An accident can happen in any type of workplace environment. Even when a company or organization does everything the right way, it is still possible that an employee will be hurt and will need to file for workers’ compensation benefits. As an employer, it is imperative that you understand your responsibilities in the process. Within this article, our Sacramento workers’ compensation defense lawyers highlight five of the most common mistakes that employers should avoid when handling a workers’ compensation claims process in California.
- Failing to Obtain Workers’ Compensation Coverage at All
Under California law (Labor Code § 3700), it is a legal requirement for employers to have workers’ compensation insurance coverage for all of their employees. This coverage provides financial support to employees who suffer a work-related injury or illness. Employers who fail to obtain workers’ compensation coverage can face severe penalties as an uninsured employer, including fines, workers’ compensation surcharges, civil liability, and potentially even criminal charges.
2. Lack of Organization: Not Properly Handling the Paperwork
After a workplace accident by an employee, it is crucial that you get organized. Employers must properly document all workplace injuries and illnesses and file the necessary reports and forms with their workers’ compensation insurance provider. Neglecting to do so can negatively impact the outcome of a workers’ compensation case.
3. Challenging Workers’ Compensation Benefits Without Good Cause
Employers must have a legitimate reason for challenging a workers’ compensation claim, such as evidence that the injury was not work-related. California law requires that all treatment that should be covered by workers’ compensation is paid for in a reasonably timely manner. Challenging a claim without a valid basis can harm the employer’s reputation and result in adverse consequences.
4. Retaliating Against an Employee Who Files for Workers’ Compensation Benefits
A person hurt on the job in California has a legally protected right to file for workers’ compensation. An employer cannot punish them. Retaliation against an employee who files a workers’ compensation claim is illegal in California. Any adverse employment action—termination, demotion, reduction in pay, etc.—could be the basis for a legal claim against an employer. Liability in a retaliation claim can be significant.
5. Waiting Too Long to Seek Professional Guidance and Support
Workers’ compensation cases can be complex and difficult to navigate without the proper guidance and support. Employers should seek the assistance of a knowledgeable and experienced California workers’ compensation defense attorney as soon as possible. The sooner you consult with a skilled advocate, the better position you will be in to protect your rights and interests.
Request a Fully Confidential Consultation With a Sacramento Workers’ Compensation Defense Lawyer
At Yrulegui & Roberts, we are devoted to providing solutions-driven, cost-effective legal guidance and support to employers. Contact our team today for a confidential, no-obligation consultation. With an office in Sacramento and other locations in Fresno and Bakersfield, we provide workers’ compensation defense services in the San Joaquin Valley and throughout Central California.