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Managing Employee Injuries, Disability and Occupational Safety

INTENDED AUDIENCE: Public Agency
CATEGORY: Employee Disability and Injuries, Employee Disability Injury & Protected Leave, Public Agency, Public Education

The California Workers’ Compensation Law establishes in all, except certain, designated employments, an exclusive system of compensation for injuries, or death to employees arising out of and in the course of their employment and not caused by the employee’s intoxication or intentionally self-inflicted injury.

The California Workers’ Compensation Law provides the broadest coverage of employment and benefits in the nation.  Virtually every employer and employee in the state of California are subject to the compulsory provisions of its workers’ compensation law.  Every type of legal entity may be an employer: individuals, partnerships, corporations, associations, the state, counties, cities, special purpose or taxing districts and other agencies.  The law applies with equal force to citizens and resident aliens.

The Act provides for medical treatment, temporary disability benefits, permanent disability benefits, vocational rehabilitation benefits, medical benefits, and death benefits.  The benefits are funded through insurance or through self-funding by qualified employers.  Benefits are administered through a process of self-administration with a right of appeal to the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, the California Appellate Courts, and the California Supreme Court.  The law also provides for preventive measures in the form of safety laws and administrative rules.  The law is frequently liberally construed in favor of providing benefits.

This workbook provides an overview to Workers’ Compensation including benefits, procedures, administration, penalties, third-party liability and employer responsibilities.

Topics Include:

  • Introduction
    • Historical Background
    • California Law Summarized
  • Covered Employment
    • Employer
    • Employee
    • Special Circumstances
  • What Is an Industrial Injury?
    • Defined
    • Arising out of Employment
    • Course of Employment
    • Categories of Injuries
    • Types of Injuries
    • Presumptions of Injury
  • Benefits
    • In General
    • Medical Benefits
    • Classes of Disability Benefits
  • WCAB Procedures and Administration of the System    
    • Introduction
    • WCAB Proceedings
  • Penalties
    • Unreasonable Delay in Furnishing Benefits (10%)
    • Civil Penalty Legislation Effective January 1, 1990
    • Late Payment of Medical Fees
    • Serious and Willful Misconduct (50%)
    • Challenges to Benefits
    • Serious and Willful Misconduct of an Employee
    • Discrimination
  • Third Party Liability and Employee Civil Actions
    • Third Party Subrogation
    • Who are Third Parties?
    • Actions against Negligent Third Parties
    • Firefighter’s Rule
    • Exclusive Remedy as to Employer
    • Public Agency Liability Arising from the Issuance of Building Permits
  • Employer Reporting Responsibilities, Notice Obligations, and Investigation and Claims Management
    • Introduction
    • Investigative Checklists
    • Investigative Checklist for Injuries on Employer’s Premises
    • Investigative Checklist for Injuries off Employer’s Premises
    • Investigative Checklist – Intoxication
    • Investigative Checklist – Altercations and Assault
    • Investigative Checklist – Fall as the Cause of Injury
    • Investigative Checklist – Back Injuries
    • Preserving the Confidentiality of the Investigative Report
  • Personnel Management and the Industrially Injured Employee
    • Introduction
    • Labor Code Section 132a
    • Management Checklist for Avoiding Liability for Claims under Labor Code Section 132a

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