Employment Law Is Not Workers’ Compensation Law

Employment Law Is Not Workers’ Compensation Law




Since employment law and workers’ compensation law both relate to people and their workplace it is shared, however incorrect, for the two to be used interchangeably in conversation. Here are the meaningful distinctions between these important areas of the law.

Employment Law is:

  • ADA Violations – The Americans with Disability Act, ADA, prohibits discrimination in the work place based on disability. Employers anywhere in the country, including Washington State, with 15 or more employees must provide individuals with disabilities an equal opportunity to assistance from the complete range of employment opportunities obtainable to others.
  • Discrimination – Employers cannot treat employees differently due to race, color, religion, sex, age, disabilities, genetic information or national origin.
  • Employment Contract Disputes – These kinds of disputes include issues arising from formal employment contracts. These issues typically include non-compete clauses, wages, bonuses, benefits, duration of employment, ownership of intellectual character, and confidentiality.
  • FMLA Violations – Employers with over 15 employees must follow the FMLA which entitles individuals to 12 weeks of unpaid leave if the employee is unable to perform his or her job due to a serious medical condition; needs to care for a sick family member (including spouse, child, or parent); or to care for a new family member (by birth or adoption). Following the leave, the employee should be returned to the same or equivalent position.
  • Harassment – This includes any behavior intended to upset or upset an employee at the work place. This can also include threatening disturbing behavior and unwanted sexual advances.
  • OSHA – Occupational Safety and Health Administration violations are federal safety violations when an employer knowingly neglects to protect federal employees, military base employees, longshore and offshore employees. (A recent example is the death of the SeaWorld Trainer by the Orca whale. OSHA fined SeaWorld approximately $75,000 in safety violations.)
  • WISHA – Washington Industries Safety and Health Act protects all workers in the State of Washington. Violations of the act are handled by L&I (Labor & Industries).
  • Retaliation – This occurs when an employer seeks revenge upon an employee for something the employee feels is legally right. In order to fall under retaliation the following must be present: (1) employee was involved in a protected activity (2) the employee performed the job according to the employer’s expectations (3) the employee suffered a materially negative employment action (4) the employee was treated less favorably than similarly located employees.
  • Wage and Hour Disputes – These disputes include unpaid time, illegal dispensing of tips and failure to pay during breaks. Issues involving misclassification of employees and independent contractors also falls within this employment category.
  • Wrongful Termination – Being fired from your job illegally!

You can sue your employer for any of the above violations! Awards can include lost wages and monetary awards for pain and experiencing. These situations are argued before the Washington State Human Rights Commission, the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and the United States Department of Labor.

Employment Law attorneys manager employment law situations.

Workers’ Compensation Law is:

  • On the job injuries or occupational diseases.

Workers injured or made sick by their work are eligible for Workers’ Compensation. Benefits include medical care, time loss compensation, long-lasting uncompletely disability, vocational rehab, pensions, and other payments. The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) manages state fund situations and presides over self insured situations. Workers’ Compensation is a no fault system of social insurance which in theory provides sure and certain relief but takes away your ability to sue your employer for all injuries except intentional injuries.

Workers’ Compensation law is what we do. If you need Washington Workers’ Compensation advice click here, if you need a Washington workers’ compensation attorney, call and we’ll do our best to answer your questions and help you.

Can They Overlap?

Yes! Sometimes the issues in employment law situations overlap with the issues in workers’ compensation situations. For example, an individual in Seattle, WA could suffer an injury on the job while at the same time experiencing discrimination due to his or her progressive age. This would consequence in both a workers’ compensation claim and an age discrimination suit. This individual would consequently have two different situations and two different sets of remedies.




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