Legal Update: On September 17, 2020, California Governor Newsom signed SB 1159 into law expanding on the rebuttable presumption created from Executive Order N-62-20 to include illness or death resulting from COVID-19 to be compensable for any employee and establishing two new presumptions pertaining to frontline employees and employees who contracted COVID-19 during a workplace outbreak on or after July 6, 2020 through January 1, 2023, resulting in the addition of three (3) Labor Code sections. Labor Code §3212.86 codifies Executive Order N-62-20 that created a rebuttable presumption that an employee who was diagnosed with or tested positive for COVID-19 between March 19, 2020 through July 5, 2020 contracted the virus on the job. SB 1159 extends the presumption to encompass an illness or death related to COVID-19 to be compensable if the following four conditions are met:
1) The employee has tested positive for or was diagnosed with COVID-19 within 14 days after a day that the employee performed labor or services at the employee’s place of employment at the employer’s direction;
2) The last day the employee worked at the employer’s direction at his or her place of employment was on or after March 19, 2020 and on or before July 5, 2020;
3) The place of employment was not the employee’s home or residence; and
4) The COVID-19 diagnosis was made by a licensed physician and surgeon holding a M.D. or D.O. or a supervised state licensed physician assistant or nurse practitioner. The diagnosis is confirmed by testing or by a COVID-19 serologic test within thirty (30) days of the date of the diagnosis.
Labor Code §3212.87 creates an industrial causation presumption for frontline employees who have contracted COVID-19 in the workplace, including illness or death resulting from COVID-19, between July 6, 2020 and January 1, 2023. The frontline employees covered under this presumption are the following, including but not limited to: firefighters, peace officers, rescue service coordinators, peace officers, health facility employees, registered nurses, emergency medical technicians, emergency-medical technician-paramedics, employees providing direct patient care for a home health agency and providers of in-home supportive services. For the presumption to apply, the aforementioned employees must establish the following conditions:
- they performed labor or services at their place of employment, not their home or residence, at the employer’s direction on or after July 6, 2020; and
- The employee has tested positive for COVID-19 within 14 days after a day that the employee performed labor or services at the employee’s place of employment at the employer’s direction.
Labor Code §3212.88 establishes an industrial causation presumption for employees who are not frontline workers but who test positive for COVID-19 during an outbreak at their place of employment if it has five or more employees. The injury for the presumption encompasses illness or death resulting from COVID-19. For the presumption to apply, the employee must establish the following conditions:
- The employee tests positive for COVID-19 within 14 days on or after July 6, 2020 that the employee performed labor or services at the employee’s place of employment at the employer’s direction; and
- The employee’s positive test occurred during a period of an outbreak at the employee’s specific place of employment.
Under Labor Code §3212.88, there is a forty-five (45) day period to deny the claim after the claim form is filed.
On June 15, 2020, in the landmark case, Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, No. 17-1618, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that an employer who fires an employee merely for being gay or transgender violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The definition of “sex” in Title VII was at issue. In a 6-to-3 ruling, the Supreme Court found that the provision of the Civil Rights Act that bans employment discrimination on the basis of sex also encompasses sexual orientation and gender identity. In the decision, Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote for the majority, “An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex. . .Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids.” This Supreme Court decision is a tremendous victory for L.G.B.T. rights nationwide!
On May 27, 2020, in County of Santa Clara v. WCAB(Justice), the 6th District Court of Appeals held that permanent disability could be apportioned to non-industrial factors pursuant to Labor Code Section 4663 following industrial medical or surgical treatment regardless if it is directly caused by the work-related injury. The holding follows the finding in Petaluma which states that when there is unrebutted substantial medical evidence that non-industrial factors caused permanent disability, permanent disability shall be apportioned pursuant to the Labor Code. The non-industrial factors include pathology, asymptomatic prior conditions and retroactive prophylactic work preclusions. The Applicant in this matter had non-industrial, preexisting knee degeneration that caused 50% of the resulting post-surgical permanent disability.
