Cramer and Martinez

Free Consultation408-848-1113

7459 Monterey St., Suite A, Gilroy, CA 95020

Gilroy workers' compensation attorneyUnlike some other forms of bodily injury insurance, workers’ compensation insurance is no-fault. This means that an injured worker’s claim cannot be denied even if the incident that caused the injury was caused by the employee’s own unintentional negligence. There are some exceptions to that rule, however. For example, if an employee was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the incident, the employer does have the standing to deny the claim.

But what happens if the employee has a medical marijuana card under California’s Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) and has been prescribed cannabis by their doctor to alleviate symptoms of a medical condition? Can a workers’ compensation claim be denied because of the employee’s use of medical marijuana?

California’s Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act

Under MAUCRSA, there are a variety of medical conditions that have been approved for medical cannabis use, including AIDS, cancer, arthritis, glaucoma, chronic pain, and seizures. A doctor needs to make a recommendation for cannabis use and specify the condition being treated in order for the person to apply to the state and obtain a medical marijuana card. But this type of recommendation is different from many other types of medical prescriptions because marijuana–even for medical use–is still illegal at the federal level.

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santa clara workers compensation lawyerIn California, employees who are injured on the job are entitled to reimbursement for medical expenses and part of their lost income through workers’ compensation. With some exceptions, anyone who is hurt while performing work tasks is eligible for workers’ compensation or “workers’ comp.” However, some workers’ compensation claims are denied. If you or a loved one applied for workers’ compensation and were denied, a workers’ compensation lawyer may be able to help.

When is a Worker Not Entitled to Workers Compensation?

California workers’ compensation is extensive and covers most individuals. However, there are some exceptions to this generality. For example, if you work in exchange for housing or other aid instead of wages, you do not qualify for workers’ compensation. Individuals who are employed by their parent, spouse, or child in a family business may also be excluded from workers’ compensation. You do not qualify for workers’ compensation if the injury was not related to your job or it occurred when you were off the clock.  

Only workers who are classified as employees are entitled to workers’ compensation. So, if you are an independent contractor, you may not receive reimbursement for your medical expenses or lost income. That being said, many workers who are classified as independent contractors should be classified as employees. A workers’ compensation attorney can help you determine if you have been misclassified.

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