Boxer & Gerson Workers’ Compensation Attorney Jenny Jerez collaborated with the workers’ rights and safety organization WorkSafe on April 11 to present a Day Laborers & Injured Workers Clinic. The event was held at the offices of the Oakland Workers’ Collective in downtown Oakland, which matches day laborers to the needs of those looking for help in a wide variety of projects.
Jerez’s address was in Spanish, in order to better serve the large number of Bay Area workers who have immigrated from Mexico and other Latin American countries. Her presentation covered the rights of workers under workers’ compensation law, regardless of their immigrant or employment status, as well as legal distinctions between employees and day laborers in the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Jenny Jerez (right) with a WorkSafe staffmember
Many day laborers do not know that in the event of their suffering an on-the-job injury, they can file a claim for workers’ compensation, provided they meet specified criteria for length of their employment and income. (Jerez informed her audience of a bill pending in the California Legislature by Assembly Member Gonzalez Fletcher that would eliminate such exemptions.) She also emphasized how important it is for workers to report the injury utilizing the DWC1 form, and to be sure to tell the physician they consult that they were injured while working, no matter what the employer might otherwise suggest.
Jerez joined Boxer & Gerson in 2011 after previously running her own law practice and serving as an associate in another firm with a workers’ compensation emphasis. She is a fluent Spanish speaker who immigrated to the U.S. with her family from her native El Salvador as a young child.