The Court provided a narrow interpretation of Hikida finding that it only precludes apportionment when the sole cause of the permanent disability is the industrial medical treatment. Here, the industrial medical treatment did not result in a new compensable consequential injury and the permanent disability was not caused solely by the industrial medical treatment. In sum, the facts of both cases differ but the Court’s interpretation of Hikida limits its scope and applicability.
On May 6, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-62-20 establishing a rebuttable presumption that an employee who tests positive for or was diagnosed with COVID-19 contracted the virus on the job. This presumption covers dates of injury from March 19, 2020 through July 5, 2020. However, to qualify for this presumption, the following four conditions must be met:
- 1) The employee was diagnosed with or tested positive for COVID-19 within fourteen (14) days from the last day the injured worker performed labor or services at the employee’s place of employment at the employer’s direction;
- 2) The last day worked at the employer’s direction at his or her place of employment was on or after March 19, 2020;
- 3) The place of employment was not the injured worker’s home or residence; and
- 4) The COVID-19 diagnosis was made by a physician who holds a physician and surgeon license issued by the California Medical Board. The diagnosis must be confirmed within thirty (30) days by further testing.
Governor Newsom modified Labor Code Section 5402 creating a thirty (30) day time period for Defendants to accept or deny compensability for the alleged COVID-19 illness. If not denied within the first thirty (30) days, the COVID-19 illness is presumed compensable but can be rebutted with evidence discovered after the thirty (30) day period. If the illness is found compensable, the employee’s paid sick leave benefits must be completely exhausted before temporary disability benefits are due and payable.
If your job duties require painful, repetitive movements of the forearm, wrist and elbow over a prolonged period of time, you may be at risk of developing lateral epicondylitis, also known as “tennis elbow.” Per a study by Cleveland Clinic, “tennis elbow” is a common work-related injury amongst those performing continuous overarm movements, including but […]
Khanuja Law has been able to successfully advocate for workers who fear the possibility of contracting COVID-19 on the job due to an outbreak. Our clients have been able to receive compensation and treatment for stress, anxiety and panic attacks stemming from COVID-19 outbreaks at work. Request a free consultation today.
A recent study by the Strategic Organizing Center found Amazon warehouse workers to have suffered 49% of all injuries in the warehousing industry in 2021 despite Amazon employing only 33% of warehouse workers. Khanuja Law has experience aggressively advocating for warehouse workers who sustained musculoskeletal injuries from prolonged packing, bending, and heavy lifting to meet […]
FARMER SAFETY In the agriculture industry, one of the leading causes of fatalities and serious injuries involving lost time from work is tractor overturn. To control hazards and prevent the risk of injury associated with farm equipment, OSHA requires each industrial tractor with over 20 horsepower manufactured after 1976 and operated by a hired worker […]
COVID-19 Outbreak at Work? If four or more workers at your jobsite, with hundred or fewer employees, test positive for COVID-19, there may be a COVID19 “outbreak” at your work. If you have tested positive for COVID19 during an outbreak at work, your right to receive workers’ compensation benefits may be presumed provided that specified […]
Per data by the CDC, 19.6% of all 698 reported COVID-19 outbreaks in the workplace in Los Angeles occurred in the retail trade industry. If you are currently experiencing shortness of breath, chest pain, muscle aches, congestion, and/or headaches, KhanujaLaw is here to help. Please visit https://khanujalaw.com to request a free consultation.
Is it Legal To Fire Me After I Return To Work From Disability Leave? Labor Code Section 132a protects an employee from being discriminated against for sustaining an injury on the job. However, the Board in Loera v. Northrop Grumman found an injured worker’s termination upon return from disability leave to be justified when he […]
Employees who work in close contact with others, such as in manufacturing, transportation and warehouses, are more likely to be exposed to a COVID-19 outbreak in the workplace despite compliance with the #mask mandate. The CDC found the manufacturing industry to have the highest #incidence rate of COVID19 outbreak-related cases. Approximately 26.4% of all reported […]
According to the National Safety Council, workers in the education and health service industries sustained the most nonfatal injuries involving days away from work in 2020. In education, injuries are frequently attributed to violence and/or stress on the job.
