A group of 30 Southern California warehouse workers have been the latest in the region to complain of unsafe working conditions. In late September, the warehouse workers walked off the job in Mira Loma and went on strike.
One of the workers’ chief concerns is that they have had to work in freight containers that became dangerously hot, without being provided adequate water or rest breaks. The workers also allege that they have been asked to use broken equipment that puts their health and safety at risk and to work under unreasonable quotas that put safety second to production.
The latest strike is not an isolated incident; the warehouses of California’s Inland Empire area have been home to a growing number of labor complaints in recent months. The region serves as the primary point of entry for goods manufactured in Asia that are to be marketed in U.S. retail stores, and rapid growth in the supply chain has put many warehouse workers in fear for their safety.
California Workers’ Compensation for On-the-Job Injury
The threat of injury in the workplace is real in Southern California warehouses and beyond. Tough conditions, unsafe employer practices and even honest mistakes can cause workers to be injured on the job.
Fortunately, there is a remedy available to injured workers in the form of workers’ compensation. There is not a fault element to workers’ compensation; whether an employer was negligent is irrelevant. Instead, there are three basic requirements to be eligible for workers’ compensation in California: first, that the person or company you work for carries workers’ comp insurance or is legally required to do so; second, that you are an employee for that person or company (independent contractors, for example, are not eligible for workers’ comp); and, finally, the injury or illness must be work-related.
Workers’ compensation benefits cover all medical expenses associated with an eligible injury, wage replacement benefits (two thirds of average weekly pay for temporarily disabling conditions or a cash settlement for permanent disability) and supplemental job replacement vouchers that pay for job retraining for employees whose injuries prevent them from returning to the field they formerly worked in.
Better Working Conditions Promised, Workers’ Comp Still Best Remedy for Workplace Injury
The Southern California warehouse workers who walked off the job in September are now back to work with promises that more attention will be paid to worker safety. But, even if conditions improve, an on-the-job injury can happen unexpectedly.
If you have been injured on the job, your employer or his or her insurer may contest your claim. They may try to argue that your injury was of a personal nature, or try to undervalue your claim and offer you less money than you are in fact entitled to. The best way to ensure your get the full, fair and just compensation you deserve for your workplace injury is to contact a San Diego workers’ compensation attorney. Call a workers’ comp attorney today about your case.