Most California workers find comfort in knowing that their medical expenses and lost wages will be covered by insurance if they suffer work-related injuries. However, gaining knowledge about the types of injuries and illnesses covered by the state-regulated workers' compensation program can be beneficial. The claims procedure could be complicated, and knowing that help is available can produce peace of mind.
Each year, thousands of workers in California fall victim to any of the flu viruses that happen to be around. According to a spokesperson for the California Workers' Compensation Institute, no diseases or categories of illnesses are excluded from compensation. However, whether workers become ill from common flu viruses or some new virus strain that becomes a pandemic, proving it to be work-related could be difficult.
When California workers are involved in workplace accidents that caused significant aggravation to pre-existing injuries, they might be eligible for compensation. However, not all injuries qualify as pre-existing. Only injuries or illnesses that are linked to events or exposure that are not work-related will be regarded as pre-existing conditions. Furthermore, other requirements must also be met before a workers' compensation benefits claim will be valid.
Some months ago, a decision by the California Supreme court had the labor community sit up and take note. The plaintiff accused a transportation company of wage and hour violations stemming from his service of driving his own truck for the defendant and his classifications as an independent contractor. The court based its ultimate decision on the Dynamex ABC test rather than the Borello Test, which is a multifactor test used to determine employment status for workers' compensation purposes and all matters unrelated to wage orders.
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.
Although commercial trucks in California are regarded as dangers on the roads, the operators of these vehicles provide an essential service by ensuring the shelves of stores are filled with everything consumers want. However, few people realize how hazardous it is to be a trucker. Fortunately, the California workers' compensation insurance program is fully aware, and it covers the many injuries and illnesses commercial truck drivers suffer.
For weeks now, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health has been reminding business owners of their responsibilities to protect employees from heat-related illnesses. These reminders typically focus on employers in construction, landscaping and agriculture from where many workers' compensation claims originate. However, the hospitality industry with facilities that have outdoor entertainment areas must not be forgotten. These could include children's play areas, patio dining establishments and sidewalk shopping venues.
On July 1, 2018, the Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention Program (MIPP) will become effective. This is a rule, approved on March 9, that requires establishments in the hospitality industry in California to create a program to address housekeeping hazards and then implement and sustain it. According to the California Workers' Compensation Information System, the average increase in injury claims by housekeepers is almost 900 every year.
If there is one situation in which no worker in California would want to be, it is being unable to return to his or her regular job after suffering a debilitating injury. Fortunately, the workers' compensation insurance system has several methods of assisting injured employees. One of which is the supplemental job placement benefits program, known as SJDB.
The California Department of Public Health reports that 586 cases of Hepatitis A have been reported in the San Diego area as of March 23. They say 401 people have been admitted to hospitals, and 20 have succumbed to the disease. Monterey and Los Angeles are included in other affected areas. Hepatitis A -- a disease covered by the workers' compensation system -- is similar to Hepatitis B and C in as far as it is an infection of the liver and highly contagious.