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How Does Workers’ Compensation Differ for Union Employees?


Labor unions protect the rights of members in the workplace, and in some cases, provide additional benefits to members that non-union employees do not receive.

Almost all employees in California are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, regardless of union membership. However, belonging to a labor union can provide an employee with additional benefits, or a compensation system that differs from that of their non-union coworkers.

Unions establish collective bargaining agreements (or “labor contracts”) which outline the employment rights that members will receive. Through these contracts, union leaders and company management decide on the payment, schedules, and other policies that each party must adhere to.

In a collective bargaining agreement, unions will often specify the workers’ compensation benefits their members will receive if they are injured on the job. The workers’ compensation benefits in a labor contract will often mirror state law regulations and employer provisions, but union officials may also outline member-specific benefits that are only available to employees in the union.

Some labor unions maintain some kind of reserve of additional funds that are intended to provide additional benefits to union members. These resources can supplement employer-provided coverage, or offer benefits to employees who do not receive certain assistance from their place of work. These programs can include workers’ compensation, as well as medical and dental insurance, life insurance, paid time off, unemployment benefits, and retirement finances.

Aside from directly providing benefits, unions may be able to assist in other areas of a workers’ compensation case. A collective bargaining agreement between an employer and a labor union may entitle member employees to safety-related information that applies to their claim.

If you have been injured on the job and need representation for your workers’ compensation case, call (800) 980-6905 or submit your information to schedule a free case evaluation with Alvandi Law Group, P.C.

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