Bulletin No. 52-05
September 7, 2005

 

State Division of Workers' Compensation launches campaign to educate injured workers about their rights

Oakland - The California Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC) has launched a campaign to provide information to injured workers about their rights. The campaign focuses on monthly workshops for injured workers held at local DWC offices. The division will also begin holding Spanish-language workshops in various locations around the state, with the first Spanish-language workshop to be held in Calexico Sep. 21.

"If you're an injured worker that needs help understanding your rights, the Division of Workers' Compensation can help," said DWC Administrative Director Andrea Lynn Hoch. "These workshops provide us an opportunity to answer workers' questions, as well as inform them of their rights and options under the law."

At the workshops injured workers learn about their right to medical treatment, disability payments, returning to work after an injury and resolving a disagreement over a claim.

Monthly workshops are held at 23 local DWC offices around the state. A listing of workshop days and times can be found on DWC's Web site at www.dir.ca.gov/dwc. Injured workers can also call 1-800-736-7401 to find the workshop near them and hear other recorded information. To bypass other information and go directly to workshop locations in English, injured workers should press 7, then 7 again, then 1 after dialing the 800 number.

While the monthly workshops are conducted in English, the division is launching a quarterly, regional Spanish-language workshop and has produced posters and flyers in Spanish, as well as English.

"Conducting the workshop in Spanish is one of the first steps in creating greater access to information about workers' compensation for all California's wage earners," said Hoch. "The division is also translating its guides -- which explain the forms needed to resolve a disagreement over benefits through the workers' comp court system -- into Spanish, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese."

The division's first Spanish-language workshop will be held Sep. 21 @ 6 a.m. at the Employment Development Department office in Calexico. Spanish-speaking workers may call 1-800-736-7401 and press 2 for details.

The free, one-hour workshops consist of a structured presentation followed by a question and answer session and are presented by the DWC Information and Assistance Unit. The Information and Assistance Unit helps employees, employers and others understand their rights, benefits and obligations under California's workers' compensation laws. The unit plays a major role in resolving disagreements over workers' compensation benefits and is often the first DWC contact for injured workers.

Community based organizations and others who'd like to download the workshop flyer in English or Spanish for distribution to workers may do so by clicking the link "Injured on the job? Need to know your rights?" from the DWC home page at www.dir.ca.gov/dwc. Posters are also available from the Division of Workers' Compensation by calling 510.286.7076.

###