The state’s Workers’ Compensation office in Goleta is set to close down for good on Nov. 30th. This means injured workers and employers fighting cases at the Goleta office will in the future have to go to the location in Oxnard or San Luis Obispo.
NewsChannel 3 wasn’t able to find a local employee behind the closure, but according to a press release from the Department of Industrial Relations, the Goleta closure will consolidate resources and create savings for future needs.
Workers Compensation employees, who wish to be anonymous, told NewsChannel 3 that because of the closure, the department is set to save $20,000 a month.
“They have way too much space,” said Workers' Compensation attorney Russell Ghitterman. “They could easily cut in half the space, which would save them about $10,000.” Ghitterman said they plan to lobby state officials to keep the site open. “It's about access for the injured worker,” he said.
Rita Robinson is one of many workers who will be affected by the closure.
After Robinson was injured at work, her compensation case has required her to appear in front of a judge several times. Because of her injury, she uses public transportation.
“If I had to be here at 8 a.m. or 8:30 a.m., I would probably have to leave at 5 in the morning,” said Robinson.