All employees should be protected in the event that they are injured at work. However, not all employers carry out their legal duties, and they may act wrongfully in order to mislead their employees and prevent them from asserting their rights.
As an employee, you should make sure that you are aware of your employer’s responsibilities under workers’ compensation laws in California, especially if you have recently been injured on the job. The following is an overview of these responsibilities.
An employer’s responsibilities before an injury occurs
Employers have the legal duty to obtain workers’ compensation or to qualify as a self-insured employer. They must provide all new employees with a pamphlet that explains the employee’s rights and responsibilities.
An employer’s responsibilities after an injury occurs
When an employee becomes injured and reports this injury, their employer has the duty to provide the injured employee with a workers’ compensation claim form within one working day. The employer should then forward this completed claim form along with a report of the injury or illness to the claims administrator. They should do this within one working day after receiving the completed form.
Within one day of receiving the employee’s claim, the insurer should also authorize medical treatment up to $10,000. During the employee’s recovery, the employer should offer opportunities to complete transitional work when this is appropriate.
By understanding your employer’s legal obligations toward you, you will have a better chance of asserting your rights if they fall short of their duties. If you have been injured at work and you are in the process of making a workers’ compensation claim, make sure that you understand all aspects of the law.