Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by doxygirl, Feb 15, 2007.

  1. doxygirl

    doxygirl New Member

    My employer called me to day and they indeed do NOT have workers compensation insurance!

    They failed to pay for it!

    They want me to file for unemployemnt saying I got laid off ................! The TRUTH is I cannot go into the building since it is full of toxic mold!

    They the school (owners) did however did consult with an attorney that sent a professional in the building to do a mold test!

    Iam not sure what to do at this point????

    I know if I file a claim for workers compensation and they find out the owner does NOT have ins then they will close her businesses down!

    HOWEVER I do not want to come out the loser here ! My health is affected and I truly deserve medical care and compensation for not being able to work because of the mold!

    I need some thoughts here............

  2. Kellyslaw

    Kellyslaw New Member

    I understand your concern for your employer, but they chose not to have worker's comp. insurance (which I believe is illegal), not you. You owe them nothing. You need to do what is right for you and your family. File for unemployment and do not lie. Tell them the truth because you have nothing to lose.

    Take care and God Bless
  3. pat460

    pat460 New Member

    Have you thought about speaking to an attorney for some advice? I don't know much about it but, your options may depend on the state you live in? It sounds like the only way you will get medical care and compensation paid is through a lawsuit unless your employer offers to just pay you out of the goodness of his/her heart. Good Luck!
  4. kjfms

    kjfms Member

    Just about all lawyers have free consultations. Find several who specialize in this type of thing and speak with them and take the one that sound the best.

    Most work on the thing (I can't think of what it is called) they do not collect a fee if they do not win the case.

    As for your employer why be loyal -- have they loyal to you?

    I do not think so if they have not been paying their workers compensation insurance which is illegal. Sorry but do your medicals bills get paid by unemployment? I think not.

    Your employer knows the law yet chooses to ignore it -- sorry the truth is the truth no way around it.

    I hope you feel better soon.

    Contact a lawyer ASAP.

    Good luck,

    Karen :)
  5. BobinGermany

    BobinGermany New Member


    I would file for the workman's comp. As a business owner they are required to pay into it. If they didn't it is not your fault and you deserve to get benefits. This is just proper business.

    Whatever route you choose I hope you get better soon!

    God Bless,
  6. doxygirl

    doxygirl New Member

    I know what the "right" thing to do is and that is to file with the UEF ( uninsured employers fund ) they will pay my medical costs and sue the owner to recover the costs!

    They will also close down her other two schools! So I have alot of weight on my shoulders right now.........but the truth is Iam medically very ill from this mold.......and NO one chose to care enough to even listen to me for the last three years........so why should I care?

    I have also been VERY verbally and emotionally abused by the owner as well..............I have NOT been treated even "fair"!

    I'mk just not a vendictive natured person and a part of me feels like Iam wrong for doing the "right" thing!

  7. doxygirl

    doxygirl New Member

    Thanks for your support here:)
    It means a lot to me to have someone here that cares!
    Thank you to everyone here who cares and has posted to me too! :)

    I think thats a key factor in our lives "we all want to know people do care"!

    BTW what do you mean about the ones who didn't listen will be carried out on stretchers?

    If I understand correctly ???I was the only employee in the mold infested building ........"yes" the owner has three schools but mine waa the only one flooded for the last 3 years and as a result full of mold.

    Right now I feel so sick I feel like I may be the one rolled out on a stretcher!

    I still have not been treated for the mold by a physician and my personal DR does not do workers comp so Iam out of luck for right now!

    How long did it take before you saw improvements form mold exposure? I feel in some ways worse since Iam out of that building ...I suppose it is herxing like you mentioned.................my mind is clearer...........but overall Iam just plain SICK!

    Thanks again for your support.............and nay information you may have to help me along the way is greatly appreciated!
    [This Message was Edited on 02/15/2007]
  8. pw7575

    pw7575 New Member

    I am the same way. Always feel guilty even if I know the other person was wrong. You can't feel guilty about this or feel bad for the employer. You have to do what is right for you. Who is going to take care of you and pay your bills and support you?

    This was THEIR fault. They took away your life and you shouldn't have to struggle from now on financially because of something that they did. You have enough to worry about with being sick. The added stress of finances is going to make you worse.

    I know you feel bad about filing but it is the right thing to do. Don't deprive yourself of something you deserve because you will feel bad for them. They wouldn't do the same for you. In fact they could care less what happens to you seeing as though they did nothing about the situation AND broke the law by not even having workers compensation.

    They had plenty of time to prepare for this and pay the workers comp insurance and didn't care to do so. They KNEW they had a mold problem and KNEW they could get sued for it and didn't care enough to do anything about it. Not only did they NOT care that they were making you sick but they also didn't care about you being finacially taken care of.

