Employers in California are obligated to provide their employees with workers’ compensation coverage. When you are hurt at work, you are entitled to payment for your medical bills and lost income. Some employers may attempt to discourage their employees from seeking benefits, even if they are well within their rights to do so. Some businesses will even demote, reduce hours or pay, and terminate their employees after applying for benefits. Not only is this wrong, it is illegal.
Workers are protected by state and federal law against retaliation. It is unlawful for employers to fire, threaten, or take any type of retaliatory action against their employees after they file for workers’ comp benefits. If you applied for coverage and your employer retaliated against you, speak to a Glendale workers’ compensation retaliation lawyer about enforcing your legal rights.
Under California Labor Code 132(a), it is unlawful for employers to retaliate against an employee who files for workers’ compensation benefits. This could include any adverse action a business takes against a worker. Retaliation takes many different forms, ranging from threats or even termination of employment.
Proving retaliation can be difficult because it is not always clear-cut. The most obvious example would be when an employee is terminated shortly after filing the claim. But there are less clear actions. For example, maybe the company reduced the worker’s hours over a short period of time or moved them to a less favorable shift. Based on the totality of the situation, this could be retaliatory behavior. Other examples might include demoting an employee or reducing their pay, giving performance reviews inconsistent with the employee’s performance, or verbal threats regarding the claim. Our Glendale workers’ compensation retaliation attorneys could review the circumstances in detail to determine whether unlawful action has taken place and help an employee determine what steps to take next to protect their rights.
It is not necessary to have filed a claim for benefits to prove retaliation, but it is easier to prove when the adverse employment action follows the filing of a claim for workers’ compensation coverage. For this reason, employees should promptly file their claim even if they fear retaliation.
Employers who retaliate against a worker for pursuing benefits for a work injury are subject to significant penalties under California law. The employee may have a claim for employment discrimination and could recover damages under Worker’s Compensation law.
Any worker who suspects they are being unfairly retaliated against after filing a workers’ comp claim should begin to document every occurrence as thoroughly as possible and reach out to our Glendale attorneys for further guidance.
If you were hurt on the job, there is no reason you should fear retaliation from your employer for applying for workers’ compensation benefits. If your employer takes actions like docking your pay, limiting your hours, demoting, or terminating your employment, these actions are considered unlawful. