Temporary disability (TD) benefits serve as wage replacement during the period an injured worker is healing from an industrial injury. An employer's obligation to pay TD benefits ceases when such replacement income is no longer needed. The obligation to pay TD benefits ends when the worker returns to work, is deemed able to return to work or when the worker's condition achieves permanent and stationary status.
MICHAEL SULLIVAN & ASSOCIATES BLOG
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PARMA's 2024 Annual Conference is coming up next week, and we're excited to see you there! Michael Sullivan & Associates is a proud participant of this year's conference as a speaker and exhibitor.
As the new year begins, I am excited to announce that we are adding a new practice area within the firm. In addition to the current practice areas of audits, civil liability, subrogation, workers' compensation, and employment law, we will now offer representation in matters related to California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) Industrial Disability Retirements (IDR). Joining me in this endeavor will be Siobhan Kennedy, Shannon Ripple, Lisa Hendricks, and Kimberly Mall.
We had an amazing time at the CELU 2024 Conference this week! MS&A Managing Partner, Eric De Wames, and PIHRA President, Tara Fournier, shared valuable insights into leaves of absence and return to work issues in episode 10 of their ongoing "Building Airplanes in Flight" series. We're grateful for the chance to reconnect with friends and colleagues at the MS&A booth, where we provided resource materials, fun goodies, and had a prize drawing! We're already looking forward to next year!
Under the judicially created going and coming rule, an employee's injury while commuting to and from work is not compensable under the workers' compensation system, absent special or extraordinary circumstances. That's because long ago, the California Supreme Court believed that an employee going to and from the place of employment did not render any service for the employer. (Ocean Accident and Guarantee Co. v. IAC (1916) 173 Cal. 313, 322.)
But, "In an effort to create a sharp line of demarcation as to when the employee's commute terminates and the course of employment commences, courts adopted the premises line rule, which provides that the employment relationship generally commences once the employee enters the employer's premises." (Wright v. State of California (2015) 233 Cal. App. 4th 1218, 1231.) Injuries occurring after an employee has arrived on the employer's premises generally are presumed compensable as arising in the course of employment. Moreover, what constitutes the employer's premises has been broadly interpreted. The Supreme Court has stated, "The employer's premises include his parking lot as well as plant or office, and once the employee has reached the premises, employment is not interrupted by crossing public property while traveling from one part of the premises to another." (General Insurance Co. v. WCAB (Chairez) (1976) 16 Cal. 3d 595, 598-599.)
It’s the December Rhino Round-up! Last month was filled with camaraderie, laughter, and an unforgettable firm-wide holiday party!
If you'd like to join MS&A at one of our upcoming events, just follow us on one of our social media channels--we're on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and X. We'd love to have you attend one of our events!
In 2020, the California Legislature passed Senate Bill 1159 (SB 1159), which established a rebuttable presumption for specified employees that illness or death resulting from COVID-19 arose out of and in the course of employment. The presumptions were established in Labor Code §§ 3212.86, LC 3212.87 and LC 3212.88.
In the Senate Floor Analysis for SB 1159, the Legislature believed that the burden of fighting COVID-19 had fallen disproportionately on a small group of workers in both the private and public sectors. The presumptions were enacted to reduce the barriers to accessing the workers’ compensation system for essential workers suffering from COVID-19. So for several years, the COVID-19 presumptions made it easier for many workers to prove entitlement to workers' compensation benefits for illnesses related to COVID-19.
The Workers' Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) has historically and increasingly faced a struggle to handle the volume of cases that come its way. As a result, too often it has failed to take action on a filed petition for reconsideration within the statutorily required 60 days. To date, parties have been protected from that failure because it was deemed a due process right to have the petition reviewed by the WCAB. Currently, scores and perhaps hundreds of cases are in that situation. In a new appellate court case, Zurich American Insurance Co. v. WCAB, it all seems to have changed, leaving all those parties without a remedy, and changing the reconsideration demands on practitioners.