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A toxic work environment can have unexpected effects

As anyone in California can attest, working with unhappy or abusive people can be a miserable experience. However, the long-term health effects of working in a toxic environment may include mental and physical issues that impact both a person’s work performance and personal life.

A “toxic work environment” refers to the emotional atmosphere of being around managers, coworkers or clients who are consistently negative or abusive. According to Forbes, workplace toxicity can include a variety of unpleasant and unprofessional behaviors, from yelling bosses to gossiping coworkers to customers who are allowed to insult and demean employees. Often, those in a position of authority control their employees by making them feel afraid to speak out or to make suggestions. They may demand absolute obedience or they might put down employees, rather than build them up and encourage them. Coworkers might engage in bullying or teasing others to make themselves look better or to “fit in” with stronger personalities.

10 most dangerous jobs

Workers throughout the state of California want to know they are as safe as possible when they get to their jobs every day, but safety cannot be guaranteed.

The USA Today reported results of a study by 24/7 Wall Street that revealed the most dangerous jobs in the United States. Logging topped out at number one, with the physical demands and location of the work cited as primary factors. The machinery workers use to perform their jobs also adds to the danger.

Can you file a workers' compensation claim without status papers?

If you happen to be a California worker without legal status papers, you are definitely not alone. In fact, undocumented immigrants comprise at least 10 percent of this state's workforce. More than 3 percent of the nation's population includes immigrants without valid legal statuses. Like many hard-working employees, you may worry what would happen if you were ever to suffer an injury on the job. For those in similar situations, a major concern is often whether eligibility for workers' compensation exists.

It's understandable that you might be hesitant to report a workplace injury for fear it will lead to immigration problems. To protect your rights, it's always a good idea to arm yourself with information ahead of time, which usually makes it easier to resolve such problems when they arise.

The dangers of working on or near scaffolding

If you are among the many California employees who work in construction or another industry that relies on scaffolding, it is critical that you understand the inherently risky nature of this type of equipment, and protect yourself accordingly. At the Law Offices of Hussain & Gutierrez, we recognize that catastrophic injuries can arise from scaffolding accidents, and we have helped many clients who suffered injury on the job because of scaffolding seek recourse.

According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, about 65 percent of the construction industry frequently works on or around scaffolds, but these temporary work platforms are also common causes of on-the-job accidents. Research indicates that enhancing safety standards when it comes to scaffolds could potentially prevent 60 deaths and 4,500 injuries every year, and that many of these fatalities and injuries could also be preventable if companies would simply follow OSHA standards.

What happens when a workplace injury causes partial disability?

California's Department of Industrial Relations offers advice for employees left with a permanent partial disability after an on-the-job injury. Ideally, employers would provide an alternative or modified role in the organization, a position that pays at least 85 percent of the wages you were earning before the incident. Sometimes such a role is impossible to design, so what are your options when that happens?

One alternative, according to the DIR, may be taking advantage of supplemental job displacement benefits. These benefits may include vocational counseling, training at one of California's eligible providers and fees for new licensing and testing. If a laptop is on your list of items needed before returning to school, some voucher funds could go toward purchasing one. They may also cover other unexpected expenses that come up while you are learning a new occupation.

What occupational hazards do nurses face?

If you live in California and currently make your living as a nurse, it is important to recognize the unique on-the-job hazards you face so that you can learn how to minimize them as much as possible. Nurses nationwide experience a broad range of pains and work-related hazards, which can inhibit their ability to perform job-related duties while hindering their overall quality of life.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, you need to be aware, as a nurse, that you are at risk for attacks from patients. If you typically work in an emergency room environment, your risk of experiencing physical or verbal violence rises even further, with more than 50 percent of the nurses in one study reporting experiencing verbal abuse on the job. Additionally, about one in every 10 nurses also experiences physical abuse while on the clock.

Compensation denied for California deputies injured in Vegas

FindLaw answers questions for California residents about workers' compensation coverage for employees injured on the job. The first question FindLaw lists is "How do I know whether I am covered...?" The answer, it turns out, is not always a simple one.

FindLaw notes the primary influencing factors relate to employment status. Is the claimant, in fact, an employee of the organization, and if so, did the injury directly result from that employment? Even if the answer to both questions is "yes," an employer does not guarantee coverage for every incident. Too many other factors weigh in when workers' compensation insurance is considering payout.

Has a work injury robbed you of your ability to work?

A workplace injury can cause struggle and frustration all around. Your employer must fill your position while you recover, and this can be costly. Your family may have to adapt to your injury and the changes it brings to the household. Your spouse may be carrying a heavier burden by caring for you and increasing hours at work to make up for lost income.

Of course, you are the one whose struggle is the greatest, especially if your workplace injury is debilitating or life-changing. You know that there may be few steps you can take to relieve the burden for others, but fortunately, workers' compensation insurance will alleviate some of the financial struggle. However, if you are unable to return to your old job, what does workers' compensation do to help you?

Protecting your head and eyes on the job

The workplace injuries that costs employers the most money are those involving the head and nervous system. However, as much as such an injury may cost your employer, it is likely you are the one who pays the higher price. An injury to your head, including your eyes, can change your life forever by robbing you of independence and other blessings too precious for a price tag.

It may be surprising for you to learn that head and eye protective equipment are the very last resort in a workplace environment. Nevertheless, personal protection equipment is a requirement in many situations, and your employer should provide you with PPE that is adequate, appropriate and well-maintained.

Compensation for psychiatric injuries

Workers compensation is generally known for covering physical injuries in the California workplace. However, some people may not be aware that California law also provides for workers to sue for damages related to psychiatric injuries as well. While workers may not suffer explicit physical harm, traumatic events on the job may cause stress related problems that can be compensated for.

According to the Findlaw website, California code 3208.3 establishes that a worker can be compensated for psychiatric injuries if a mental disorder is diagnosed that either causes a disability or a necessity of treatment. However, an employee should have been working at the job for no less than six months. Still, this time period does not have to be continuous. An individual could have been employed for a span of time, left the job, and then come back to complete at least six months of employment.

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