In California, the workers’ compensation system is set up to benefit both employees and employers. Through workers’ compensation, employees who’ve been injured in on-the-job accidents can seek financial assistance. This system also ensures that employees can’t hold their employers accountable for workplace accidents and work-related illnesses.
However, there are exceptions. Employees can sometimes take legal action against employers by claiming they engaged in serious and willful misconduct, a form of negligence that borders on criminal behavior.
Are you an employer who’s been accused of serious and willful misconduct in California? If so, it’s essential to hire a competent lawyer who can mount an effective defense. Serious and willful misconduct is a serious accusation that can result in significant financial penalties, loss of business reputation, and even criminal charges. Defenses an attorney might use in these circumstances include:
The prosecution must present sufficient evidence to prove that the employer engaged in serious and willful misconduct. A lawyer may argue they’ve failed to do so if the prosecution’s evidence is weak or inconclusive.
No employer is perfect. In some instances, an employer who has been accused of engaging in serious and willful misconduct might have been acting in good faith. What has been perceived as blatant and potentially illegal negligence on the part of an employer could potentially be a genuine mistake that anyone else could have made.
The defense may argue that the employee was responsible for their own injuries and that the employer is not liable for the accident. They may argue that the employee engaged in misconduct or violated company policies that contributed to the injury. Although California’s labor laws are very employee-friendly, if employees are injured because of their own unreasonable negligence, this is a factor that may be accounted for in serious and willful misconduct cases.
The defense may argue that the statute of limitations has expired and that the case should be dismissed. The statute of limitations sets a time limit on when a lawsuit can be filed, and if the time limit has passed, the case may be dismissed by the court.
The defense may argue that the employer was in compliance with all relevant safety regulations and that the accident was an unforeseeable and unavoidable event. They may argue that the accident was caused by an unforeseeable circumstance or an act of nature, and that the employer took all necessary precautions to prevent such accidents from occurring.
Keep in mind that the information here is fairly general. Every case is unique, and your attorney should develop a strategy that’s tailored to your specific circumstances and needs.
At Sacks Law Group, APC, our Los Angeles serious and willful misconduct defense attorneys have the experience and expertise necessary to assist you when an employee has made these types of allegations. To learn more about how we can help, contact us online or call us at 310-216-7778.