The California Workers’ Compensation Institute conducted an 18-month study on COVID19 claims from January 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021 that found the healthcare industry to be the most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Approximately 30% of all COVID-19 claims in California are attributed to the healthcare industry. If you have contracted COVID-19 on the […]
The CDC estimates around 100 agricultural workers a day to suffer a “lost-work-time injury.” They rank farming as one of the most hazardous industries with the highest risk for work injuries and fatalities.
Majority of workers’ compensation claims involving back injuries are attributed to the workers’ job duties and not from accidents. Mayo Clinic recently published a report on the types of job duties that contribute to back pain. Lifting heavy items and/or performing repetitive movements on the job are the most common causes of back pain in […]
Per data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and its assessment by the National Safety Council on reported injuries in the private industry, the body part most affected by injuries and illnesses in 2020 was the body system, primarily due to the spread of COVID-19, which “. . .accounted for over 34% of the […]
Injured while getting ready in the employee locker room? The Court in Price v. WCAB held that “acts of personal convenience are within the course of employment if they are reasonably contemplated by the employment.” Price v. WCAB (1984) 37 Cal. 3d 559. If an employee sustains an injury while getting ready at work during […]
According to a study by the National Safety Council, the leading cause of work-related injuries involving time off is now “exposure to harmful substances or environments” following the emergence of COVID19 in 2020. If you are currently experiencing shortness of breath, dry cough, muscle aches, fatigue, congestion, headaches and/or loss of taste and smell, we […]
Honored that Khanuja Law Founding Partner, Neelu K. Khanuja, Esq., has been selected to the 2022 Super Lawyers Rising Stars List! Through a patented multiphase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice area, Super Lawyers selects lawyers who have attained notable peer recognition […]
Effective January 18, 2022(exp. July 19, 2022), if the requisite conditions set forth in emergency CCR 46.3 are met, a QME or AME medical-legal evaluation may be conducted through telehealth by a virtual meeting between the physician and injured worker.
Injured during a work break? Under the personal comfort doctrine, an injury may be covered under workers’ compensation while engaging in activity necessary for personal comfort, convenience or welfare at work. The covered activities may include eating lunch, going to the restroom, drinking water and/or exercising during break. Department of Mental Hygiene of the State […]
Losing wages due to business shutdown? If you have been injured on the job and your employer can no longer offer modified work due to its closure, you may be entitled to temporary disability benefits if your employer is unable to prove the termination was for “good cause.” The WCAB has consistently found termination for […]
Effective January 1, 2022, the WCAB permanently changed its Rules of Practice and Procedure and added 8 CCR 10815 – 10817 to formally allow any matter to be set for an electronic hearing, parties to appear electronically and witnesses to testify electronically.
FAQ: How long do I have to pursue a personal injury lawsuit ? Generally, the statute of limitations to pursue a personalinjury claim in California is two (2) years from the date of the accident.
FAQ: Can my employer legally fire me for refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine prior to returning to work? Per the guidelines set forth by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, an employer may enforce a COVID19 vaccination mandate in the workplace as long as it is in compliance with the Americans with […]
A personal injury lawsuit may arise from one or more of the following types of #accidents including but not limited to: car accidents, slips and falls, assault, injury resulting from an unsafe or defective condition on someone else’s property, dog bites, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents and more.
Safety First! To avoid workplace injuries, OSHA requires all chemical manufacturers importers and employers utilizing hazardous chemicals to comply with the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (“HCS”). This standard requires employers provide material safety data sheets, labels, training and more to their employees.
Missing time from work to recover from your injury? If you are losing wages and not receiving benefits for disability leave while recovering from a workers’ compensation injury, you may be entitled to retroactive disability benefits, interest, and penalties pursuant to Labor Code Sections 5800, 5814, and 4650(d).
