights as an employee is essential in getting the treatment or compensation that you deserve.
How To Protect Your Employee Rights
The most important and arguable easiest step to protect your legal rights is to first report your work injury to your employer and upper management. This should be done as soon as possible, but certain injuries may limit your ability to do so right away. In any event, you want to let your employer know the details of the injury and to report it in writing if possible.
The next step is to file a workers compensation claim in a workers compensation court in California. Essentially what this does is put your employer, the court and the insurance company on formal notice that the injury took place. A workers compensation claim is not a lawsuit against your employer, but rather simply a request for benefits.
Once the claim is filed, automatic employee protections are put in place that protect your rights.
What Are My Rights As An Employee?
Generally speaking, your rights as an employee include the following:
• You have the right to file a claim for your injury or illness in a workers compensation court.
• You have the right to see a doctor or pursue medical treatment for your injury.
• If your physician formally releases you to return to work, you have the right to return to your job.
• If you are unable to work because of your injury or illness, you are entitled to disability compensation
• If you disagree with the decision by your employer, their insurance company or the court, you generally have the right to appeal that decision.
• You have the right to be represented by an attorney throughout the process.
For more information about workers compensation, visit our resources page for helpful links. Or if you’d like a free case evaluation, please do not hesitate to reach out to us directly and speak with Joesph Kritzer, workers compensation attorney.