In the bustling state of California, numerous employees work in various sectors, from tech giants in Silicon Valley to the entertainment industries in Hollywood. With such a broad spectrum of jobs, accidents and injuries at the workplace are not uncommon. Fortunately, the state provides workers’ compensation for employees injured on the job. In fact, the California Department of Industrial Relations reported that over 645,000 employees in the state filed workers’ compensation claims in 2022.
Unfortunately, many workers have misconceptions about their workers’ compensation benefits, often leading to hesitations, mistakes or missed opportunities. It is important to understand the realities and debunk these myths to ensure every Californian worker can exercise their rights.
Myth #1: Small businesses do not offer workers’ compensation
You might think that only large corporations need to offer workers’ compensation. However, in California, all employers, even those with only one employee, must provide this benefit. So, even if you work for a small business, you have the right to workers’ compensation if you suffer an injury on the job.
Myth #2: Your employer can fire you for filing a claim
Many workers fear retaliation from their employers if they file for workers’ compensation. They worry about job security and potential backlash. However, state law prohibits employers from firing or retaliating against an employee who files a workers’ compensation claim. If an employer does retaliate, they can face severe penalties.
Myth #3: You can only file if the accident was the employer’s fault
Some employees believe they can only file for workers’ compensation if their injury resulted from their employer’s negligence. This is not true. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. This means you can claim benefits regardless of who caused the accident, even if it was your mistake.
Myth #4: Off-site injuries do not qualify
If you think you can only get compensation for injuries that happen within the physical premises of your workplace, think again. If you get injured while performing any task related to your job, even if it is off-site, you might still qualify for workers’ compensation. This includes injuries that occur during business trips or while making deliveries.
Understanding the truth about workers’ compensation ensures that you take the right steps if you ever face a workplace injury. It is always essential to stay informed and know your rights as an employee. Remember to always prioritize your health and well-being, and do not let myths deter you from seeking what you rightfully deserve.