Los Angeles, CA asked in Employment Law, Personal Injury and Workers' Compensation for California

Q: If I become handicapped from my job and I habe a spinal cord injury and I'm in pain everyday and can never work again.

Is there anything I can do to sue for mental distress . my Employer took advantage of me and worked me to the core because I am Mexican. It doesnt sound right to just get a 132a case. I will never be the same. They purposely broke me down.

4 Lawyer Answers
Dale S. Gribow
Dale S. Gribow
Answered
  • Palm Desert, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: MORE INFO NEEDED.

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU ARE DISCUSSING ON AN OPEN FORUM.

YOU SHOULD CONTACT A LABOR LAWYER ASAP.........AND BEFORE YOU SETTLE FOR ANYTHING.

William John Light
William John Light
Answered
  • Riverside, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: If you've been discriminated against based on your ethnicity or nationality, you might have an employment lawsuit against your employer. Contact an employee rights attorney to discuss.

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen
Answered
  • Westminster, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: It is difficult to give you a helpful answer without knowing much more. There is a very bright line drawn that says any workplace injuries you suffer, even emotional distress, that is caused in the workplace must be handled within the workers compensation system. There are very limited exceptions to that rule. One exception is that emotional distress caused not by the physical injury you suffered, but by racial or national origin discrimination or harassment, is recoverable outside of the workers compensation process. The challenge will be proving what distress is caused by the discrimination and harassment, and what was caused by the actual injury.

It would be wise for you to locate and consult with an experienced employment law attorney as soon as possible to explore your facts and determine your options. I would suggest you look either on this site, or go to www.cela.org, the home page for the California Employment Lawyers Association, an organization whose members are dedicated to the representation of employees against their employers.

Most employment attorneys who practice this area of law offer a free or low cost consultation in the beginning and then, if the matter has merit and value, will usually agree to work on a contingency basis, meaning you can hire an attorney without paying any money until the matter results in a positive outcome for you. Many advance all the costs of the litigation as well. Do not let fear of fees and costs keep you from finding a good attorney.

Good luck to you.

Maurice Mandel II agrees with this answer

Nancy J. Wallace
Nancy J. Wallace
Answered
  • Workers' Compensation Lawyer
  • Grand Terrace, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: You MAY add an Injury to Psyche to your Claim Form and Application. An 'Injury To Psyche' claim now must come from a sudden or extraordinary event (generally). An example is the SanBernardino Terrorist attack. You can claim a psychiatric injury but you would only get a little treatment and zero permanent disability if the psychiatric problem is from chronic pain and not from a bullet or attack.

Workers who claim Injury to Psyche get their entire personal lives examined, including their sex life and the criminal problems of all family members. If your psychiatric trouble is less than 51% caused by the injury or the sudden event, the employer will deny it and you will have a nasty trial to face.

IF there is some WRITTEN or concrete proof you were worked differently solely because of your national origin or race, not just your opinion but a memo stating "she's mexican so i'll give her the jobs of 3 people to do" or it's equivalent, then there is a remedy before the Dept. of Fair Housing & Employment (FEHA) or possible the EEOC, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (federal). Most people never have this type of proof, and they won't go get the proof for you, you need to come to the agency with the evidence in hand.

A 132a Petition just asserts that you were discriminated against because you requested workers comp benefits. It is NOT a remedy for discrimination based on race or national origin. People who are demoted or fired just because they handed in a claim form file the 132a Petition to get their job back. Your fact pattern here would not make for a successful 132a petition and trial.

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