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At what point in the interviewing process am I obligated to tell that I am on WC? California

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  • At what point in the interviewing process am I obligated to tell that I am on WC? California

    I am on WC and because I am not bringing in any money, I am job hunting. At what point am I obligated to tell a prospective employer that I am on WC? (I was to be hired by a new company, and they told me they would wait until I was off WC. They just emailed me that they did not want to accept the liability of a new injury so they decided not to hire me. I even signed new hire paperwork, but they just decided they aren't going to wait any longer.)
    Last edited by globug; 03-29-2007, 08:44 AM.

  • #2
    If you are on WC, why aren't you receiving TTD? What happened to your previous employment? Are you medically able to work?
    I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.


    • #3
      In the beginning of December, I had found another job, that was to begin on Feb. 6th. On Dec 18th I was injured on the job. My employer was out of the country, but I notified him, reported it, and began medical treatment for intense back and leg pain (turns out I injured a disk after falling from a chair when it rolled out from under me and I fell forward on concrete floring). After his return to the country, I gave my boss a month notice of resignation. He handed me a notice that he was cutting my work down by 33% to two four-hour days a week. It would not be worth it financially to me to commute 2 days for 4 hours, so I quit. I had to call WC with other paperwork quesitons, and mentioned my cut in hours. They said they would pay me the 16 hrs./week my boss had denied me (but not the 8 I had refused). My previous employer then called me at home, accused me of trying to set it up for him to lose his house and business (he works out of his house, in the basement), accused me of orchastrating the injury, and told me he was VERY ANGRY with me for even reporting my injury. He went on to yell and scream at me, and then he finished with AND NOW TO AVOID A RAISE IN MY RATES, I HAVE TO OFFER YOU YOUR JOB BACK. At that point I felt he had created a hostile work environment and there was no way I could go back into his employ. I do not get any funding from State Comp because in effect, I turned down the offer of work (even though I was afraid to go back.) Yes, I am able to work with all restrictions now lifted.
      Last edited by globug; 03-29-2007, 09:03 AM. Reason: spelling...


      • #4
        That isn't a hostile environment as the law defines it. He doesn't have to be happy about the fact that you got injured and if you turned down his offer and resigned voluntarily you wouldn't be eligible for payments from WC.

        If you are able to work and there are no restrictions why did the other company recind the offer? Why did they even know about the injury? Why would you even mention the fact that you injured yourself 4 months ago to a potential employer?

        Anytime an about to resign employee claims a major injury just before leaving that is unwitnessed it does send up many red flags. The screaming was uncalled for but again, the law does not prohibit an employer from being upset that an injury occured.
        I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.


        • #5
          The other company recinded the offer because he (the prospective boss) was told that if I go to work for him while I am on WC and exacerbate the injury it then becomes his liability. My WC rep says that this is correct. (My WC doctor says that this is not correct, that liability is not transferred during an open claim.) The prospective employer also said that he did not want to hire someone who might have future doctor visits which could disrupt work.

          I reported this to my future boss because my WC rep told me I had to.

          There was a witness to this accident. He had to actually pull the chair off of me when it flipped over and landed on top of me and trapped me between two desks.


          • #6
            What your not being told here is you are NEVER obligated to tell a prospective employer that you are receiving benefits under workers compensation.


            • #7
              THAT'S the thing I am trying to get answered. Thank you.

              So, if I interview, interview again, get offered the job and get hired, when does this have to be included in the info to a boss?


              • #8
                It doesn't. If you have restrictions or are going to be missing work for appointments and such it is a good idea to let your employer know this at some point, but when exactly you let them know is a judgement call. If this is just something that happened 4 months ago and is over, you never have to tell them.

                Now this employer who reconded the job offer might be in violation of the law if he was acting on the fact that you had filed a WC claim or because he was afraid you might have a disability. If you were going to need 3 days off a week for PT and that was not able to be accommodated or had to push back the start date and didn't know when you would be available, that is legal. The former would not be.

                Whether liability transfers is a complex issue and it is impossible to say based on hypotheticals alone. There are times when it does transfer and times it does not. It is highly case specific.
                I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.


                • #9
                  This is the email my Boss-To-Be sent to me: (let me say that I do not have continual doctor appts., I've had one once a month for several months. I am not in any back pain at all. I would only be working 4 days a week, and any appts. have always been made on Mondays, in anticipation of beginning work for him.)

                  "I've been getting some advice. I have decided not to hire you, as long as you are not 100% recovered and also released by the WC system, & then we will re-interview you as to any impact this injury might have on you in the future.