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, if the requisite safety standards are not followed when applying high levels of cyclodiene pesticides, the resulting exposure may cause long-lasting effects to the liver and central nervous system.
Working in the agriculture industry? If you are currently experiencing headaches, dizziness, and/or vomiting after prolonged exposure to pesticides on the job, Khanuja Law is here to help.
The National Council on Compensation Insurance (“NCCI”) “estimates that COVID-19 claims, excluding self-insureds, have the potential to ultimately result in WC losses exceeding $500 million over the entire duration of the pandemic across jurisdictions where NCCI provides ratemaking services.” – NCCI
Working long hours to meet unrealistic expectations? The pressure for warehouse workers to fulfill production quotas, resulting in working overtime with no meal or rest periods, has increased exposure for workplace injuries due to prolonged lifting and/or from slips and falls. If you have been injured on the job, Khanuja Law has the skills and […]
An increasing number of employers are mandating employees provide proof of COVID19 vaccination prior to returning to work. Over the past year, we have been able to successfully help several clients recover from anxiety due to vaccination mandates at work. If you are currently experiencing anxiety from a vaccination mandate, Khanuja Law is here […]
According to the National Safety Council, workers in the construction industry have the highest risk for fatal injuries resulting from falls from a height than those in any other industry. This can be prevented if an employer eliminates workplace hazards, mandates safety training, provides protective equipment and adheres to health and safety standards. Khanuja Law […]
Occupations with an increased risk for injury to the hands/wrists are commonly secretaries, data entry workers, computer programmers, cashiers, assembly workers, technicians, assistants, accountants, athletes, and office clerks. If you are developing pain numbness, tingling, and/or weakness in your hands/wrists from performing repetitive movements on the job, you may have a viable cumulative trauma […]
UPDATE: The Division of Workers’ Compensation announced an increase in the minimum & maximum rates for temporary total disability (“TTD”) benefits starting on January 1, 2022. From $203.44 currently, the minimum TTD rate will increase to $230.95 per week. From $1,356.31 currently, the maximum TTD rate will increase to $1,539.71 per week.
According to the California Department of Public Health, the Delta variant has become the most widespread and contagious COVID variant in the state. As a result, COVID workers’ compensation claims recently spiked, increasing nearly four-fold in California since the Delta variant emerged per a study by the California Workers’ Compensation Institute. Industries that have experienced […]
Approximately 1.6 million to 3.8 million athletes annually suffer concussions per a study by the Brain Injury Research Institute. If you are currently suffering headaches memory problems, blurred vision, and/or difficulty concentrating after a blow to the head, KhanujaLaw will help you get the neurological treatment you need and compensation you deserve. Khanuja Law has […]
“California rains break all-time records, spurring floods and mudslides.” – Los Angeles Times (October 25, 2021) In the past one (1) week since the record-breaking storm flooded our streets, workers who slipped and fell in the rain have reached out to us requesting help with the injuries sustained that day. If you or someone you […]
In the private sector, the transportation industry has consistently been one of the three industries with the highest number of work-related injuries in California per the U.S. Department of Labor. If you have been injured on the job in the transportation industry, Khanuja Law is here to help.
Anxiety from working during COVID ? We have filed several workers’ compensation claims for clients who have had panic attacks, anxiety and/or depression from working on jobsites that require close contact with co-workers who have COVID, that don’t enforce the recommended COVID guidelines and/or those that operate in violation of health and safety codes. If you are currently experiencing the above as a result of working under […]
We have recently received an overwhelming number of psych workers’ compensation claims and have successfully reached six-figure settlements for our clients during the early stages. If you have been harassed verbally abused, assaulted, raped and/or subject to a hostile environment at work, Khanuja Law is here to advocate for you. Please contact us today for a free consultation.
