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California - Question on rights
#1
Hello,

I have never dealt with this before, so I would appreciate help. I have been managing a large upscale hardware store in OC for the last 16 years. Because my supervisor puts on so much pressure to cut labor costs I end up having to do much more than manage the operations, such as power washing the building, windows, painting, and handy man work around the store.

Yesterday I fell off a ladder while washing the exterior windows, I hit my head on the pavement and ended up getting 8 stitches, as well as twisting my back and tearing a muscle. My back is in excruciating pain and my head has not stopped throbbing since, I am nervous about this because I never even get casual headaches.

I went to my regular Dr and he advised I seek a workers comp physician, I honestly just want to be treated, I have no intention on filing a claim on something that will (hopefully) heal. I did not seek a WC physician but I did mention the comment to my boss, and his response was "well you don't have a claim because we never asked you to wash the windows or building, you took it upon yourself so you're responsible for the injury".

While it is true they never "asked" me to do this, they have seen me do it for the last 16 years, they even approved that I purchase a power washer to clean the store. They never stopped me from doing this, but can anyone tell me if this is the case? Is he right? Do I not have rights because I was not formally asked to perform the duty?

At this point I still have no intention on filling a claim, but if the head injury becomes serious (my Dr said this can happen) I want to know that the law protects me.

Any advice/input would be appreciated.

(I'm sorry for the long post)!

Stephen
 
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#2
it would be foolish to not file a claim in my opinion. No good deed goes unpunished
 
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#3
Yes....File a claim!

Is not your boss your superior? The one who is suppose to guide and over-see your work and give direction when needed ? Then why did he not stop you from the job you were doing ? It's His problem, sorry bossman.
File that claim with or without him! You could have lasting disabilities from that fall....one never knows. You need to CYA for now and the future
Good Luck, LillySmile
Injured worker, & tired of it all! I'm too old for games!!

A careless word may kindle strife, a cruel word may wreck a life, a timely word may level stress, and a loving word may heal and bless!
 
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#4
Thanks for the input, I kinda feel the same way. I'm just afraid of loosing my job over this, I've never had any problems till now. On another note I'm afraid of having problem in the future and not be able to take care of it financially.

I thought his comment was out of line, especially because (you're right) as my supervisor he should have been giving me direction not to do it, but he was getting free labor - I am salary so I never made any extra money to go there on my days off (which I did many times) to tidy up the store.

Thanks again!
 
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#5
stephen, You are apt to loose your job over this injury, whether you file a claim or not. Employers are NOT what they used to be, when it comes to employee treatment. Once injured, you become a liability now & in the future.

Your job is protected for 12 wks I belive on FMLA...after that they CAN replace you if they choose. I was lucky in this respect, as my company saved my job for me...but they legally didn't have to after the 12 wks of FMLA expired.
Good luck, Lilly
Injured worker, & tired of it all! I'm too old for games!!

A careless word may kindle strife, a cruel word may wreck a life, a timely word may level stress, and a loving word may heal and bless!
 
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#6
one of the most frequent reasons comp claims go into litigation is delays in reporting --either by the employer or the employee. the more time that elapses between injury and claim the more likely other non-industrial reasons crop up to offer an alternative explanation to the medical problems.

as far as claim denial for working "outside your prescribed job duties". That is never a legitimate reason for rejection and has no chance of happening. Neither employers or employees are allowed the final word on whether benefits are paid or not.
the delay in reporting will be the larger problem on any potential claim.

if you still want to wait and see, then start a paper trail. document in writing all the events, names, dates etc. that involve your claim. get the paperwork on your initial medical visit. That might make it easier for their investigator if your condition gets worse and you file late. while the law gives you a year to file that doesn't mean they have to pay automatically.
here's a link to the claim form
http://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/DWCForm1.pdf
information on benefits
http://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/InjuredWorker.htm
Reminder :
........Each state has their own comp system; POST YOUR STATE to get accurate information. Use the search feature to find information from similar questions.
THANKS FOR POSTING.
 
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#7
Thank you so much for the information and links, this really helps...

Great advice, I have already started documenting and the more I think about it and read through people's stories of getting totally screwed over, the more I realize filing a claim may be the smartest thing to do at this point.



1171 Wrote:one of the most frequent reasons comp claims go into litigation is delays in reporting --either by the employer or the employee. the more time that elapses between injury and claim the more likely other non-industrial reasons crop up to offer an alternative explanation to the medical problems.

as far as claim denial for working "outside your prescribed job duties". That is never a legitimate reason for rejection and has no chance of happening. Neither employers or employees are allowed the final word on whether benefits are paid or not.
the delay in reporting will be the larger problem on any potential claim.

if you still want to wait and see, then start a paper trail. document in writing all the events, names, dates etc. that involve your claim. get the paperwork on you initial medical visit. That might make it easier for their investigator if your condition gets worse and you file late. while the law gives you a year to file that doesn't mean they have to pay automatically.
here's a link to the claim form
http://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/DWCForm1.pdf
information on benefits
http://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/InjuredWorker.htm
 
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#8
Its disconcerting to think I could loose my job due to a work related injury, especially after a decade and a half... Well I should say especially in this economy and considering I'm 49, but I know that medical costs can add up fast so I think I'm going to claim just to be on the safe side.

Thanks.


Lilly Wrote:stephen, You are apt to loose your job over this injury, whether you file a claim or not. Employers are NOT what they used to be, when it comes to employee treatment. Once injured, you become a liability now & in the future.

Your job is protected for 12 wks I belive on FMLA...after that they CAN replace you if they choose. I was lucky in this respect, as my company saved my job for me...but they legally didn't have to after the 12 wks of FMLA expired.
Good luck, Lilly
 
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#9
I lost mine after 18 years and never even calling in sick. I too was a manager with a large home improvement store. You have to take actions to protect yourself and your own interests. Just realize, as someone else said, whether you report it or not, you may lose your job.
 
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#10
That's brutal, sorry to hear that.



OldManOnCampus Wrote:I lost mine after 18 years and never even calling in sick. I too was a manager with a large home improvement store. You have to take actions to protect yourself and your own interests. Just realize, as someone else said, whether you report it or not, you may lose your job.
 
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