Lunch & Learn:Guidance on Preventing a Straightforward Work Comp Case from Turning into a FEHA Claim
Increasingly, employers face significant risk as more and more workers’ compensation claims evolve into costly disability discrimination claims filed pursuant to the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). This risk has been amplified by the new FEHA regulations, which are in effect as of January 1, 2013, and which broaden the employer’s FEHA responsibilities in workers’ compensation cases. Too often employers face the difficult and high risk task of determining such issues as: whether or not to offer modified/alternative work to an injured worker; how much time off of work should be granted to allow for recovery; what medical certification should be required to support extended leaves of absence for a work related injury; what accommodation should be offered; when and how should the interactive process be conducted; and, when is it safe to terminate an injured worker if the worker has been on an extended leave of absence (for example, more than a year) and still unable to return to work. Failure to take the appropriate steps in any of these situations can produce significant liability for the employer resulting in a time consuming and expensive lawsuit. This presentation will provide guidance and suggestions for best practices on this critical workplace topic confronting employers on a daily basis.
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