                  What is best for our agency & our clients always comes first. We need someone who we can count on being there, not with a past injury issue to interrupt the work flow for our schedule to the clients disadvantage, or continual doctors appointments for us to work around. And, the position is one that can not allow for intermittant stretching, taking of walks, and breaking to feel more comfortable due to back pain. The job is so busy and intensively seeking info for the clients benefit, that any interruption to that flow of our office work, would be a disadvantage for the agency & our clients benefit. "


                  • #10
                    It is worth running by a lawyer as CA is fairly strict on both disability discrimination and WC retaliation. It sounds like he was basing his decision on nfounded fears about your medical condition and not reality which is a no-no.
                    I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.


                    • #11
                      Americans with Disabilites Act

                      The ADA is the law that covers what employers may ask about your condition.
                      I used to know this to the letter. You would be well advised to look it up and seek legal counsel with this matter.

                      QUESTIONS AND MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS [11/95]


                      Under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (the "ADA"),[1] an
                      employer may ask disability-related questions and require medical
                      examinations of an applicant only after the applicant has been given a
                      conditional job offer. This Enforcement Guidance explains these ADA


                      In the past, some employment applications and interviews requested
                      information about an applicant's physical and/or mental condition. This
                      information was often used to exclude applicants with disabilities
                      before their ability to perform the job was even evaluated.

                      For example, applicants may have been asked about their medical
                      conditions at the same time that they were engaging in other parts of
                      the application process, such as completing a written job application or
                      having references checked. If an applicant was then rejected, s/he did
                      not necessarily know whether s/he was rejected because of disability, or
                      because of insufficient skills or experience or a bad report from a

                      As a result, Congress established a process within the ADA to isolate an
                      employer's consideration of an applicant's non-medical qualifications
                      from any consideration of the applicant's medical condition.


                      Under the law, an employer may not ask disability-related questions and
                      may not conduct medical examinations until after it makes a conditional
                      job offer to the applicant.[3] This helps ensure that an applicant's
                      possible hidden disability (including a prior history of a disability)
                      is not considered before the employer evaluates an applicant's non-
                      medical qualifications. An employer may not ask disability-related
                      questions or require a medical examination pre-offer even if it intends
                      to look at the answers or results only at the post-offer stage.

                      Although employers may not ask disability-related questions or require
                      medical examinations at the pre-offer stage, they may do a wide variety
                      of things to evaluate whether an applicant is qualified for the job,
                      including the following:

                      * Employers may ask about an applicant's ability to perform specific job
                      functions. For example, an employer may state the physical requirements
                      of a job (such as the ability to lift a certain amount of weight, or the
                      ability to climb ladders), and ask if an applicant can satisfy these

                      * Employers may ask about an applicant's non-medical qualifications and
                      skills, such as the applicant's education, work history, and required
                      certifications and licenses.

                      * Employers may ask applicants to describe or demonstrate how they would
                      perform job tasks.

                      Once a conditional job offer is made, the employer may ask disability-
                      related questions and require medical examinations as long as this is
                      done for all entering employees in that job category. If the employer
                      rejects the applicant after the disability-related question or medical
                      examination, investigators will closely scrutinize whether the rejection
                      was based on the results of that question or examination.

                      If the question or examination screens out an individual because of a
                      disability, the employer must demonstrate that the reason for the
                      rejection is "job-related and consistent with business necessity."[4]

                      In addition, if the individual is screened out for safety reasons, the
                      employer must demonstrate that the individual poses a "direct threat."
                      This means that the individual poses a significant risk of substantial
                      harm to him/herself or others, and that the risk cannot be reduced below
                      the direct threat level through reasonable accommodation.[5]

                      Medical information must be kept confidential.[6] The ADA contains
                      narrow exceptions for disclosing specific, limited information to
                      supervisors and managers, first aid and safety personnel, and government
                      officials investigating compliance with the ADA. Employers may also
                      disclose medical information to state workers' compensation offices,
                      state second injury funds, or workers' compensation insurance carriers
                      in accordance with state workers' compensation laws[7] and may use the
                      medical information for insurance purposes.[8]


                      • #12
                        Technically, WC claims and settlements are public record so if someone is bound and determined to find out if one has been filed, they can do so without having to resort to extraordinary means to do so. That doesn't necessarily mean that knowing someone has been out on a WC claim will be held against them. Most employers are not going to blantantly violate the law. Most recruiters understand that accidents happen and medical events occur that require time off work. This is far from an unusual circumstance. If a recruiter (and I used to be one) eliminated everyone from consideration that ever had a gap in employment, there would be virually no one left to select.
                        I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.


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