    They got a LAWYER they are prepared to cover their own butts. So don't think for a minute that they deserve for you to feel bad for them cause they don't feel bad for what they did to you.

    Get a lawyer and DON'T file for unemployment. I don't know about law but filing for unemployment may cause you to NOT be able to get workers comp from them. They will say you left the job and they owe you nothing.

    Get a lawyer and sue them.

    You aren't being mean and you shouldn't feel guilty. I know it is hard but you have to take care of yourself and your future. They did something wrong not you.

    I am so sorry that this happened to you.

    Take Care,
  9. melissaz

    melissaz New Member

    First, if the schools were to be shut down, you would be doing every person in those buildings a favor. Just because they may not show symptoms now, doesn't mean it can't happen down the road.

    If you contacted OSHA, and the health dept., they would have to do a full investigation. Upon finding the mold, the people you work for would technically still have to pay the employees while the investigation and possibly shutting the schools down, during this time. If you have not quit your job as of yet, this could buy you time. From there, the state would go after your employer for settlements, benefits, and cover your health costs, for all employees. Basically, this could be a way of taking some of the burden and stress off of you trying to take this on all by yourself.
  10. Kellyslaw

    Kellyslaw New Member

    I understand what everyone is saying about filing a lawsuit against your employers, but litigation is very stessful and would most certainly take a substantial toll on your health. All of your health issues would become part of the lawsuit. If you are willing and more importantly, able to withstand the stress, go for it. Find a good lawyer and best of luck to you and yours. I only said to file for unemployment because it was my understanding that you were not working because of issues beyond your control. Or, you could file with the uninsured empolyers group and go that route. Whatever you choose, just know that we are all here for you.

    Take care and I hope you feel better soon.
  11. Shalala

    Shalala New Member

    This is really disturbing (not only for your health issue) but what about the students? Can't you sue them?
  12. u34rb

    u34rb New Member


    Can't you get a lawyer on a 'no-win no-fee' basis?

    Now I understand about your problem, the one thing that jumps out at me is - can you prove the mould has made you ill? And, even if they have insurance, you will be challenged to prove it. So are other staff or students ill too?

    If you left the job and recovered your health by working somewhere else couldn't you claim that you were forced to leave and still get compensation, (in the UK this would be considered 'constructive dismissal', that is as if they had fired you). On the other hand, if you didn't get better then you would need to consider your position since the mould may not be the cause of your illness.
  13. suzetal

    suzetal New Member

    DO NOT file for unemployment.If you become ill were it can not be reversed you will not be able to file a case against your employer for medical cost .Reason is cause you will have filed stating that you are able and willing to work.

    In a court case there lawyers will bring this up and you will be entitled to NOTHING.What if and theres many you get some sort of cancer from this.Would you want your family to suffer and be liable for all your dept?

    No you would want your employer to pay for it.But if you file that you were laid off you will have no case against them.Hope all this makes sense.

    Hope you feel better soon.
  14. Adl123

    Adl123 New Member

    Dear Soxy,
    I'm so sorry this is still ging on. This is what I think:

    The employer broke the law by not paying for workman's comp. insurance. By not providing a toxic free environment they have put everyone in danger. You got sick before some others, it seems, but no one knows what condition the other workers are in.

    You mentioned the word "school"...
    Is this a school? How about the students? They have been put in jeapordy, also.

    I think, morally, even though it is hard, you have only one way open tyo you. That is to do what you can to be compensated, even if it means suing the school. If you lied and helped them cover up, you wold be just a guilty as they are, in harming those still there.

    This is a tough spot to be in. I wish you luck, on all counts.
    Big hug,
  15. fivesue

    fivesue New Member

    I have no advice, but just wanted you to know that I am thinking about you as you tackle this problem. How hard to deal with all this when you are so ill.

    Just dropping in to say "HI" and let you know my thoughts and prayers are with you.

  16. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    This can also be a general liability claim against the building owner.

    You might consider seeing a attorney to sue the owner of the building for bodily injury arising from mold exposure. It is actually a "bodily injury" claim against whoever owns the building.

    The building owner is responsible to make sure their "premise" is not injuring the public - just as if you slipped in water on their floor.

    Breathing toxic mold is a injury. Remember all the liability claims filed for people exposed to asbestos? That has been huge. They are turning up with a very agressive lung cancer.

    Now people who own old buildings containing asbestos in the walls, ceilings, etc. - have to hire professionals to come in and remove it so people aren't exposed. Same with molds.

    Chances are, even if you did file and WC claim, the WC carrier would subrogate back against the building owner.

