October 22, 2021

Volume XI, Number 295

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When a Workers’ Compensation Injury Occurs, Employers Should Discuss Possible Accommodations With Employee

Both California and federal disability laws require employers to engage in an “interactive process” discussion with employees who have disabilities about potential accommodations. Employees who are unable to work because of an occupational injury may be considered disabled because “working” is a major life activity under California law.  

Many employers are used to having the workers’ compensation adjustor handle all communications with an employee who is on a leave of absence because of an occupational injury. However, employers should initiate the interactive process with the employee to determine if the employee believes there are any accommodations other than leave that would enable the employee to return to work. Although an employer does not have to provide accommodations that are unreasonable or pose an undue hardship, the employer should get the discussion going so that employees have an opportunity to discuss any ideas they have.

The California Commission on Health and Safety and Worker’s Compensation has published a practical guide for employers about their obligations when a workers’ compensation injury occurs. The Guide is available at the Commissions website at http://www.dir.ca.gov/chswc/.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2021National Law Review, Volume IV, Number 307
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About this Author

Jeanette R. Youngblood
Of Counsel

Jeanette R. Youngblood is Of Counsel in the Sacramento, California office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She provides advice and counsel to private and public sector employers on issues related to employment law, including disability management and administration of leave entitlements.

In addition, Ms. Youngblood has litigated extensively in federal and state courts representing both plaintiffs and defendants. Her litigation experience on behalf of public agencies includes writ proceedings and administrative appeals. Ms. Youngblood...

916-288-3018
Dale R. Kuykendall, Labor and Employment Attorney, Jackson Lewis Law Firm
Principal

Dale R. Kuykendall is a Principal in the Sacramento, California, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. His practice focuses on advising and counseling employers in the hiring, supervision and termination of employees.

In addition to his advice and counsel practice, Mr. Kuykendall has successfully litigated a wide variety of employment cases through trial, including claims of unfair competition, breach of contract, discrimination, harassment and wrongful termination.

Prior to joining Jackson Lewis...

916-341-0404
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