Severance packages effect on work comp benefits?

I am curently collecting workers compensation for a herniated disk. My employer has decided to permanemtly outsource my job due to the uncertainty of my return, or ability to perform upon return. A severance package has been offered. Will the severance pay affect my WC benefits? Can we structure the "release" to not affect my WC benefits. Please advise.
Thank you
R J Gucwa

1 answer  |  asked Jan 24, 2004 4:03 PM [EST]  |  applies to California

Answers (1)

Janet M. Koehn
talk to your wc attorney!

you absolutely must inform your wc attorney about the proposal. it is imperative you receive skilled advice to make sure the "package" does not waive any rights to future benefits, rehab, etc., or conversely, any settlement of the workers comp claim does not waive rights contained in your severance agreement. if you don't have a workers compensation certified specialist attorney, get one. there is no upside to being unrepresented by counsel when your company is disappearing your job.
you should also discuss the terms of the proposed severance "package" with an employment rights attorney. these may be, but are not necessarily, the same person (i am an employment law specialist, but i do not practice workers compensation law). you need to discuss with that person what potential recoveries you are giving up by signing the severance agreement. for example, i see a retaliatory action in their outsourcing your job.
you can find a workers compensation certified specialist in your area at the cal applicant attorneys assn (caaa) website, and an employment law specialist at the cal employment lawyers assn website (www.celaweb.org).
good luck
janet m. koehn

posted by Janet M. Koehn  |  Jan 26, 2004 4:47 PM [EST]

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