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Los Angeles Legal Issues Blog

Are you entitled to overtime pay in California?

Employees in California are hard-working and they deserve to be compensated for their efforts. Beyond normal wage laws, California employees are generally owed overtime pay for hours worked over 40 per week. However, overtime laws are not as clear cut as this.

Overtime pay applies to most nonexempt hourly workers over 18 in the state of California. If you work over eight hours in a day or more than six days in a week, you qualify for overtime pay. This pay is equal to one and a half times the regular hourly pay rate. If you work over 12 hours in a single work day or over eight hours for seven consecutive days you should be paid double your regular rate of pay. In some cases, salaried employees are also entitled to overtime pay, but this is not always the case.

The difference between permanent and temporary disability

Being injured on the job is stressful. Ideally, every employee will receive the health care they need to fully recover and return to work, but sometimes an injury prevents workers from performing their job duties.

When this happens, it can be overwhelming. How is someone supposed to keep earning money when they can't work?

Las Vegas shooting leads to change in workers' comp for police

Last year's mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas left 58 people dead and 489 people wounded. After the shooting started, many of the more than 200 California police officers at the festival sprang into action. They helped people get to safety, performed CPR and assisted with securing the area around the scene.

Orange County Sheriff Deputy Joe Owen was shot in the abdomen and thigh while trying to usher people to safety. Other officers were shot or injured at the festival.

Workplace accidents: Worker fatally struck by falling steel beam

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health reported that inspectors are investigating the death of a 29-year-old worker in San Diego County earlier this month. As in all fatal workplace accidents, the agency will determine whether safety violations on the work site played a role in this tragedy. The incident occurred in the yard of a metal fabrication business in the region of East County.

According to a report by the medical examiner, the incident occurred at about 10:20 a.m on a Wednesday when a forklift operator placed steel beams onto the bed of a trailer. In the process, he accidentally struck another stack of I-beams that were loaded earlier. Reportedly, the impact knocked three massive iron beams off the trailer, hitting the worker who was at ground level.

Workers' compensation in construction: Your entitled benefits

If you faced a workplace injury, you may see extreme medical costs and a loss of income due to your ailments. Especially if you work as a maintenance worker, work in construction or as a warehouse employee, you may face serious risk of injury during your day-to day job tasks.

If you prove eligible for workers' compensation benefits, the Department of Industrial Relations of California entitles you to multiple benefits packages that will sustain you while you cannot work or reimburse you for your injury costs. No one should fight for their right to benefits alone, and to ensure you have the strongest claim for your required compensation, you want to hire an experienced attorney to aid in bringing a sound argument for your rights to monetary benefits.

Workplace accidents: The hazards faced by janitorial workers

Workers in all industries are vulnerable, and although certain sectors like construction and manufacturing are known for the dangers employees face, workers such as janitors also face risks. Although most of the injuries they suffer would not qualify as workplace accidents, they could cause long-term health problems. The University of California designed a safety training program for janitorial staff to assist employers and employees in maintaining safe work environments.

Most of the duties of janitors involve cleaning, and they often work after hours when office workers have gone home. The fact that they might be alone makes workplace safety even more critical because there might be no one to help in the event of an injury. The most significant hazards include slip-and-fall accidents if they clean floors while wearing inappropriate shoes. Musculoskeletal injuries are also prevalent among janitors because they push heavy carts and lift heavy objects like boxes, equipment and garbage bags.

Recycling company cited again after 3 prior workplace accidents

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health recently concluded an investigation into the death of an employee of GreenWaste Recovery Inc. in March. The agency says this company was also the subject of three prior investigations that followed injuries suffered in workplace accidents in 2016 and 2017. This company is privately owned, and it recycles commercial and residential trash, demolition and construction rubble and other garbage.

Cal/OSHA initiated the investigation after the death of a worker who suffered fatal injuries when his own truck ran over him. Reportedly, the worker operated a waste collection truck that could be controlled from either the left or the right side. However, such vehicles are required to be fitted with a door, latching or locking bar, strap or a safety chain, to prevent the operator from falling out of the cab.

Nurses deprived of overtime claim employee rights violations

A group of nurses recently filed a class action lawsuit against Dignity Health, a health care system based in California. The nurses claim violations of their employee rights in the company's failure to pay them the overtime they earned. According to the complaint, the number of nurses in and around Sacramento that were deprived of overtime money totals at least 1,200.

Court documents indicate that the nurses allege the software that Dignity Health used to record work hours was programmed to prevent anyone from logging work hours that exceeded 12 hours. However, they claim that prep time before and wrap-up time after each 12-hour shift required them to work 50 extra minutes on every shift. The nurses claim that these supportive services formed part of their shifts and that they are entitled to overtime compensation to cover those hours.

Workers' compensation: What is vocational rehabilitation?

In the medical sense of the word, "rehabilitation" refers to rehabilitative care like physical therapy to help an injured worker overcome an injury. However, there is also vocational rehabilitation, which has an altogether different meaning. The latter is a benefit offered by the California workers' compensation to victims of debilitating occupational injuries who are unable to return to their usual jobs.

Vocational rehabilitation is offered at no cost to the injured victim. The services that are included in the rehabilitation vary from state to state, but the typical goal is to equip the injured worker with new skills that will allow the debilitated employee to continue working in a different position. The benefits typically include tests and analysis of existing abilities to determine transferable skills and on-the-job training in the appropriate field.

Car accidents: Hit-and-run crash kills tow truck driver

The California Highway Patrol asked the help of the public in the search for a hit-and-run driver who raced away from a fatal crash on a recent Wednesday. Hit-and-runs in relation to fatal car accidents are treated as felonies. According to a preliminary accident report, the incident occurred in the eastbound lanes of the 91 Freeway.

CHP says a tow truck was eastbound on the freeway at about midnight when the driver noticed a sedan that was on the shoulder of the road with a flat tire. The tow truck driver pulled over to assist. While he was busy with this task, another eastbound driver allowed his car to veer off the roadway. The car went onto the shoulder of the freeway and struck the tow truck driver.

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