In light of the surge of online sales during the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increase in warehouse workers nationwide and pressure to fulfill production quotas at the risk of their safety and health. Amazon reportedly hired approximately 500,000 warehouse workers in 2020 to satisfy the demand for the fastest deliveries for record-breaking online orders made […]
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, eight hundred and forty-six (846) bicyclists in 2019 were killed in traffic accidents. If you or someone you know is a bicyclist who has been injured in a traffic accident, he/she may be entitled to monetary compensation for all bodily injury, economic loss and/or emotional distress sustained. Please contact us today […]
Per a study by the National Floor Safety Institute, slips and falls are one of the most frequent causes of all workers’ compensation claims and the leading cause of work-related injuries for people over the age of 55. We have the experience and expertise to handle any workers’ compensation claim. If you have been injured as a result of a slip and fall, please contact […]
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated a total of 38,680 fatalities resulting from motor vehicle collisions in 2020. This 2020 statistic is the largest calculation since 2007. Claims involving injury and/or death resulting from motor vehicle collisions are the most common type of personal injury lawsuit. Khanuja Law is here to help, please […]
Despite the significant increase in remote workers this past year, majority of businesses still have not created OSHA-compliant home offices for their workers. “Mercer found that approximately 14% of U.S. companies are paying for ergonomic office furniture for at-home workers. That leaves 86% of companies vulnerable to injury claims.” – Forbes If you have sustained […]
Legal Update: On March 19, 2021, Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill 95 (“SB 95”) into law, creating Labor Code §248.2, requiring all California public and private employers with 25 or more employees to provide up to 80 hours of COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave (“SPSL”) for covered employees who are “unable to work or telework […]
On May 6, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-62-20 establishing a rebuttable presumption that an employee who tests positive for or was diagnosed with COVID-19 contracted the virus on the job. This presumption covers dates of injury from March 19, 2020 through July 5, 2020. However, to qualify for this presumption, the […]
On May 27, 2020, in County of Santa Clara v. WCAB(Justice), the 6th District Court of Appeals held that permanent disability could be apportioned to non-industrial factors pursuant to Labor Code Section 4663 following industrial medical or surgical treatment regardless if it is directly caused by the work-related injury. The holding follows the finding in Petaluma which states […]
On June 15, 2020, in the landmark case, Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, No. 17-1618, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that an employer who fires an employee merely for being gay or transgender violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The definition of “sex” in Title VII was at issue. In a 6-to-3 […]
The Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (“WCAB”) recently released a significant Panel decision in Smith v. Marin General Hospital finding that a second timely Utilization Review (“UR”) decision is required when the primary treating physician submits a second Request for Authorization (“RFA”) for treatment within the twelve (12) month period from the UR denial of the first RFA […]
Generally, an injury occurring during an employee’s routine commute is not considered to be work-related pursuant to the Going and Coming Rule. However, an injury may be considered work-related under the Special Mission Exception when the employee is “engaged upon a mission which incidentally or indirectly contributed to the service and benefit of the employer.” Shell […]
A non-essential employer will no longer be able to offer modified work to an injured worker if the employer closes business and lays off the staff due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Pursuant to the reasoning in Manpower Temporary Services v. Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (Rodriguez), the injured worker may be entitled to temporary disability indemnity […]
Legal Update: On September 17, 2020, California Governor Newsom signed SB 1159 into law expanding on the rebuttable presumption created from Executive Order N-62-20 to include illness or death resulting from COVID-19 to be compensable for any employee and establishing two new presumptions pertaining to frontline employees and employees who contracted COVID-19 during a workplace […]
As of January 1, 2021, the state minimum wage in California increased to $13.00 per hour for employers with twenty-five (25) or less employees and $14.00 per hour for employers with twenty-six (26) or more employees. If your employer is in violation of the above, Khanuja Law is here to help.
According to a study by the World Health Organization in 2019, 70% of health workers and first responders are women. 40% of all employed women are in other sectors, such as food, retail and entertainment, which COVID-19 has also significantly impacted per a 2020 report by UN Women. The increased exposure creates a high risk […]