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Los Angeles County Workplace Injury Law Blog

1 in 5 men victims of workplace sexual harassment

According to an April 8 report, men make up around one in five of those who complain to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) with workplace sexual harassment concerns. People often assume that women are the only people who deal with workplace sexual harassment, but it's simply not the truth. Even men can deal with these issues.

Take, for example, the story of one man who had been working for 15 years at a nuclear manufacturing facility in Virginia. He took a promotion and pay increase, but he found that the new position put him in a difficult spot. He faced sexual harassment almost every day as a result of one of the other workers he was in contact with each day.

How does employment law help employees?

Employment law focuses on protecting the rights of workers or employers, depending on the side being practiced. Employee-side employment law focuses on the rights of employees and the obligations and responsibilities of employers to their employees. Attorneys in the field may work with clients facing issues due to wrongful termination, discrimination or wage concerns.

By law, employees and those interviewing to become employees of an employer have rights afforded to them. They, for instance, have the right not to face discrimination and to be paid at least the minimum required by law. On top of federal laws, employers must also abide by statewide laws that could affect employee rights.

Your employer cannot require you to work overtime without pay

Many people with jobs in California get paid on an hourly basis. Instead of receiving a salary, they get paid for each hour they work for their employer. This system works well for many positions, companies and workers. However, some employers choose to abuse or violate the law when it comes to the rights of hourly workers.

Federal law is very clear about the need to pay overtime wages. Some employers will do just about anything that they can think of to avoid paying those higher wages to workers. If your employer is illegally refusing to pay you overtime wages, you may need to take legal action to stand up for your rights and obtain the compensation you deserve for the work that you perform.

You can prove that you were wrongfully terminated

Wrongful terminations are not as uncommon as you may think, and that's why you need to protect yourself. As someone who has been terminated from your position, you may be concerned that you were terminated in a manner that was against the law. Your reasoning is that you recently reported harassment at work, and now you suddenly are out of the job.

How can you prove that you've been wrongfully terminated? What can you do to show that you deserve to keep your job? Here are a few things to remember:

What is a reasonable accommodation after a workers' comp claim?

No one comes to work in the morning with the intention of ending up severely injured or sickened. However, people do end up hurt in the course of completing job duties every day in California. That's why workers' compensation insurance exists. It protects those who work for a living from incurring massive medical debt or becoming indigent as the result of a debilitating workplace injury.

Sometimes, those injuries are so severe that a worker simply cannot return to work, perhaps permanently. Spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries are examples of work injuries that can result in permanent disability. However, sometimes injuries improve over time, allowing workers to return to their previous positions. In these situations, employers are supposed to make reasonable accommodations for employees.

Dealing with Social Security denials is a difficult task

If you get denied for Social Security Disability, one of the things you may want to know is what you can do to get approved. If this isn't your first denial, then it's already a reality that you don't have many options.

What you can do is file an appeal, called a request for reconsideration, after your first denial. If you are denied again, you need to request a disability hearing. The hearing takes place in person, making it easier for you to show your disability to those who have the power to approve your disability benefits.

Medical marijuana: The medicine that could cost you your job

When you're taking a medication that helps you function better, you expect to go to work and participate like on any other day. As long as you have no symptoms that make you a danger to yourself or others, there's no problem, right? That's not always the case.

If you've been given marijuana legally by a doctor, then you would think that you should be able to go to work and not worry about random drug tests. However, many people discovered that the drug tests could still cost them their jobs, even if the drugs were used legally.

What can you do to stay safe on the job?

When you go to work, you expect to come home at the end of the day. In fact, many workers count the hours until they can leave, never imagining that they may not ever see their families again.

Unfortunately, there are hundreds of work-related deaths that occur each year in California. Some are truly accidents and weren't preventable, but on the whole, most workplace accidents can be avoided with some safety precautions in place.

Repetitive stress injuries may leave you unable to work

When people think about workers' compensation and injuries, catastrophic injuries usually come to mind. Certainly, workers' compensation protects a construction worker who falls and injures his spine. However, it also covers factory workers or office staff who develop debilitating repetitive stress or repetitive motion injuries. Slowly developed work injuries are still work injuries.

Not all work-related injuries happen as the result of a trauma. Many of them are the natural result of performing the same task, day after day, for years. Ignoring that pain or discomfort for a day or two can get you through a shift, but it could result in worsening symptoms over time. If pain, discomfort or weakness in a limb or joint persists, you should seek medical evaluation.

You have the right to appeal if denied Social Security Disability

People find themselves in need of Social Security Disability benefits for many different reasons. Perhaps you got hurt at work, suffering a traumatic or repetitive stress injury. Maybe you experienced a motor vehicle collision that resulted in permanent injury. Perhaps a progressive illness has left you unable to work or care for yourself. Whatever the reason, you believe that Social Security Disability will help you survive, only to find your application denied.

Most likely, that denial came after a long waiting period. Application processing can take a very long time, leaving you financially vulnerable and worried. A denial can feel disheartening. Instead of giving up, you need to push back. You can file an appeal if your benefits are denied. It's the only way to connect with the benefits you deserve in many cases.

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