    I am not sure if liability for mold exposure is covered on a liability insurance policy. Sometimes it is covered, and sometimes not, but that would have little bearing on you filing a lawsuit for damages.

    I would look for a attorney who handles litigation for mold exposure.

    Also, I have little to no compassion for your employer who is not purchasing WC insurance. It is a law in the State of CA. Many businesses, including my own, really sacrifice to pay WC premiums and it is a real burden - so why should he get away with skirting the law. He may try to say you are a independant contractor and not a employee, however the IRS has a very strict definition for that.

    Yes, they will close his business until he purchases coverage.

    Below is one lawfirm among hundreds that are looking for cases like yours...

    For years, people have mysteriously become ill. With a little investigation, many have found that the cause of their illness was exposure to toxic mold. Toxic mold is a type of fungus that poses a threat of illness, including allergies, irritations, and infections to the people exposed to it. There have been many fatalities in the United States attributed to toxic mold exposure. If you or a loved one have suffered as a result of toxic mold, you should contact a California toxic mold attorney at Nadrich & Cohen, LLP immediately.

    Toxic mold is typically found in areas that are damp and dark, where mold can easily grow. It can also be found on food, clothes, carpet, and anything else in close proximity to damp surroundings. Mold spores may grow at a rapid rate depending on the temperature and moisture of their surroundings. Dangerous toxic mold may be found in your home, place of work, or other buildings.

    There are many factors that will affect each individual’s risks when exposed to toxic mold. Children and babies are extremely at risk for serious physical consequences if they are exposed to toxic mold. Hospitalization, medical tests, and medical specialists may be necessary for the treatment of illness related to toxic mold exposure.

    If you or a family member suffered from toxic mold-related health problems and would like more information concerning your legal rights, please contact us. Call Nadrich & Cohen, LLP for an immediate free evaluation of your potential case.

    For Immediate Assistance Please Call Our
    Injury Hotline Number
    1-800- I removed the phone number (it is on internet)

    Here's another one....

    Toxic Mold
    San Diego Toxic Mold Attorney

    Toxic mold can exist undetected in houses and other buildings for years. You may have physical symptoms without even knowing the mold is present. The San Diego toxic mold attorneys of the Law Offices of Charles S. LiMandri have many years of experience handling commercial and residential mold litigation and can help you in a wide variety of legal matters related to toxic mold exposure.

    Mold can cause several different types of personal and property damage. Personal injuries include respiratory problems, bleeding, allergies, and hives. The presence of mold in a home can also exacerbate a preexisting condition, such as asthma. If other parties are responsible for the growth of the mold, or for failing to remove the mold, they may be liable for the injury you have sustained.

    Often there is a dispute about insurance coverage for your health or your home. Wrongfully denied insurance claims are sometimes deemed to be in “bad faith.” At times, the insurance company’s conduct is so wrongful that punitive damages are warranted. Our toxic mold attorneys are not afraid to stand up for your rights against even the largest insurance company.

    Do not take chances with your family’s future. We can help you get the insurance coverage you are entitled to, or hold the negligent party responsible for the growth of the mold. For more information about bad faith insurance matters, please feel free to view our bad faith insurance center.

    Contact a San Diego toxic mold attorney at the Law Offices of Charles S. LiMandri today. Our lawyers offer a free initial consultation so you can discuss your toxic mold case with us.

    San Diego Toxic Mold Attorney
    California Residential Mold Lawyer
    Located in Rancho Santa Fe, California, the Law Offices of Charles S.

    There are tons of attorneys...

    LASTLY... If you decide to go the WC route, see info below..

    Answers to your questions about the state’s Uninsured Employers Fund

    All employers in the state of California are required by law to have workers’ compensation insurance. Some employers don’t obey this law. The state Uninsured Employers Fund (UEF) is a special fund used to pay the claims of employees who get injured or become ill while working for an illegally uninsured employer. UEF pays injured workers and later gets that money back from the uninsured employer.

    To be eligible for UEF benefits you must take certain steps. The process may seem hard, but taking one step at a time will help. This fact sheet will give you information on the UEF. You also need a packet of information and forms, including Information and Assistance guides 16, 16 (A) and 16 (B). You can get this packet from your local Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) Information and Assistance (I&A) officer.

    Q: How do I find out if my employer has workers’ compensation insurance?
    A: Some employers use an insurance company and some employers are self-insured through a state program. In either case, your employer is required to post information about its workers’ compensation insurance policy in the area where it posts other workplace information, like the minimum wage poster. The workers’ comp poster should have the name, address and phone number of the person or company handling claims for your employer and the policy expiration date. If you’re not sure whether your employer had insurance on the date you were injured, call the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB) at 1-888-229-2472 to find out.

