Hello, My girlfriend has worked at a large retirement home for 27 years, in the laundry dept, lifting 75lb loads of clothes on a regular basis. After working there for 19 years, she quit because she was having trouble feeling her hands, carpal tunnel, (and the day she quit, her boyfriend wound up dying from a stroke.) She went back to work 7 months later when her hands were doing better, and then found out she had breast cancer, She went off work, had the surgery and radiation on her breast, then went back to work. Last February she was diagnosed again with breast cancer in the other breast, (and the day she found that out, her latest boyfriend died of a heart attack. Her life is a nightmare!) She went back to work for about 3 weeks after having surgery and radiation on the other breast, yet woke up early last week and couldn't feel her hands again. She has Kaiser insurance through her job, and is scheduled for surgery on one hand for severe carpal tunnel, (then she's set to go back to work a week afterwards...?!! Huh?) After all she's been through, I told her she should go out on permanent disability, as her hands have other issues besides the carpal tunnel from years of repetitive, heavy work, but she said the doctor won't let her off work. When she went to Kaiser to have her hands looked at a week ago, when asked if it was disability versus workman's comp, she was afraid to make the employer mad and tell the truth, being afraid to lose her job, and needs the benefits for her cancer treatment and operations for damage to her body (FROM WORK!), so filled out the paperwork as disability, and NOT Worker's Comp. I told her I would see if she needed to straighten out the paperwork before they operate on her, put the truth on it, Worker's Comp versus disability, to protect herself in the future from other work related health issues. She's afraid to rock the boat with the employer, because she said they may make it unbearable for her at work if she does open a Comp claim, and try to force her to quit, and she needs her medical insurance she gets through the employer. I went through a similar situation with a past employer, and just like her, tried to be a trooper, a team player, good sport...in other words, not anger the employer by filing a comp case, instead filing for disability. But I wound up really regretting it, as the employer could care less about me...I was replaceable, and sparing them a comp case did me no favors. What would you advise for her at this point...her surgery is scheduled for this Tuesday, in 2 days! I believe she not only needs some good advice, she needs to hire a Worker's Comp attorney pronto! She's cries a lot from the stress, so I really want to help her...can anyone out there help?
State/Country relating to question: California
Just found everything out 2 days ago, need advice, haven't sought an attorney at this point, don't know rights under the circumstances!
Hello.Unfortunately, JustAnswer experts cannot represent customers due to the rules of the site, but I'd be happy to answer any questions that you have regarding your girlfriend's situation.Joseph41085.0096965625
I understand you can't represent her, but what are her rights? Should she change her status from disability to Worker's Comp for her own protection before she gets operated on?
She doesn't have to change her status from workers' compensation to disability. She can still file for workers' compensation while on disability.I would definitely suggest that she file a workers' compensation claim since her injuries are directly related to her employment, so she would definitely have a valid claim.Also, since workers' compensation attorneys are only paid if she were to receive a judgment or a settlement, she wouldn't have anything to lose by filing a workers' compensation claim.I would suggest that she consult with an attorney as soon as possible.She could find one online here:http://www.lawyers.com/Workers-Compensation/California/browse-law-firms-by-city.html
Extensive experience representing employees and management
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