Orange County Attorneys Explain
Workers’ Comp for Sexual Harassment–(Part 1)
Can a person who was sexually harassed in the workplace collect workers’ comp?
In California the answer is yes, a victim of sexual harassment can collect workers’ compensation if they:
- File a workers’ compensation claim within the time period; and
- Show that they had an employment relationship with the employer; and
- Prove that they suffered physical or psychological injuries that were sustained in the course of doing their job (and not caused by an unrelated incident or medical condition.)
In this two-part article our experienced Orange County workers’ comp attorneys explain how these criteria for collecting workers’ compensation apply to sexual harassment cases.
California Law on Sexual Harassment & Workers Comp
Awareness of sexual harassment in the workplace has recently been raised, as several victims in the entertainment industry have bravely come forward. There is no question that the long term emotional and physical effects of sexual harassment can be devastating and debilitating. In some cases, criminal charges can be brought – while in other situations lawsuits are filed and/or financial settlements are reached.
But collecting workers’ compensation for the physical or lasting psychological injuries of sexual harassment can be a difficult road. However, it is absolutely allowed by California law and can be done under certain circumstances.
In the important California workers’ compensation case of Bertha Chan v. Carl Karcher Enterprises, the workers’ compensation panel awarded the female applicant workers’ comp benefits for the effects of sexual harassment. In that case the employee had endured a campaign of physical and verbal sexual harassment by her immediate supervisor. Both her treating physician and the SSA Panel Qualified Medical Evaluator determined that her psychological injuries were “industrially caused” – even though the workers’ comp insurer aggressively fought it – and she was awarded benefits.
The Future of Workers’ Comp for Sexual Harassment in California
Because many of the recent “high profile” entertainment industry cases occurred in and around Hollywood and Los Angeles, California is at the forefront of the legal issues involved in Sexual Harassment & Workers Compensation.
As victims of sexual harassment are now feeling more empowered to come forward, our experienced Orange County workers’ compensation attorneys anticipate that an increasing number of workers comp claims will begin to be filed in California for injury resulting from sexual harassment in the workplace.
And because this is a new and emerging area of workers’ compensation law, our attorneys expect that workers compensation decisions and policies will continue to develop and evolve – hopefully in the direction of greater workers’ compensation reparation for victims of sexual harassment and abuse.
Orange County’s Best Female Workers Comp Attorneys
The attorneys at Cantrell Green have been representing physically, emotionally and psychologically injured workers’ for more than four decades. Our attorneys understand that there is a direct connection between sexual harassment and psychological injury – and we know how to “prove” this in a workers’ compensation case, to obtain benefits for our clients.
We understand that many women who are victims of sexual harassment in the workplace may be more comfortable discussing their workers’ compensation case with a female attorney. Cantrell Green is proud to have two highly experienced female workers’ compensation attorneys available to offer you a caring and confidential free consultation.
If you have suffered a physical or psychological injury due to your working conditions, call our compassionate and skilled Orange County Workers Comp Attorneys for a free consultation. We will help you understand your rights – and fight to obtain every penny of the benefits you deserve.