Employer must pay for interpreter services during medical treatment
Guitron v. Santa Fe Extruders, No. ADJ163338 (LAO 0873468) (Cal. W.C.A.B. 2011).
Ruling: The California Workers' Compensation Appeals Board held that the employer was required to pay for interpreter services provided during medical treatment appointments.
What it means:
In California, an employer must provide reasonably required interpreter services during medical treatment appointments for an injured worker who is unable to speak, understand, or communicate in English.
Summary: A machine operator injured his left elbow and psyche while working. An interpreter provided services at medical examinations, chiropractic appointments, and physical therapy treatments. The interpreter sought to be paid by the employer. The board held that pursuant to the employer's obligation to provide medical treatment to cure or relieve the injured worker from the effects of his injury, the employer was required to provide interpreter services during medical treatment appointments for a worker unable to speak, understand, or communicate in English.
The board saw no basis for drawing a distinction between different types of treatment. The board explained that in order to recover charges for interpreter services, the interpreter had to prove: 1) that the services it provided were reasonably required; 2) that the services were actually provided; 3) that the interpreter was qualified to provide the services; and 4) that the fees charged were reasonable.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
April 21, 2011
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