In July, California’s unemployment rate fell to 8.7%. The unemployment rate in Los Angeles County rose to 9.9%. In the Inland Empire (Riverside and San Bernardino), the unemployment rate rose to 11%. While these rates of unemployment are not as high as they were in 2010, wage loss due to a job termination is likely to be more than it was before the recession.
In data I have used to argue wage loss in employment cases, the rate of unemployment is always higher for persons without a college education, or a disability than; often as high as 20% in the Inland Empire. Workers compensation injuries often lead to more wage loss because the employee must be rehabilitated, and may need permanent or long term job modifications. In my experience, employees who suffer work injuries end up having wage loss years into the future due to difficulties finding a job that will accommodate their work restrictions.
In Southern California, we are about to experience a regional trend in wage loss in the banking and mortgage industry. The boom in refinancing is ending because many people have already refinanced, and rates are rising. Wells Fargo will be laying off 2,300 employees in their mortgage lending division. Chase is laying off 3,000 with expectations of laying off a total of 15,000. Bank of America has laid off more than 20,000 to date. I presently represent employees who were discriminatorily selected in some of these layoffs. During the last five years I have seen a number of employees who had worked in the mortgage industry suddenly working at hourly jobs when they had earned a middle class salary in the mortgage industry. This is an example of wage loss.
If you are part of a layoff and wonder if you were selected on a discriminatory basis, we want to know. Alternatively, if you were terminated due to a work injury that is causing a permanent or long term disability and are experiencing wage loss, a consultation is recommended.