Dept. of Industrial Relations logo
Department of Industrial Relations (DIR)

Glossary

 A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W 

panel qualified medical evaluator
A list of three independent qualified medical evaluators issued by the state Industrial Medical Council. You select one of the three doctors for your evaluation. This is for workers not represented by an attorney.



parenteral contact
Piercing mucous membranes of the skin through events like needlesticks, human bites, cuts and abrasions.



party
Normally this includes you, the claims administrator, your employer, attorneys and any other person who has an interest in your claim (for example, doctors or hospitals that have not been paid).



pendant
A light fixture that hangs from a ceiling or other structure on a single cord.



permanent and stationary (P&S)
A term for describing when your medical condition has reached maximum medical improvement.



permanent disability (PD)
Any residual disability that impairs your ability to compete in the open labor market after your medical condition improves as much as possible.



permanent disability advance (PDA)
A voluntary lump sum payment on permanent disability due in the future.



permanent disability payments
Mandatory bi-weekly payments on the undisputed portion of permanent disability, prior to or subsequent to an award.



permanent disability rating
The determination of your level of permanent disability based on a physician's medical report. Claims administrators, attorneys, independent raters or the state Division of Workers' Compensation disability evaluation unit can do ratings.



permanently disabling injury or illness
Amputation, blindness, threshold hearing shift or third degree burns.



permit safety conference
In order to assure that specified hazardous activities proceed safely, the
Division of Occupational Safety and Health issues activity permits and inspects
permitted activities. Before a permit is issued a permit safety conference is
held at which the potential risks of the operation are discussed and the
employer identifies the specific measures that will be taken to minimize these
risks to employees.



Personal Attendant (IWC Order 5-2001)

"Personal attendant" includes babysitters and means any person employed by a nonprofit organization covered by IWC Order 5-2001 to supervise, feed or dress a child or person who by reason of advanced age, physical disability or mental deficiency needs supervision. The status of "personal attendant" shall apply when no significant amount of work other than the foregoing is required.





personal attendant (IWC wage order 15-2001)
Personal attendants include babysitters and is any person employed by a private householder or by any third party employer recognized in the healthcare industry to work in a private household, to supervise, feed, or dress a child or person who by reason of advanced age, physical disability, or mental deficiency needs supervision. The status of "personal attendant" shall apply when no significant amount of work other than the foregoing is required.



petition for discrimination
A form filed with the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) if you believe your employer has punished or discriminated against you for having a work injury or filing a workers' compensation claim. If you do not already have an active case before the WCAB, the petition for discrimination must be filed along with an application for adjudication, which opens your case with the WCAB.



petition for reconsideration
An appeal of a decision issued by a workers' compensation administrative law judge. It must be filed within 20 days of the judge's final decision.



physical agents
A harmful physical agent or toxic substance is any chemical substance, biological agent (bacteria, virus, fungus), or physical stress (noise, heat, cold, vibration, repetitive motion) regulated by any California or federal law or rule due to a hazard to health; is listed in the latest edition of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances or has resulted in an acute or chronic health hazard in human, animal or other biological testing known to the employer.



piece rate

Work that is paid for according to the number of units turned out. A piece rate must be based on a determined figure paid for completing a particular task or making a particular piece of goods. Examples of piece rate plans include the following:

  • Automobile mechanics paid on a book rate usually based upon a pre-set standard. For example: brake job, two hours; tune-up, one hour, etc.
  • Nurses paid on the basis of the number of procedures performed.
  • Carpet layer paid by the yard of carpet laid.
  • Technician paid by the number of telephones installed.
  • Factory worker paid by the number of widgets completed.
  • Carpenter paid by the linear foot on a framing job.
  • Truck driver paid by the number of loads hauled.




piece work/piece rate

Work that is paid for according to the number of units turned out. A "piece rate" must be based on an ascertainable figure paid for completing a particular task or making a particular piece of goods.

