Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Worker’s Compensation Insurance Benefits: What You Are Entitled To

Every worker is entitled to Employee Compensation. If you are employed in California and you get injured, you have the right to claim benefits under worker’s compensation insurance from your employer.

Worker’s compensation is regulated by federal and state laws. These laws protect workers who are injured and provide means for the grant of aids during their time of need.

Worker’s compensation insurance is a no fault insurance. This means that if you are injured as a result of the performance of your work, you should be granted worker’s compensation regardless of who is at fault. In short, unlike other personal injury claims, an injured worker does not need to prove negligence in order to be granted worker’s compensation claims.

As an injured worker, the law mandates that you should be provided with medical care and cure for your injury. If your injury cannot be cured, worker’s compensation insurance should shoulder your treatments to ease your pain and suffering. Aside from this, you must be paid allowance while you are not able to work. This is called “total temporary disability”. Although the granted benefit is less than your regular monthly salary, at least you have an allowance to pay for your daily living costs while you are treating.

In case, however, you are totally disabled or impaired and you cannot perform the job for which you were hired, worker’s compensation should grant you settlement instead of compensation. Simultaneously, worker’s compensation should aid you in looking for work and must pay for your training to be able to perform other means of gainful employment

Friday, July 6, 2007

Employment Termination

Termination from a job is always an unwelcome scenario. Aside from losing your source of livelihood, you are faced with the grave worry of looking for another job. This is especially difficult with workers who are already of old or advanced age.

The fist thing that you should determine after being terminated is the reason for your termination. You may find out that your termination is invalid. If this is the case, then you have recourse against your erring employer. An employee that has been wrongfully terminated can ask for back pay, benefits and other damages.

If you are, however, terminated due to lawful or just cause, then your only option is to get ready your application and be prepared for job interviews. A lawful or just termination means that you are terminated for incompetence, tardiness and drunkenness or for commission of any crime like physical violence or theft of company property.

In order to determine whether you have a cause against your employer, you should be mindful of what reasons or instances are not justified reasons for firing an employee. The following are not just or valid reasons for firing an employee:

  1. Whistle blowing
  2. Complaints to and against employer for violation of employment and labor rights
  3. Testifying against the employer for another employee
  4. Lawful gathering and other union activities, and
  5. Filing complaints and charges of unfair labor practices

If you have been terminated for the above reasons, you are assured that your termination is unlawful. In this case, you need to seek representation from an expert wrongful termination attorney immediately.

Employment Responsibility in Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is defined as an unwelcome attention that is sexual in nature. Sexual harassment is also a form of illegal discrimination and abuse in some countries including the United States.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits harassment of an employee based on race, color, sex, religion or national origin. It is the duty of every employer to make sure that its employees are free from harassment and discrimination in the workplace. Although the employer is not directly responsible, the duty encompasses the obligation to protect and defend the employees from sexual harassment and other types of harassment and discrimination.

In June of 1998, the Supreme Court issued two major decisions that explained when employers would be held liable or legally responsible for unlawful harassment by its supervisors. It has been stated that an employer is always responsible for harassment by a supervisor if the sexual harassment leads to tangible employment action.

A tangible employment action is when the harassment results to the hiring, firing, demotion or promotion of the employee victim.

If there is no tangible employment action that coincides with the sexual harassment, the employer could escape liability for the sexual harassment act he proves the following:

  1. The employer exercised reasonable care to prevent and promptly correct any harassment; and
  2. The employee unreasonably failed to complain to management or to avoid harm otherwise.

In the first, the employer can show that it tried to prevent harassment by showing that it made it clear to all employees as a policy that harassment and discrimination in any form is prohibited in the workplace. Also, the employer can show that it had established guidelines and grievance machinery to protect its employees from sexual harassment.

On the second, it is the duty of every employee to promptly and properly complains to the employer about the harassment in the workplace. The unreasonable delay in the filing of a complaint could be construed as acquiescence to the sexual act.

If you are an employer, make sure that you make it known in the workplace that harassment in any form is not allowed. Otherwise, you just could be made liable to the sexual aggressiveness of your supervisors.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Who Cannot Claim Worker’s Compensation?

Generally, Worker’s Compensation provides benefit to injured employees. Every state has their own form of Worker’s Compensation which are generally known as Workmen’s Compensation, Workers’ Compensation, Workman’s Compensation or Work Comp.

The general principle underlying Worker’s Compensation is that it requires the employers to replace compensation of their employees for injuries sustained while performing his or her job functions to replace lost wages and cover the employee’s medical expenses.

Worker’s Compensation is a no fault system, meaning that it doesn’t matter whether the injury is caused by the negligence of the employee or the employer or even both. So long as the employee sustained a job related injury, he or she should be paid in full in accordance with law.

However, not all employees can be granted the benefits under Worker’s Compensation. Exceptions may include:

  1. injuries caused primarily by intoxication of employee or due to influence of controlled substances;
  2. injuries caused by attempted suicide or homicide by employees;
  3. injuries as a result of commission of a crime while o the job;
  4. injuries as a result of engaging in horseplay on the job, for those who leave employer’s premises without authority, or for other deviations from employment without the employer’s implied or express approval; and
  5. reduction of benefits for employees injured as a result of failure to put on or use proper health and safety equipment and gears.

As you can see, if you are a dedicated employee and is honest in your work, you don’t have to worry about not getting worker’s compensation in case of work related injuries. In case you will have problems in claming your rights, consult with expert lawyers near your immediate area.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Responsibility of Ownership

Property owners may face a significant liability problem every time an individual steps in their properties. Every property owner has a duty to his or her guests to keep the property in a reasonably safe condition.

Premise liability can be applied against all types of property owners. Commercial properties like malls and stores are liable some accidents causing injuries to their customers or patrons. Puddle sof water on the floor, slippery flooring tiles which have no warning signs are dangerous conditions that could make commercial property owners liable for accidents proximately caused by it.

On the part of the industrial and construction property owners, they are liable for trip and falls, falling materials or debris on their properties or even accidents that happen near their properties where the accidents were due to falling debris or debris left lying on the premises causing passersby to be tripped and fall resulting in injuries.

The government is liable for injuries resulting from roadway and vehicular accidents especially due when the accident is largely due to poor maintenance of broken, slippery or uneven pathways, walkways or alleyways.

Even private property owners are not safe from premise liability if any of his or her visitors sustained injuries as a result of slip, trip and fall from their premises.

If you are a property owner, the best way to protect yourself from premise liability claims is to properly maintain your properties.