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Guide to temporary pregnancy disability benefits in California

New parents may be asking themselves, what are my options for time off with my baby? In California, guidelines are already in effect that offer some paid and unpaid leave for new mothers and fathers. These temporary disability benefits are offered to employees based on several factors. Individuals who meet criteria for parental leave are offered benefits, which may be expanded under a proposed new law. 

The amount of time an individual has been employed by a company, whether the worker has paid into a state disability fund and the number of hours worked per week will determine whether an employee is eligible to receive parental leave. The size of the company, as far as the number of employees, is the next big factor when it comes to calculating benefits. Employers with greater amounts of employees will provide the greatest amount of benefits to expectant families. 

Did your job cause complex regional pain syndrome?

You may know that California workers who experience injuries in workplace accidents have the right to compensation through their employer's workers' compensation insurance. However, these benefits extend beyond just accident-related injuries, and may also be available for individuals who got sick or developed injuries as a result of their jobs.

Illnesses and physical conditions that develop due to your job, including complex regional pain syndrome, are grounds for a workers' compensation claim. If you are struggling with this syndrome, you need medical care and more. It can be frustrating to be a worker dealing with an illness that many people misunderstand, but you may seek support as you pursue rightful benefits.

Workplace injuries on the rise for older workers

The workforce is aging. Older workers are choosing to keep working past retirement age, often out of financial necessity. Unfortunately, statistics show that older workers also face higher numbers of workplace injuries and workplace fatalities. Workers in California may be interested to learn about some of the risks for older workers on the job.

Older workers commonly experience physical changes associated with aging. Those changes include failing senses, weakening muscles and orthopedic problems. These issues, combined with sometimes less than optimal workplace safeguards, can lead to higher numbers of injuries. Approximately 35 percent of fatal work accidents involved a senior worker in the year 2015. With numbers of senior workers on the rise and predicted to continue, on-the-job injuries for older workers will remain a concern. 

Employee rights, pay gaps probed at Google's California offices

Tech giant Google is under federal investigation for its pay and privacy practices. The Department of Labor, through its Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs, is requesting more information about an observed wage gap between male and female employees at the company. The California company denies the allegation of unfair payment practices, but has also come under fire for policies  perceived as infringing on employee rights by violating federal laws like the National Labor Relations Act and state laws like the California Fair Employment and Housing Act.

The DOL investigation initially led to government to conclude that a gender-based wage gap did exist, but that they needed more employee salary information to prove it. When the DOL requested extensive histories, Google balked, and took it to court. A judge ruled that Google did not have to provide the complete employee salary data, but did rule that Google should provide another yearly snapshot of information, the same type of data that was used before. 

Workplace injuries at California explosives plant results in fine

One would expect an explosive plant to have the utmost concern and care for safety procedures, given the significant risk to employees should things go wrong. The California Division of Safety and Health agrees. That's why Pacific Scientific, a California explosives plant, was cited and fined over $293,000 for an accident that resulted in serious injuries for one employee. Cal/OSHA concluded that the workplace injuries were inexcusable considering the circumstances that led to the explosion that seriously injured one worker. 

A female employee was loading a tray with 79 tubes containing explosives known as SCID. She had mounted the tubes onto aluminum support brackets on an aluminum metal tray. While attempting to tape the tubes to the tray, almost all of the tubes exploded, seriously harming the worker. 

You have a lot on your plate if you suffer a restaurant injury

Working in a California restaurant can be exhilarating. You may enjoy interacting with the customers and the high-energy pace of the dinner hour, especially when a customer leaves an appreciative tip. However, restaurant work carries a high rate of accidents and injuries.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic received reports of about 190,000 restaurant-related injuries in a single year. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration encourages restaurant managers to create a safety-conscious environment among their workers. If you are aware of the potential dangers on the job, you may be more able to avoid becoming a victim of a workplace injury.

Disability benefits are earned benefits

The idea of Social Security is to provide a safety net to the elderly, the disabled and families who have lost the primary breadwinner. The benefits are in place to provide a safety net for vulnerable people across the country who need it most. A recent article talking about the disability insurance portion of Social Security Disability Insurance shares information that many people in California may find interesting. 

SSDI is an earned income benefit. Workers pay into the Social Security fund through tax withholding on their paychecks. In order to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance workers have to work for 10 years, the same as regular Social Security and Medicare coverage, although the number or work credits is adjusted for younger disabled people. 

Warnings about workplace injuries at California store ignored

An employee has a right to safety as well as a responsibility to report dangerous conditions on the job. Improper training, ignorance of safety protocols and poorly maintained equipment can lead to injury or even death for workers. When an attentive employee reports such violations to leadership, the expectation is that the dangerous situations will be rectified. In California, one man was recently killed and another man fired as a result of safety issues at a popular retail donation store. 

The fatal event happened as a result of a man being crushed by heavy equipment. The man was checking the alignment of a bin when the driver of a truck suddenly released the heavy bin and crushed the young man's head. His co-worker, who witnessed the accident, alleged that employees were not being properly trained regarding the safety protocols of using the heavy equipment. 

What happens if a claim for workplace injuries is denied?

After being hurt on the job, many California employees file claims to have their medical and other costs paid for -- just as they were told to do. They begin to receive medical treatment and take time off work to recover only to find out that their claims for workplace injuries were denied. Panic sets in since medical care is expensive, and they wonder about running out of sick time. Fortunately, there is an appeals process for denied claims.

Any worker who receives a denial of his or her workers' compensation claim needs to act quickly. There is a deadline for challenging the claim administrator's decision. After filing an Application for Adjudication of Claim with the appropriate office, a worker receives a notification that the claim was received. Thereafter, a Declaration of Readiness to Proceed must be filed in order to schedule a mandatory settlement conference with an administrative law judge.

What are your rights after silica exposure in the workplace?

Some California workers face various risks every time they show up for work. From using power tools to slip-and-fall accidents, there are many ways that a person could suffer an injury in the workplace. Just as dangerous are the environment hazards that may eventually lead to pain, suffering and serious illness, even decades in the future. 

Silica exposure is a potential hazard for individuals who work in a wide range of industries, but many of these workers are unaware of the danger or impact on their health until years later. Silica dust can cause serious problems, and if you believe that you are a victim, you may find it beneficial to know how to protect your rights and financial interests.

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