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What are an employee’s rights under workers’ compensation laws?

Employees in California are entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits if they are injured on the job. This might not be universally known by many workers. However, the California Labor Code states that all employers that have at least one employee must have workers’ compensation insurance. If there is an injury on the job and the employer did not have workers’ compensation insurance, the employee might be able to file a claim because of that.

California’s workers’ compensation system is a no-fault system. This means that after an injury, the employee does not need to prove the employer was responsible for the incident in order to be granted benefits. The idea behind workers’ compensation is to protect both sides. The no-fault system is designed to avoid litigation in the event of a worker being injured on the job.

There are three structures to workers’ compensation. They are the benefit structure, the benefit delivery system and the benefit financing system. The benefit structure details what a worker can receive after being injured on the job. The benefits include medical treatment; temporary disability benefits; permanent disability benefits; vocational rehabilitation benefits; and death benefits. The benefit delivery system is provided by a private insurer selected by the employer. The state can enforce the insurer’s obligation to provide the benefits required by law. Employers can finance the benefits through self-insurance, private insurance or state insurance.

Workers who were injured on the job and were denied workers’ compensation benefits have the right to protest the denial. If they complain about an employer not providing workers’ compensation, they are protected from retaliation. When there is a problem with getting what a worker is entitled to, an experienced employee rights attorney can help.

Source: business.ca.gov, “Obtaining Workers’ Compensation Insurance,” accessed on May 31, 2016


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