- Abigail Zelenski
Did You Know that the Workers’ Comp Exclusivity Rule Can Preempt Certain Claims in Civil Suits?
In California, the Workers’ Compensation Act has an exclusivity rule. The rule provides that that workers’ compensation benefits are the exclusive remedy for a worker’s injury arising out of and in the course of employment. The rule, however, is not absolute, and certain exceptions may apply, such as by statute, for accidents involving certain types of third parties, and in certain situations where the employer’s conduct contravenes fundamental public policy.
As such, in civil matters outside of the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB), an employer may assert the workers’ compensation exclusivity rule to preempt certain employee common-law causes of action common-law causes of action, such as intentional infliction of emotional distress and tort claims.