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Practice Areas

Based in San Francisco, the Law Office of Matthew J. Buzzell, III assists individuals and businesses throughout Northern California in a range of areas, including workers’ compensation claims, labor and employment law issues, and corporate law matters.  For proactive, results-oriented legal representation, contact Mr. Buzzell today for a free consultation.

Workers’ Compensation

When you are injured on the job, you need an attorney with an in-depth understanding of local workers’ compensation laws and practices.  Having represented both employers and insurance companies, Mr. Buzzell has extensive experience working on the defense side of workers’ compensation cases, and is able to apply that knowledge to his representation of plaintiffs.  He draws on his experience to identify every possible source of recovery, not only from employers, but also from third parties whose actions may have contributed to his clients’ injuries.

Injured employees can pursue recovery under a variety of laws and theories, including:

  • California Labor Code 132a – Under California law, employers cannot discriminate against workers who are injured in the course and scope of their employment.  For example, if you were terminated, or if your employer threatened termination, because you filed a claim for workers’ compensation or an application for adjudication, he or she is guilty of a misdemeanor and your compensation amount will be increased by half.
  • Social Security Disability Insurance – According to the federal government, a 20-year-old worker has a three in ten chance of becoming disabled before reaching retirement age.  If you suffer from permanent injuries that prevent you from working, you may be eligible to recover Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.  Mr. Buzzell can help you obtain the medical documentation and personal records that substantiate a disability claim.  If you have already filed a claim that was denied, he can help you appeal the decision by filing a request for reconsideration, and possibly, a hearing before an administrative law judge.
  • Longshoremen’s Act – The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act provides employment injury and occupational disease protection to workers who are injured or contract occupational diseases in U.S. waters or in adjoining areas used in the loading, unloading, repairing, or manufacturing of water vessels.
  • Willful Misconduct – If your employer consciously or intentionally disregards the rights and/or safety of employees, you may have a claim under a theory of willful misconduct.

Labor and Employment Law

Federal and California laws protect employees from unlawful discrimination in almost all job-related actions, including interviewing, hiring, promoting, and firing on the basis of any of the law’s specified protected categories, such as race, age, and sex.

  • DiscriminationCalifornia law broadly prohibits discrimination in the workplace.  Also, employers must reasonably accommodate employees and job applicants with disabilities in order to enable them to perform the essential functions of the job.  If you have been the victim of discrimination, Mr. Buzzell will assess your claim and help you receive compensation, such as back pay, reinstatement, and damages for emotional distress.
  • Severance agreements – A severance agreement specifies the terms of your employment termination.  If you have been laid-off by your employer, an experienced employment attorney can make sure that you do not lose any of your employee rights by signing the agreement.  In addition, if you were terminated or laid off, an employment law attorney may be able to effectively negotiate a fair severance amount on your behalf.
  • Wrongful termination – Termination that breaches an employment contract and/or state and federal laws may give rise to a wrongful termination claim.  Along with discrimination, other employer actions that constitute wrongful termination include:
    • Retaliation
    • Termination as a result of refusing to commit an illegal act
    • Failure to follow proper termination procedures
  • Wage and hour issues – Mr. Buzzell frequently handles wage and hour claims, involving such issues as minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, child labor, family and medical leave, and migrant workers.