    Q: What if my employer is uninsured?
    A: It is illegal for an employer to run a business without workers’ compensation insurance. Failure to obey this law can result in steep fines, having the business shut down, criminal charges and even jail time for the employer. Contact your local state of California, Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) office and make a complaint if you believe your employer is operating without workers’ compensation insurance.

    Q: Will I receive the benefits I’m entitled to if my employer is uninsured?
    A: Yes. You have several options for claiming those benefits. First, file a DWC 1 claim form (see I&A guide 1) with your employer and see if your employer will pay your medical bills and other benefits. Without insurance, your employer will pay benefits directly to you. In this situation you may also contact the Employment Development Department and apply for state disability insurance (SDI) benefits, which will make up for some lost income if you’re unable to work.

    If your employer is uninsured and unwilling or unable to pay your claim, you have the option of filing a lawsuit for benefits in civil court.

    Your other option is to apply for benefits through the UEF. Contact the I&A officer at your local Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) office to get the packet you need and more information on the process. The addresses and phone numbers of local offices are attached to this fact sheet. If you use the resources available at your local WCAB office and are willing to do the footwork, you may be able to get your benefits through a settlement with your employer. You may have to go before a workers’ compensation judge to have your benefits “awarded” to you. The I&A officer will help you figure out your rights and options.

    Q: How do I apply for benefits with the UEF?
    A: First, open a case at your local WCAB office. See I&A guide 1. There are two special requirements you must meet to file a UEF claim:
    1. You must correctly name your employer
    2. You must notify your employer about your claim through a legal process called “service”.

    UEF can only pay your benefits if your employer is correctly named and served. If you go before a workers’ compensation judge and receive an “award” for benefits, the UEF must pay them. The UEF can decide to pay your benefits before a judge issues your award, so you will want to file your papers with the WCAB and the UEF at the same time.

    See I&A guide 16 for the step-by-step application process. See I&A guide 16 (A) for information on how to name your employer. See I&A guide 16 (B) for information on how to serve your employer. Remember, you must correctly name and serve your employer to get these benefits.

    Q: I’m an undocumented worker. Am I entitled to benefits?
    A: Yes. All California workers -- whether or not they are legally authorized to work in the United States -- are entitled to benefits if injured on the job. If you are not in the United States legally, you are not eligible for job placement services. You are eligible for medical treatment, temporary disability payments if you’re unable to work while you recover, permanent disability payments if you are permanently disabled in some way as a result of your injury and death benefits. You may be eligible for re-training, depending on when you were injured.

    Q: This process sounds complicated. Should I get an attorney?
    A: This is a decision you have to make for yourself. If you take the process one step at a time you will find it simpler. You may also call an attorney to discuss your case. Your local I&A officer has a list of attorneys that practice workers’ compensation law. You may also check the yellow pages of the phone book, the State Bar, or local bar association to find a workers’ compensation attorney.

    If you need one of the I&A guides or other help, call an I&A office or attend a workshop for injured workers. The local I&A phone numbers are attached to this fact sheet. You can also get information on local workshops and download the guides from the Web at http://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc.

    The information contained in this fact sheet is general in nature and is not intended as a substitute for legal advice. Changes in the law or the specific facts of your case may result in legal interpretations different than those presented here.

    DWC fact sheet F
    Rev. 1/06

    [This Message was Edited on 02/18/2007]
  17. doxygirl

    doxygirl New Member

    I may not feel good at all physically but emotionally and mentally you have all lifted my spirits.So, thank you with all of my heart!

    I guess Iam a bit depressed because not only am I sick from the mold, I feel as though my purpose in life has been extinguished .....I loved my job helping people to learn a skill..........now that is gone, I feel so sad!

    I know I have other qualities and abilities but I find it hard to relax when I need to be working ......I do know that right now I need to concentrate on getting better.......................but it is hard!

    I am so grateful that so many of you here are "here for me" through this..........and I promise to keep you updated with this!

  18. sues1

    sues1 New Member

    I would find a specialist in reference to mold. You might have to go to a bigger city? I have no idea where you live and that is okay. Just mentioning it because you need a really good Doc.

    Mold cancause many of the things we go through, even memory problems.

    Anyhow......first things first....Document that Mold is making you sick(er).....then a darn good lawyer and talk to him of the steps to take. Make a list to take with you, so you do not forget to ask certain things.Like: Can I file for unemployment? That they advised you to.

    Not paying Workman's Comp is a serious offense and I do not beleive that they "forgot". Even if they did......you are still their responsibilty. You might need Dr. care the rest of your life and they should be on the hook.

    Many prayers and Blessings.......Susan

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