Employer's "Serious & Willful" ! (California)

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Employer's "Serious & Willful" ! (California)

Postby stewshe on Sun Aug 30, 2009 11:51 am

The following is from my Work Comp Index, 7th E.D., page 752, under "Serious & Willful, Contd."

 Employer’s: L.C. §4553, 4553.1; Hanna §10.01; O’Brien §15.2+; CWCLP §12:10+

{Everyone has a favorite horror story. The best I ever heard was from an aggressive L.A.
defense attorney about the first (only?) case he ever turned down. It seems he was contacted
by two “employers,” who were uninsured and were also on the run from the UEF, OSHA
the Wage and Price people, as well as the District Attorney’s office! “Why are all these
people after you,” he asked?

“We had an employee who didn’t work very fast, so we only paid him $2.00/hr...it was all
he was worth.” [Well under minimum wage at the time.]

“How did he get hurt?”

The older of the two replied, “He was so slow, we had to BEAT him to make him work

The attorney was astonished, “What did you beat him with, a whip?”

“We didn’t have a whip, so we used a rope...but it had knots on the ends...and he did work


What I didn't add to the above was that the DA swore the story was true...and he had no reason to lie! He was also "SoCal aggressive," so he wouldn't have turned down many clients!

The abbreviation "CWCLP" is to Judge St. Clair's book, California Workers' Compensation Law and Practice by James Publishing (no relation to me). It now has editorial assistance from David G. Marcus, Richard L. Newman, and Alexander Wong.

Now, someone else needs to post one about an EE's Serious & Willful!
James T. Stewart (stewshe@comcast.net)
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Re: Employer's "Serious & Willful" ! (California)

Postby claimsmonkey on Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:32 pm

Once upon a time, there was an employee who worked at a convalescent facility. The employee would routinely antagonize patients, who generally responded with increased agitation, but seldom nothing more. The employee was routinely disciplined for this behavior and was on their final written warning for their behavior, as there were complaints from co-workers, patients and families of patients who witnessed this behavior. The employee was specifically warned that antagonizing patients in the facility was putting the employee and their co-workers in jeopardy, as some of the patients would become agitated and sometimes turned violent with minimal provocation. The employee signed acknowledgement of this and acknowledged that any further provocation would be met with immediate termination.

Inevitably, the employee did threaten co-workers not to "rat" them out and continued with this behavior, albeit less overtly. One day, the employee decided to antagonize one of the patients with a walker, stating that "you'll never catch up to me and if you do, I'll break your other hip old man!" Mind you, the patient needed little provocation as he was prone to fits of rage. Moments later, the employee was running from the patient who was threatening the employee with his walker. The co-workers all ran into rooms and hid, locking doors behind them while they watched the employee have the living tar beaten out of them by the patient. When the PART team arrived to subdue the patient, the employee was screaming at their co-workers calling them all chickens and how could they let this happen?

Got my investigation done lickety split. A week later, I was filing an S&W against the applicant. A/A filed an S&W as well, alleging the co-workers actions somehow constituted S&W. A/A dropped the S&W and the applicant after the deposition... Not sure of the disposition, as I went over to another company prior to the case's resolution.
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