Orange County Lawyers Explain
Workers Comp for Sexual Harassment–(Part 2)
When You Can and Can’t Collect Workers Compensation for Sexual Harassment
In Part One of this article, our lawyers explained that employees in California who were physically or psychologically injured by sexual harassment in the workplace can collect workers compensation benefits – under some circumstances.
In this article our experienced Orange County workers comp lawyers explain the circumstances surrounding when a victim of sexual harassment can and cannot claim workers comp benefits.
Filing for Workers Comp in a Timely Manner
Whether a person has been physically or psychologically injured in the workplace they must fill out a DWC-1 form and submit it to their employer within 30 days of becoming aware of the condition. This can be a stumbling block for victims of sexual harassment who may have been afraid to come forward immediately.
If the employee does not file the DWC-1 form within 30 days, there are some complex rules that determine when their claim will be denied for being past the “statute of limitations” – and under what circumstances they can be excused for missing the statute of limitations deadline.
If you were a victim of workplace injury and you did not file a worker’s compensation claim within the above time frames, you should still contact one of our experienced Long Beach workers’ compensation lawyers to see if you may fall within one of the exceptions.
Meeting the “Employee” Requirement in Workers Comp
Remember, an injured worker can only sue their actual employer for workers compensation. So, for example, in the famous Harvey Weinstein cases – while a young actress may have been “promised a role” by Weinstein – if the victim was not his actual employee at the time of the assault, she could not bring a workers compensation claim against him or his company. (However she could still sue him civilly and/or bring criminal charges depending upon applicable statutes of limitation).
On the other hand, if the young woman was actually on the Weinstein Company’s payroll at the time of the horrific sexual harassment, as perhaps an administrative assistant, then she could bring a workers compensation claim for physical or psychological effects of the harassment against the company.
Additionally, as another example, if the woman was perhaps a news reporter who had been sent by her employer to Weinstein’s hotel where she was sexually harassed – then she would also be able to bring a workers comp claim. But the claim would have to be filed against her employer the news organization (and not Weinstein or his company) for any physical or psychological injuries.
Proving Psychological Injury in a Workers Comp Case
Our caring and experienced workers comp lawyers understand that many debilitating psychological conditions – including PTSD, severe depression and anxiety – can linger long after a single incident and/or long-term pattern of sexual harassment.
However, psychological injuries can be much harder to “prove” in a workers’ compensation case than other more “visible” physical injuries. For example, a broken bone can be diagnosed with a simple x-ray. But psychological injuries do not show up on tests – and so both employers and workers comp insurers will often try to deny this type of claim.
Because of this, it is extremely important for workers with psychological or emotional injury or illness to hire an experienced lawyer to help them “prove” their workers compensation claim. A skilled workers comp lawyer can ensure that the applicant obtains documentation from specialists, such as a neuropsychologists and other doctors, to prove the psychological or emotional injury or illness resulting from the sexual harassment.
Orange County’s Best Female Workers Comp Lawyers
The lawyers at Cantrell Green have been representing physically, emotionally and psychologically injured workers for more than 4 decades. Our lawyers 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.
We also 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.