Examples of piece rate plans include the following:

  • Automobile mechanics paid on a "book rate" (that is, a brake job, one hour and 50 minutes, tune-up, one hour, etc.) usually based upon a pre-set standard
  • Nurses paid on the basis of the number of procedures performed
  • Carpet layer paid by the number of yards of carpet laid
  • Technician paid by the number of telephones installedFactory worker paid by the number of widgets complete
  • Carpenter paid by the linear foot on a framing job
  • Truck driver paid by the number of loads hauled.




power take off (PTO)
A power output shaft protruding from the drive unit on machinery. All PTO shafts must be guarded to prevent anything catching in moving parts. If the PTO guard can be used as a step, it must be capable of supporting a 250-pound person.



predesignated physician
A primary treating physician that can initially treat you if you have advised your employer in writing prior to the industrial injury or illness. You must have seen the predesignated physician prior to selection.



prima facie case
Prima facie case in this context means a case will suffice until contradicted and overcome by other evidence.



primarily engaged in
Each of the exemptions - administrative, executive and professional - require that the employee be "primarily engaged in" the duties which meet the test for the exemption. The term "primarily engaged in" means that more than one-half of the employee's work time must be spent engaged in exempt work and differs substantially from the federal test which simply requires that the "primary duty" of the employee falls within the exempt duties.



primary treating physician (PTP)
The doctor who has overall responsibility for treatment of your industrial injury or illness. There can only be one PTP at a time.



professional exemption

A person employed in a professional capacity means any employee who meets all of the following requirements:

  1. Licensed or certified by the State of California and primarily engaged in the practice of law, medicine, dentistry, optometry, architecture, engineering, teaching or accounting, or
  2. Primarily engaged in an occupation commonly recognized as a learned or artistic profession. Learned or artistic profession means an employee who is primarily engaged in the performance of:
    1. Work requiring advanced knowledge in a field or science or learning customarily acquired by a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction and study, as distinguished from a general academic education and from an apprenticeship, and from training in the performance of routine mental, manual, or physical processes, or work that is an essential part of or necessarily incident to any of the above work; or
    2. Work that is original and creative in character in a recognized field of artistic endeavor (as opposed to work which can be produced by a person endowed with general manual or intellectual ability and training), and the result of which depends primarily on the invention, imagination, or talent of the employee or work that is an essential part of or necessarily incident to any of the above work; and
    3. Whose work is predominantly intellectual and varied in character (as opposed to routine mental, manual, mechanical, or physical work) whose output or the result cannot be standardized to a given period of time.
  3. Who customarily and regularly exercises discretion and independent judgment in the performance of duties set forth above.
  4. Who earns a monthly salary equivalent to no less than two times the state minimum wage for full-time employment. Full-time employment means 40 hours per week as defined in California labor code section 515(c).

Regarding the requirement for the exemption to apply that the employee "customarily and regularly exercises discretion and independent judgment," means the employee engages in the comparison and evaluation of possible courses of conduct and acting or before making a decision. The employee must have the authority or power to make an independent choice, free from immediate direction or supervision about matters of significance.

For the learned professions, an advanced academic degree is a standard prerequisite.

For the artistic professions, work in a recognized field of artistic endeavor includes such fields as music, writing, the theater, and the plastic and graphic arts.





proof of service
A form used to show that documents have been sent to specific parties.



protected activities

The engaging in or exercising of a right that is protected by law. Some examples of "protected activity" under the Labor Code include:

  • Filing or threatening to file a claim or complaint with the labor commissioner
  • Taking time off from work to serve on a jury or appear as a witness in court
  • Disclosing or discussing your wages
  • Using or attempting to use sick leave to attend to the illness of a child, parent, spouse, domestic partner, or child of the domestic partner of the employee
  • Engaging in political activity of your choice
  • For complaining about safety or health conditions or practices




public funds
Includes state, local and/or federal monies.



public works project
Construction, alteration, demolition, or repair work done under contract and paid for in whole or in part out of public funds.