What The Recently Passed Prop 22 Means For Gig Workers
California’s Proposition 22, which passed in the recent election, will keep gig workers classified as independent contractors. (more…)
Workers Compensation COVID-19 Update
California workers’ compensation COVID-19 claims continue to rise, with the state recording 5,130 COVID-19 claims with August injury dates. According to the California Workers’ Compensation Institute (CWCI), this brings the total for the year to 41,861 claims, or 11.2% of all California job injury claims reported an accident in 2020. Death claims rose to 224, up from 160 reported as of August 10th. (more…)
Tragedy Strikes the Happiest Place on Earth
For 16 years, Sonja Flowers worked as a server at a restaurant at a Disney resort. She’s been out of work since March 15th and believes she will soon be out of a job. For Flowers, 62, this may mean delaying her goal of retiring in five years.
Best Workers Compensation Lawyer Ranking!
The 2021 U.S. News “Best Law Firms” publication will include our own Tom Martin in its 11th annual Edition. (more…)
Healthcare Professionals 3x More Likely to Test Positive for COVID-19
A 42-year-old woman was discovered in her home, dead for at least 12 hours, alone except for her four-year-old daughter. She was a mammogram technician at a hospital and likely another victim of COVID-19. (more…)
WCAB Utilizes “LIFESIZE” Web Application For Hearings
The COVID-19 Pandemic has caused delays in taking testimony in California workers’ compensation trials since “in-person” testimony has not been possible since March of 2020. (more…)
COVID-19 Hits California Latinx Community Disproportionally
As COVID-19 continues to spread across California, the Latino community is at a higher risk of infection and death from the virus than individuals from other ethnicities. (more…)
Amazon – Delivering Permanent Injury To Its Workers
Amazon is known for its ruthless pursuit of profits. In December 2018, Eastvale, CA warehouse workers earned T-shirts celebrating their ability to get one million packages out the door in just 24 hours. But this “achievement” comes at a significant cost: workers’ health. (more…)
COVID 19 (Coronavirus) – Straight Talk About Your Workers’ Compensation Rights
Insurance company lawyers are already coming up with strategies for employers so they can avoid their responsibility for COVID 19 exposure at the workplace. Disinformation abounds.
Here is what you need to know about your potential rights:
Were you exposed to COVID 19 at work?
You might be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if your job placed you at higher risk than the general public for exposure to the virus. Those on the front line of the battle against COVID 19, doctors, nurses, lab workers, and ambulance drivers are good examples.
But what if you are not a first responder? Are you still potentially entitled to workers’ compensation protections? Potentially, yes.
Workers who are not staying home due to the Governor’s order are all potentially at higher risk for exposure to COVID 19 because of the nature of their work – grocery, transportation, and warehouse workers are all examples of workers that may be eligible for workers compensation protections.
Workers Compensation Benefits for COVID 19
COVID-19 Exposes Another Downside of Independent Contractor Status
For decades, I’ve been successfully litigating cases against businesses that insisted my client was an “independent contractor” instead of an employee. Why? Because the companies saved money by avoiding the cost of protections like workers’ compensation.
Over the last decade, California has seen an explosion of app-based businesses like Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash that regarded their workers as independent “gig” workers rather than employees.
In 2019, California stood firmly on the side of workers by enacting Assembly Bill 5, which seeks to protect “gig” workers with employee protections like workers’ compensation benefits if they suffer an injury.
Not surprisingly, the multi-billion dollar app-based companies went into full attack mode, claiming AB-5 would “jeopardize the freedom” of gig workers and are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to defeat the law.
Then COVID-19 came to California.
Now “gig” workers aren’t so sure about the “advantages” of being an independent contractor. Here is an excerpt of an email I recently received from a “gig” worker group:
“We’re demanding the state officials protect gig workers during the coronavirus pandemic by fully enforcing AB5 and ensuring workers have access to benefits like paid sick leave, disability, family leave and unemployment insurance.”
Of course, as an employee, workers’ compensation benefits would be available as well, thanks to AB5.
What difference a month makes.