Generally, the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board's jurisdiction to award new and further disability is limited to five years from the date of injury. Labor Code 5410 states, "Nothing in this chapter shall bar the right of any injured worker to institute proceedings for the collection of compensation within five years after the date of the injury upon the ground that the original injury has caused new and further disability." LC 5804 states, "No award of compensation shall be rescinded, altered, or amended after five years from the date of injury ..." unless there is a timely filed petition. The appeals board generally may not reserve jurisdiction to award additional disability more than five years from the date of injury. (Hartsuiker v. WCAB (1993) 12 Cal. App. 4th 209.)
MICHAEL SULLIVAN & ASSOCIATES BLOG
Your Resource for the Latest Legal News, Combined with Insights and Recommendations from Our Attorneys
Happy Veterans Day from Michael Sullivan & Associates
Veterans Day is a special day to remember the courage and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform. Michael Sullivan & Associates is especially proud of our employees, such as Employment Attorney Greg Wilbur, who have served our nation with honor.
Prior to attending law school, Greg served in the Marine Corps as a commissioned officer from 2006 to 2010. Highlights of his service included working as an embedded combat advisor to the Iraqi Police in Anbar Province, commanding dozens of convoys throughout that country, and developing a comprehensive training plan to prepare his unit for its eventual deployment to Afghanistan. For his service, Greg was twice awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and was promoted to Captain in the reserves after leaving active duty.
MS&A Attorney Chris Matthes' interview from Inter Alia Magazine
A Rare Renaissance Man
by Diane Skouti
Inter Alia Magazine - Volume 33, Issue 3
San Joaquin College of Law
For most attorneys, free time is a scarce commodity given over only to family, favored activities, and rest. Because of their universal penchant to serve, many legal professionals serve on boards and volunteer, in addition to pursuing a few hobbies.
For Chris Matthes (Law '16) time doesn't seem to exist. A newly promoted Supervising Attorney at the Fresno office of Michael Sullivan & Associates, Chris is obviously devoted to his legal career. The firm specializes in workers' compensation law, but also handles employment law, general liability, and the like. In his new role, Chris oversees junior attorneys, along with his own case load of workers comp defense, and the niche area of defending insurance carriers and third-party administrators against audit. There are nearly 100 attorneys among the firm’s nine statewide offices, and, like the Rhino featured in the firm’s logo, they are aggressive and effective in their approach.
WCAB's Denial of 132a Claim Does Not Bar Civil Claim Under FEHA
Generally, workers' compensation is the exclusive remedy for injuries occurring at the workplace. A worker normally must pursue claims for work-related injuries before the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) rather than sue the employer in civil court.
Nevertheless, certain types of intentional conduct take the employer beyond the boundaries of the compensation bargain. In City of Moorpark v. Superior Court of Ventura County (Dillon) (1998) 18 Cal.4th 1143, the California Supreme Court held that discrimination falls outside of the compensation bargain. It concluded that Labor Code 132a does not provide the exclusive remedy for discrimination based on a work-related injury.
CAL/OSHA and CDPH Release Guidance for Monkey Pox
Cal/OSHA Guidance Applicable to Employers Subject to the ATD
As monkeypox (MPX) continues to be an issue throughout California, Cal/OSHA issued guidance to assist in protecting employees. This guidance applies only to workplaces covered by the aerosol transmissible diseases (ATD) standard so, for now, employers not subject to the ATD are not required to follow these recommendations. See the guidance here.
COVID AB 685 Employee Notice Requirements Updated & Extended to 2024
On September 29, 2022, California’s Governor signed Assembly Bill (AB) 2693, which amends and extends the COVID-19 workplace notice requirements stipulated in AB 685 until January 1, 2024. AB 2693 can be found here.
The existing law, AB 685, was enacted in 2020 and requires employers to provide written notice to employees who may have been exposed to COVID-19 in the workplace. The notice must be provided to all employees at the worksite within one business day and must include information regarding benefits available to employees, the company’s disinfection and safety plan, and a statement of anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation. For a full description of AB 685 see the CAL/OSHA Imposes New Notice and Reporting Obligations for COVID-19 Workplace Exposure update on Michael Sullivan & Associates' free eBook, Navigating COVID-19: a Legal Guide for Employers. Originally, this notification requirement was set to expire on January 1, 2023. AB 2693 extends this reporting requirement to January 1, 2024, and gives employers another option for complying with the notification requirements.
San Francisco Adopts Public Health Emergency Leave Ordinance
San Francisco voters passed Proposition G, a new public health emergency leave ordinance (PHELO) which takes effect on October 1, 2022. A copy of the proposition can be found here.
Leave is available only during a public health emergency, as defined by law. The public health emergency can be one declared by the federal or state government or declared locally by the City of San Francisco.
COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Extended Through December 31, 2022
On September 29, 2022, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill (AB) 152, extending the obligation of employers with 26 or more employees to provide COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave (SPSL) through December 31, 2022. The text of AB 152 can be found here: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=202120220AB152.
Importantly, the bill doesn’t require employers to provide any additional leave. When originally enacted, SPSL required covered employers to provide paid COVID-related leave through September 30, 2022. The extension of SPSL does not require employers to provide new or additional leave. Instead, the up to 80 hours of SPSL that employees could have used between January 1, 2022 and September 30, 2022 (the original expiration date) must continue to be available through December 31, 2022, and possibly slightly beyond 2022 if an employee begins a covered absence at the end of 2022 that continues, uninterrupted, into 2023.