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Los Angeles County Workplace Injury Law Blog

Tick bites: Employers could be liable for illnesses that result

Employers may never have thought of this before, but if an employee suffers a bug bite that leads to infection or illness while working, they could be held liable for that injury. For example, in California, Lyme disease does have the potential to be a problem, particularly in areas with wildlife and foliage. The disease isn't always easy to detect right away, but over time, it can lead to chronic health issues.

Ticks also carry the Powassan virus, (POW), which has the ability to attack the brain and cause neurological problems. Death is a possibility in both cases of POW and Lyme.

Do you deserve more money for working overtime in California?

In California, there are laws that protect workers who work overtime. While there are some positions that are exempt from overtime laws and regulations, the majority of people working in the state are able to seek overtime if they work more than a 40-hour week. In general, the law states that no person, except the exempt, may work over 40 hours in one week without receiving 1.5 times the normal regular rate of pay for any hours over the traditional 40-hour workweek. Anyone who works more than 12 hours in one day should be paid double for hours extending past 12 and again for all hours that are worked in excess of eight on the seventh day of continual work.

There are several jobs and types of workers exempted from the law. For example, a salaried worker may not be entitled to overtime if they meet the exempt status that has been created by the state and federal laws. The Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Orders may also specifically exempt certain workers in various fields from overtime conditions.

Migrant workers may receive Social Security disability benefits

If you are a migrant worker in California, you are doing back-breaking labor for very little money. But that is only one of the drawbacks to this career choice. For instance, are you aware that only 2 percent of migrant workers are eligible for Social Security benefits, including disability?

Migrant workers underserved, often exploited

Predesignate a doctor in case of a workplace injury

In an emergency, the last thing you have on your mind is which doctor you want to see. Most people just want to feel better, to stop bleeding or to get pain medications to help them feel normal. If not having your own doctor is something that worries you, you may be able to predesignate a personal physician with your employer.

It's fairly easy to do so. You'll need to contact your employer in writing to let him or her know that you wish to predesignate a personal physician in the event that you need care. You'll want to include important information in the statement including the name of your employer, who you designate as your personal physician, how to reach your physician and the date. You will also need to sign the document in plain text and with your personal signature.

Woman files lawsuit after harassment on LinkedIn

Sexual harassment can be a serious problem for an employer. With the age of the internet, using social media can help support recruiting new people to your business, but it can also turn a situation sour when harassment is involved.

For example, one site, LinkedIn, is a well-known networking platform. There, one banker was trying to recruit an industry professional. The woman and potential recruit was shocked when she received nude photos and sexual messages from the man.

Age discrimination is real in today's workplace

Age discrimination is a real problem in America's workforce. You may spend all your time working for a company for decades, but when you reach a certain age, there is a possibility that someone may believe your age hinders your ability to do your job.

Age discrimination comes in a few different forms. Some people discriminate by hiring only younger people who "look more attractive" than other potential hires. Some employers may let go of older employees to save money, since they can pay a younger person less.

You deserve a workplace free of discrimination

Workplace discrimination has no place in the culture of a workplace. It hinders performance and places stress on individuals who do not deserve it. It can hurt a person's chance of moving up in business or may prevent him or her from ever being hired.

California respects your right to a workplace free of discrimination. The federal government also protects your rights in several ways. For instance, it is illegal for employers who have five or more employees to discriminate due to protected categories. It's also illegal to retaliate against a person because of asserting his or her right not to be discriminated against.

Anti-discrimination laws protect you on the job

If you've been terminated from your position at your job, it's vital that you understand if it was a legal termination. If you were wrongfully terminated for any reason, you actually have a legal case against your employer.

Many people assume that because their employers are at-will employers, they don't have any right to complain if they're fired. The fact is that at-will employment does allow for an employer to hire or fire people at will, but not if he or she violates a contract or anti-discrimination laws in the process.

You deserve workers' compensation for occupational illnesses

The workers' compensation system is supposed to be there to help those who are hurt on the job. The problem is that some people are not given all the benefits they deserve as easily as they should receive them. Sometimes, employers don't want to file a claim, or they claim that the injury you've suffered isn't related to your work.

In fact, one woman has been fighting for years to obtain compensation for her husband's injuries and death through the workers' compensation system. The difficulty, like in many cases, is linking the injuries he had to the job. For many Americans, this rings true as they try to show that it was exposure to hazardous elements that has left them injured, not genetics or other factors.

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