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LawTalk
LawTalk, Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 37850
Experience:  I have 30 years of experience in the practice of law, including employment law and discrimination law.
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We have an employee minimum wage employee that works only one

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We have an employee minimum wage employee that works only one day a week for about 5 hours that broke a "tiny" bone in his foot while simply walking at work. He doesn't know how or why it happened and his doctor said it was just a freak injury. This freak injury has cost my workers comp carrier $35,000 in medical bills and has increased my insurance deposit $6,000 this year. His lawyer doesn't want the case closed even though we were instructed to hire him back on modified duties if we didn't want his payouts to keep increasing. (We had to make up a job for him and now he just sits as sort of a receptionist for me). Here are my questions: While "Off-Site" he recently reported that he was carrying heavy cement down a hill and twisted his ankle (on the same foot that he broke the tiny bone) and his doctor says he needs to take 2 weeks off to heal. #1-Since the injury occurred off-site and wasn't caused or didn't involve the injury he sustained at my business, do I have to keep this job open for him until he heals? #2- Since he has proven that he is taking risks while not at work that could re-injure the mended bone he broke at my business, isn't this enough to get his case finally closed? FYI: The reason our workers comp deposit increased so much this year is not because they paid out over $35,000 to him but because the case is still open so they told us they have to budget for a "worse-case-schinario" of him possibly needing more treatment by a multiple of "3" of what they've already paid out! Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX
Good morning Mr Harris,

I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

You asked several questions relating to this employee and his now-injured ankle:

#1-Since the injury occurred off-site and wasn't caused or didn't involve the injury he sustained at my business, do I have to keep this job open for him until he heals?
As the injury occurred during a period of time in which he was not within the course and scope of his employment---you have no legal obligation to pay him for time he is out, nor to hold his position with the company if he takes time off for which he does not have either accrued sick leave or vacation time available.

#2- Since he has proven that he is taking risks while not at work that could re-injure the mended bone he broke at my business, isn't this enough to get his case finally closed?
The fact that he may be taking risks outside of work, that might jeopardize the healing process of his work injury, is not going to be sufficient good cause to force the closing of the workers' compensation claim---I'm sorry. Under the circumstances, what many workers' compensation carriers do is, as soon as he has reached a permanent and stationary position in regards XXXXX XXXXX foot---that they have him rated and then make a settlement offer to settle not only the permanent disability claim, but also to provide a bit of money for future medical expenses, if there are any. However, until he reaches this permanent and stationary medical status, the claim must remain open.

You may reply back to me using the Continue the Conversation or Reply to Expert link if you need any clarification of my answer.


Please remember to rate my service to you when our communication is completed, so that I will be compensated for my time in providing you with the information you requested. I will be happy to continue further, and to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

I wish you the best in 2013,

Doug
LawTalk and 2 other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Thank you for your positive rating of my service, Mr Harris. It has been my pleasure to assist you and I hope you will ask for me on JustAnswer should a future need ever arise.

Please feel free to bookmark the following link so you can request me to answer any future legal questions you may have:
http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-lawtalk/

Thanks again.

Doug

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