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Returning To Work

Workers Compensation Law Discussion

Returning To Work

Postby Treven » Thu Dec 01, 2016 1:30 pm

i broke my wrist at work and had surgery in september after i went to my doctor begging him to release me(mainly for financial reasons)on dec 10, my employer didnt put me back on the schedule and when she finally did, i went from a set schedule of 38 hours per week to 16 hours now i cant get workmans comp and i dont have a job. i am a single mother of 2 and cannot survive on such a drastic change in income. doesnt my employer have to put me back to where i was before my injury?
Treven
 
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Returning To Work

Postby Tangakwunu » Fri Dec 02, 2016 12:52 am

i broke my wrist at work and had surgery in september after i went to my doctor begging him to release me(mainly for financial reasons)on dec 10, my employer didnt put me back on the schedule and when she finally did, i went from a set schedule of 38 hours per week to 16 hours now i cant get workmans comp and i dont have a job. i am a single mother of 2 and cannot survive on such a drastic change in income. doesnt my employer have to put me back to where i was before my injury?
Tangakwunu
 
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Returning To Work

Postby Eachthighearn » Fri Dec 02, 2016 3:48 pm

(1)  Apply for UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE(http://www.edd.ca.gov/Unemployment)  to get some cash going quickly(California is broke, unemployment is 3 weeks behind, start this right away).

(2)  You need a lawyer, a lawyer CERTIFIED in Workers' Compensation by the Board of Legal Specialization of the state bar, experienced in 132(a) violations. Your employer IS SUPPOSED to put you back into your pre-injury position(full time).   If you can PROVE the ONLY reason your hours were cut was due to your injury claim, the employer violated Labor Code 132a.

Your employer violated Labor Code 132(a) IF your hours were reduced in response to your request for Workers' Compensation benefits.   (It's NOT a violation of 132a if everybody's hours were reduced or there was some financial hardship or contract clause on the employer requiring your reduction in hours.)

TROUBLE IS recovering on 132a(with an order that you be rehired with all back pay) will take a Trial.  It will take 2 months to get evidence, a month to get a settlement conference, another month for the trial date, then the judge can take 3 months to decide; the fastest you would get a judgment that the employer violated 132a would be June.

(3)   BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL when finding the lawyer.  GET SOMETHING IN WRITING from the lawyer that she/he will file a Petition for Benefits Pursuant to Labor Code 132(a).  Many comp attorneys refuse to do this; they represent the worker on the injury only and tell them to find another lawyer for the 132a petition.  

SO BE CERTAIN you are face-to-face with the lawyer who will actually write and file the petition; chatting with a paralegal who has you sign blank forms and says "we'll take care of it" and "dont worry" is a very bad idea.

YOU WILL NOT BE POPULAR with most attorneys.  Comp Attorneys make their money off your Permanent Disability.  You have ZERO Permanent Disability(you insisted the doc put you back to work with no residual disability = zero), so you are asking the attorney work for free for now in the hope you can really prove the ONLY reason for cut hours is the comp claim(and not some other business necessity).

(4)   IF YOU CAN GO BACK to the treating doctor and be honest about the real problems in the wrist and get a re-evaluation on your permanent disability, your case will be more attractive to more lawyers.  

DON'T LIE, don't make up symptoms or complaints, but tell the doctor whats REALLY happening in the wrist and tell him you were not honest the first time because you thought you could work with the ongoing symptoms and it turned out you were wrong.

(5)   AND spread the word:  it ALWAYS backfires on the injured worker when they try to return to full duty before they are ready and before they have a guarantee from the employer that their complete pre-injury job is waiting for them.  
Eachthighearn
 
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