I had a few questions about workers compensation and hope I could get some help;
So I work at a building that serves food and is 3 floors high, I've been in that location for 3+ years. The main issue is the kitchen is on the first floor, and we accommodate a lot of people, so think of it like catering with how busy we potentially get. Trays of of food and drink needs to be carried to the 3rd floor constantly, and I've been doing this for years, also the work requires you to bend over a whole lot.
The last few months I was experiencing a lot of back pain, and I thought it was muscle related. I have dual citizenship with another country and I actually had a short vacation there in between, while I was there I decided to go to a doctor because it's cheaper there and they actually care for you. Anyway the doctor immediately wanted an MRI, and after the tests I was diagnosed with 2 bulging discs. The moment I got back to Cali which was a few days after I notified my GM and in the meantime asked for an easier position such as front desk. (even front desk staff are required to bend over, lift heavy objects and are not allowed to sit) I'm at the point where when I do bend over, it hurts a lot and I really can't be lifting anything heavy. Constant 12 hour shifts have not helped over the years with no breaks. (our place has been paying a lot of penalties for this) He immediately took me off scheduling and said he would not put me back on until I had more reports stating on the limitations of what I can do at work. Wanted to point out that another employee who has been there a long time had a similar injury, workers comp requested the work place to allow her to have breaks and a chair to sit on, our GM refused it and now she's at home getting paid.
I went ahead and requested a workers compensation form a few days after, and unfortunately I got no response or anything. I asked another supervisor and was told to ask HR, I spoke to HR and they told me to talk to the GM *eye roll.* Anyway someone else from HR reached out and has been helping me a lot with the process, my claim has been filed and I have a claim number. It's been over 3 weeks but I still have not heard from workers compensation. I have tried calling them the last 10 days or so, leaving voice messages, but no one is getting back to me. They also have the doctors reports on my situation. I do know about the 90 day limit they have. So I do have a few questions.
- Do I continue to wait, or should I hire an attorney?
- My second question is, if the 90 day timeline passes which would mean they automatically have to pay; will I also be paid for the entire time that I have been out of work until now (since the time I filed the claim) or would payments only be for the time afterwards which workers comp has accepted the claim.
- My workers comp representative is from another state, but I know they have another office in my city, should I just try going there, would other employees be allowed to pull up my information?
Sorry for the long post, I wanted to be as descriptive as possible.