At Thomas Employment Law Group, Inc., we are well versed in the California Workers' Compensation System. We often find out about new laws and regulations and want to share that with our clients. 




Remembering those who gave their lives.
Maritime Strike for improved working conditions and wages.



San Francisco’s maritime strike, which began May 9, 1934, tumbled out of control when the Industrial Association, made up of employers and business interests who wished to break the strike, and the power of San Francisco unions, began to move goods from the piers to warehouses.The first running battles between unionists and police began Tuesday, July 3, 1934. There was a lull during the July 4 holiday when no freight was moved, but disturbances picked up again Thursday, July 5, 1934 – known as “Bloody Thursday.”

This is the San Francisco News’ coverage of the first day of the rioting – July 3, 1934.

The area where the rioting took place is now the heart of San Francisco’s Multimedia Gulch.


FILE – In this Feb. 12, 2017, file photo, Dallas Stars defenseman Dan Hamhuis plays against the Nashville Predators during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Nashville, Tenn. The unnatural motion of skating causes abdominal injuries that require surgery, but the recovery time is drastically different from player to player. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

Read Full Story Here

Happening right now…


Every state in the U.S. requires companies to provide workers’ compensation to employees injured on the job — every state except Texas, that is.

John Hernandez works at Swift Transportation — one of the largest trucking businesses in the U.S. When Hernandez was driving one of the company’s 18-wheelers in Texas and lost control, ending up with three herniated discs in his spine, he assumed his workers’ compensation would cover the cost of his surgery. But instead, he has been paying almost all of his medical expenses out of pocket.

Texas allows companies to opt out of workers’ comp and replace it with their own rules. And, with all the new-hire paperwork that comes with a new job, many employees don’t even know they’ve signed away their rights to workers’ compensation until after they’ve been injured. VICE News’ Roberto Ferdman travels to Texas to learn more.

This segment originally aired April 17, 2017, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.  Click on the link to open in a new window.

What Happens when a state lets employers opt out of paying Workers’ Comp


Big business continues to make profits on the backs, legs, arms, heads, and LIVES, of working women and men. Please read the attached article. This article documents death and injuries from a horrible event in 1911.

Today, thankfully, an event of this magnitude is extremely rare. However, every day there are about 800 lost time injuries in California. Some of these injuries cause death. Some of the injuries cause life-long pain and suffering. And, some injured workers make complete recoveries.

I represent injured workers to minimize the injury’s impact on the injured workers’ life and, her or his family. And if necessary, to increase work-place safety by documenting an employer’s unsafe business practice.

I hope this article reminds you that this great nation was built on hard work by millions of workers. And that each product you buy, and each service you use, was contributed to, in part or whole, by a worker.

Please remember that during the production, manufacturing, or building process, a worker may have been injured or that a family may have lost a loved one.

Your Work Comp Briefing

Monday 03/27/2017

Out of Tragedy…

Saturday, March 25, marked the 116th anniversary of one of the most iconic and tragic events involving worker welfare and safety: the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. The factory was located on the top three floors of the ten-story Asch Building in New York City, and produced women’s blouses (shirtwaists). Workers were mostly immigrant women, some as young as 14.

A year before the fire, the workers participated in a city-wide demonstration demanding improved working conditions. Conditions prompting the march included long hours, low wages, poor ventilation, and cramped and dirty working conditions.

On March 25, 1911, fire broke on the ninth floor. The floors were strewn with combustible scraps and machine oil. Workers described bits of thread hanging suspended in the heavy air. Attempts to control the fire proved fruitless. The fire escape collapsed. As the fire grew, many workers, particularly on the ninth floor, found no means of exit. Many jumped to certain death.

123 women and 23 men died in the fire. Accounts from survivors and witnesses in the streets were horrific. For a next day newspaper account, click here.
Victims received little or no compensation. Meanwhile, the two owners were acquitted of criminal charges and recovered a large insurance settlement. . Several commissions were formed to study the event and possible improvements in worker welfare.

Women, particularly immigrant women, comprise the majority of the workforce in the garment industry. Adequate protection must be preserved to curtail potential abusive practices. Recently, the Garment Worker Center and the UCLA Labor Center surveyed workers in the Los Angeles garment industry. Their findings report conditions that echoed the voices of 116 years earlier; including poor ventilation, excessive heat and dust, locked doors, dirty and poorly maintained workplaces. To read the December 2016 survey results, click here and scroll down to ‘Find out more and download the report here’.

Stay tuned to see what’s up.



Workers’ Compensation benefits are under attack.  For this reason I expect many of you are frustrated and have questions about the “WC system.”  Well, you are not the only one.

Below are links to various recorded interviews and investigations documenting the neglect of the Workers’ Compensation medical treatment system.

At the foundation of this neglect is the fact that the Workers’ Compensation insurance companies get to hire a biased medical professional to deny medical treatment benefits.  There is no “good faith” requirement that the workers’ compensation insurance “act in good faith” in determining whether your treatment should be authorized or denied.  The insurance company controls who they have review your treating physician’s medical treatment requests.  As you would expect, the “reviewing doctor” is more concerned about a relationship with the insurance company than any concern for you, the injured worker.

I offer these links as evidence of the pervasive denials within the workers’ compensation medical treatment process.

If you have any difficulty in obtaining medical treatment for your Workers’ Compensation injuries, I recommend that you contact your State Legislator and ask them to change the law that gives the insurance company full control of the medical treatment you require to recover from your industrial injuries.


Victimizing Me All Over Again

They survived the San Bernardino terror attack.  Now, they feel betrayed

San Bernardino survivors stymied by Workers’ Comp denials

San Bernardino Victims of Terrorism and now Workers’ Comp?




San Jose Ends Rocky Relationship with Company Handling Injured Firefighters’ Workers’ Comp Claims

State Director Responds to Workers’ Comp Criticism, Defends System

Time Limit for Filing California Workers’ Compensation Case

watch-clockWhen you are injured on the job in California, your employer is required by state law to cover treatment of your injuries via workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits can be completely denied if you do not file a workers’ compensation claim fast enough. As a general rule of thumb, I recommend that my clients notify their supervisors immediately when an accident occurs or when they are hurt in the workplace. Workers’ compensation injuries can involve single accidents, such as a fall, or injuries from repetitive work tasks, like back injuries caused by constant heavy lifting.

Notifying Your Employer Immediately of Your Injuries

When you experience pain, ask your manager how you go about reporting an injury. If you don’t notify your employer within 30 days after your injury occurred, you might lose your right to medical care assistance and payments!

How Long Do You Have to File Your Claim?

In order to receive workers’ compensation benefits, you must file a claim with the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC). Upon learning of your injury, your employer is required by California law to give you a DWC claim form within one day. But once you have that claim form, how long do you have to file it?