There’s no question that agriculture can be a hazardous industry, but only 13 states presently require workers’ compensation coverage for migrant and seasonal employees. California is one of those states. Another 16 states don’t require any workers’ compensation coverage at all, while in others, there is limited coverage like medical payments only.
Common Agricultural Worker Accidents
The fact that California requires agricultural workers to be covered by workers’ compensation is important. Every day, more than 150 of those workers suffer injuries that require them to take time off of work for purposes of obtaining medical treatment and recovering. Here are some examples of common farm accidents:
- Tractor rollovers and other machinery accidents.
- Injuries from animals.
- Falls from heights.
- Neck and back injuries from constant bending and lifting.
- Repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Injuries from extreme heat.
- Breathing disorders from dust.
- Illnesses involving exposure to pesticides and other toxic chemical substances.
What Workers’ Compensation Includes
California migrant and seasonal workers can avail themselves to the same workers’ compensation benefits as anybody else. They need those benefits in order to help them support their families and return to work. Basic benefits include payment of necessary medical bills in connection with the agricultural worker’s injuries, temporary total disability payments and lump sum compensation for any permanent partial disability. These benefits are critical for any worker, especially when about 20 percent of all agricultural workers’ compensation cases involve some form of permanent disability.
Don’t fear being retaliated against for filing a workers’ compensation petition. It’s against the law in California for an employer to fire a person for filing a workers’ compensation claim. Doing so will only create other legal problems for the employer. That’s because we can pursue compensation for retaliation too. In California, even undocumented workers are allowed to seek workers’ compensation benefits.
Like any other workplace, farms must be safe, and if an agricultural employee is injured in the course of his or her job, workers’ compensation benefits can be sought. Don’t hesitate to use the laws that protect you and other migrant or seasonal employees.
Contact a Sacramento Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Sacramento Workers’ Compensation Attorney, Alice A. Strömbom, focuses exclusively on Workers’ Compensation Law and the rights of injured workers. She is very familiar with the tactics insurance companies use to avoid providing the medical treatment and disability benefits injured workers deserve, and has a recognized track record in combating such issues.
Contact us today for a free, confidential consultation and case evaluation.