re you or a loved one in the process of filing an employment claim? Check out these 3 employment law tips, then call our California attorneys to get started.
Social Security Disability Benefits
Clients often ask if, in addition to Workers’ Compensation benefits, they are entitled to other benefits as an injured employee. First of all, it’s important to understand that you typically can only receive one type of benefit at a time, if a claim has been filed under Workers’ Comp. If you have a claim under California Workers’ Compensation and they are paying you benefits, for the most part, that’s going to be your benefit related to that injury.
If during your injury you realize that you’re not going to be able to go back to work and that you want to seek additional benefits for when your Workers’ Compensation claim is over, you are sometimes able to file a claim for Social Security Disability benefits both through the Federal government as well as here within California. Sometimes, in addition to Worker’s Compensation benefits, you also might be entitled to short-term disability payments, as well as long-term disability payments. There’s a lot of options and a lot of issues as to what benefits you’re entitled to and when you’re entitled to them.
It’s not the easiest area of the law for people to navigate on their own. If you have any questions as to what impact your Workers’ Compensation claim has on other benefits outside of California Workers’ Compensation law, please feel free to give me a call. I’d be happy to answer those questions for you.
Disability Retirement Benefits
One issue we sometimes run into is what kind of benefits an employee is entitled to if they’ve been injured at work and are unable to return. In addition to the benefits that you’re entitled to under California Workers’ Compensation law, including permanent disability, you also may be entitled to benefits outside of Worker’s Compensation.
If you work for an employer that has disability, long-term disability or short-term disability or disability retirement, it’s important for you to understand the role that your injury has on your entitlement to benefits down the road. If you’ve been injured at work and you’re no longer able to work, it’s important for you to understand that you may be entitled to access your pension or retirement benefits early. If you have a question as to what impact not being able to work has on your retirement benefits, including disability retirement, feel free to give us a call. We’d be happy to walk you through that.
Docking Pay as a Form of Discipline
Last week, we had an issue regarding an employee in which the employer made a decision to dock their pay. The employee had an issue that had come up, and the manager was upset. The manager contended that, as a result of my potential client’s misconduct, the employee’s pay would be docked one time. The employee only noticed it after the employee received their paycheck, realized it wasn’t full, and saw a $150 deducted from their pay. He had a question, and he went to the employer.
The employee went up to the manager and said, “You can’t do this! You can’t do this!” The manager said, “I can, and if you don’t like it, go to HR.” The employee went to HR and said, “They can’t do that. You can’t dock my pay because you don’t like how I did it,” and Human Resources sat everybody down and, sure enough, they restored the pay of $150.
In California the question comes up, “Can my employer dock my pay as a form of discipline?” Lo and behold, this employee was right, that under California law you can’t dock pay as a form of discipline, especially for conduct in the past. If the employee does the work, pursuant to the hourly rate or the yearly salary negotiated, you can’t deduct pay from that employee. An employer is prevented from going back in time and docking pay.
It was interesting, too, because ever since the employee had gone to the employer and complained about what they thought was unlawful conduct, the employee was concerned that they were going to be retaliated against for going to HR and raising those issues. The employee actually called about that and asked if they can be retaliated against. I told the employee that, at this point, you did what was right, you stood your ground, and, sure enough, you were right that an employer can’t dock pay of an employee as a form of discipline.
I encouraged the employee that they hadn’t been retaliated against and that they shouldn’t be retaliated against. Hopefully they’ll continue to have a long, great career with that employer, but if an issue came up in the future, then they should make sure that they keep our name and number and that we could assist and answer any questions that they have at that point. I tell a lot of my potential clients that you need a job more than you need a lawsuit. I’m more than happy to walk through with them what the current law is on any topic, including whether or not you can dock pay for a current employee for misconduct, and also what steps you should take in case you do complain as a current employee to make sure that your rights are protected.
If you have any questions as a current employee as to what’s happening at work, or you’re a former employee and you feel like you got retaliated against because you raised issues at work that you believe were unlawful, I encourage you to talk to a law firm. If that’s us, that’s great. Give us a call, and we’re more than happy to discuss those issues with you. Thanks.
Are you or a loved one in the process of filing an employment claim in California and have questions about these 3 employment law tips? Contact the experienced California employment law attorneys at the Myers Law Group today for a free consultation and case evaluation.
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