Workers’ compensation is an insurance program that ensures employees are properly compensated if they are injured at work. These benefits are especially important for restaurant employees who could be injured by broken glass, boiling water, or from slipping and falling on a spill.
If you are a restaurant employee who suffers a workplace injury, you have the right to recover workers’ compensation benefits. If you want to know more about what types of compensation you are entitled to, or you simply want to better understand the importance of workers’ compensation for restaurant staff, you should call one of our workers’ compensation lawyers today.
What Do Workers’ Compensation Benefits Cover?
When working in the restaurant industry, there are numerous workplace hazards that you could face on any given shift. For example, a kitchen staff often comes in close contact with sharp knives. No matter the reason for your injury, if you are injured in the workplace, you are entitled to recover workers’ compensation benefits related to your injury. Restaurant owners, like other business owners, must carry workers’ compensation insurance.
Workers’ compensation will cover:
- Lost wages from time missing work
- Emergency medical care and other medical bills directly related to the injury
- Medical expenses for any temporary or permanent disability
- Supplemental job displacement and return-to-work benefits
- Death benefits
Your employer must provide benefits for anything that occurs due to a workplace injury. If they do not, they are breaking the law. If you believe your employer is not properly compensating you or an insurance company is unfairly denying your claim, you can seek legal assistance from a law firm.
Facts About Workers’ Compensation
If you have never had to file for workers’ compensation, you may be unaware of how the system works. California law is very strict when it comes to workers’ compensation benefits. You must understand your rights as a restaurant worker to seek financial recovery after your injury.
Your Employer Must Provide Workers’ Compensation Benefits
If your employer claims that you do not qualify for workers’ compensation, or if they state that they do not need to provide you with benefits, you can work with a workers’ compensation attorney. According to California’s Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), all business owners with one or more employees must provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage.
If you are a seasonal worker or any other type of part-time employee, you are still covered by workers’ compensation insurance.
You Must Report Your Injury Within 30 Days
You must report your workplace injury in a timely fashion in order to receive benefits. If you do not report your injury to your employer within 30 days, then you may be unable to receive benefits.
While it is likely you will file severe injuries right away, you may not realize that a slow-developing injury is a problem until it has left you unable to work. In these cases, report your injury to your employer as soon as possible to avoid any potential problems with your benefits.
Workers’ Compensation is a No-Fault System
Because of the nature of working in a restaurant, work-related injuries can look similar to injuries that are common outside of the workplace. While your employer may claim that your injury did not occur at work, they must still pay you benefits after you report your injury until they can prove otherwise. You do not need to prove that your injury happened in the workplace to receive benefits immediately after your accident.
If your employer believes that your injury happened away from work, then they can file an appeal. During this appeal, you will need to provide documentation that proves that your injury happened at work.
It is important to note that even if your injury occurred because of your own negligence, as long as the injury took place at work, you are still able to recover compensation. Because of the system in place, benefits apply to all workplace injuries in restaurants.
Ways for Restaurant Employees to Avoid Injuries
With many different job types, the kinds of injuries that can be suffered by restaurant employees vary. Waiters can suffer sprains and strains from heavy lifting, while cooks can suffer cuts and burns while working in the kitchen.
Even when hiring very experienced restaurant employees, it is the responsibility of the employer to train their employees and ensure they have the latest safety information. To ensure that you are doing everything in your power to avoid an injury, you should:
- Follow all safety guidance
- Take breaks when needed and when required by law
- Wear proper clothing for your job, including slip-resistant shoes
- Do not lift or do more than you are capable of to save time
Receive Your Workers’ Compensation Benefits
You do not need a lawyer to recover your benefits. However, by hiring one, you acquire their experience in handling workers’ compensation claims for restaurant workers, which could help you receive all the benefits you are entitled to. For more information about how KJT Law Group can help you, contact us today at (818) 507-8525 for a free consultation.