California Employment Law
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Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.
I'm sorry to hear about your situation and hope I can help.
Unfortunately, JustAnswer experts cannot tell you what you should do, since that constitutes legal advice instead of legal information.
However, I'd be happy to answer any questions that you have regarding your situation.
I would like to know who I should talk with about my situation. Can you help me with that? Are you available to help a plaintiff in Mendocino County? Can you make any referrals?
No, unfortunately, it is against the rules of the site to make any specific referrals, although I can give you a few starting points.
Also, justanswer experts cannot make contact with customers outside of the site.
Although I cannot tell you specifically what to do, I can give you some suggestions.
1) You need to wait till you receive your right to sue authorization from the DFEH (or a notice that the DFEH is pursuing a complaint on your behalf) to pursue with any legal action against your employer.
When you receive your right to sue notice, you should hire an attorney on a contingency basis to represent you, so you only have to pay the attorney if you receive a settlement or a verdict in your favor.
You can find an attorney to represent you online here:
2) In the meantime, you should definitely file for disability benefits if you haven't done so.
3) As far as the reports written by attorneys of the company, unfortunately, you are not entitled to a copy and will not receive one. In fact, if the attorney were to disclose a copy to you, he or she would have committed an ethical violation by disclosing information that is privileged between him and/or her and the company.
However, if you were somehow led to believe that the attorney was acting in your best interests (by the attorney him/her self), you could file your own complaint with the bar or malpractice action against the attorney.
Thank you for these suggestions. I have a couple of further questions and appreciate you.
I submitted a claim for worker's compensation, asking (at this point) just for psychiatric care re: panic/anxiety treatment needed. I submitted the claim a week ago and have heard nothing from my employer or the carrier. I wish to assert that my disability (panic) is caused by my employer. If you have any comments on this, I would like to hear them. From what I understand California allows for worker's compensation liability for emotional distress. I believe I should not be limited to the SDI level of payment for my disability because of employer fault.
Second, if I hire an attorney would he/she be able to compel (through court or otherwise) that my company's attorney produce a copy of her investigation/report?
Unfortunately, if you choose to file a worker's compensation claim, and go through workers' compensation, you would no longer be eligible for SDI benefits, since those are for disabilities unconnected to work.
I highly suggest you speak to a workers' compensation attorney about doing so. It is definitely possible to prove a connection between your anxiety and your work, but workers' compensation traditionally doesn't provide for a lot of money based on emotional and psychiatric disabilities, unless you could prove you are no longer to be able to work due to them.
No, an attorney cannot be able to compel a report that is done for the client, since that is a privileged document. The only instance in which privileged and confidential documents can be disclosed is malpractice actions against an attorney (in which case the documents prepared by the attorney can be disclosed to the court).
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Thanks and best of luck!
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