Workplace accidents happen. The State of California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) reports that 161,860 workers filed for benefits for nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses in 2020 alone. Even an employer that follows all of the best workplace safety practices could still end up facing a workers’ compensation claim. It is crucial that employers understand their responsibilities. Here, our Salinas workers’ compensation defense lawyers highlight six key things that an employer should do if a worker is hurt on the job in California.
- Provide the Injured Worker With the Proper Workers’ Compensation Claim Form
The first thing an employer must do when an employee is injured on the job is to provide them with the proper workers’ compensation Claim Form. Workers should be provided with the form that they need within one working day of their injury or illness.
- If Employee is Covered By a Medical Provider Network (MPN), Facilitate Treatment
If your company’s employees are covered by a Medical Provider Network (MPN), it is your responsibility to help facilitate the employee’s treatment by directing them to a medical provider within the network. The employer must ensure that the employee has access to appropriate care.
- Forward the Claim Form and Employer’s First Report of Injury or Illness to the Claims Administrator
Additionally, employers should forward the Claim Form and Employer’s First Report of Injury or Illness to the claims administrator. Be sure to do this promptly so that the claim can be processed in a timely manner. Delays can cause problems.
- When a Claim is Made, Pre-Authorize Up to $10,000.00 in Medical Treatment
Under California law, employers are required to pre-authorize up to $10,000.00 in medical care once an employee files a workers’ compensation claim. Be sure that your company has complied with its duty to pre-authorize medical care.
- Be Ready to Offer Transition, Light Duty Work (if Appropriate)
In some cases, it may be appropriate to provide an injured worker with light-duty work. Broadly explained, a light duty assignment is an adjustment to a worker’s position and job duties to ensure that they can still do their job safely while physically impaired.
- Never Take an Adverse Action Against an Employee for Filing a Claim
In California, it is unlawful for an employer to retaliate against an employee for filing for workers’ compensation benefits. Even if you are convinced that the employee’s claim is fraudulent, you should never take any adverse action against them for filing. Let an attorney deal with the matter.
Consult With a Workers’ Compensation Defense Lawyer in California
At Yrulegui & Roberts, our California workers’ compensation defense attorneys are sophisticated, responsive, and solutions-first advocates for employers. Have questions about your rights or responsibilities related to an employee’s injury? Our legal team is ready to help. Call us now or send us a message online for a fully private case assessment. We provide work injury services in Salinas, Monterey County, and throughout the Central Coast of California.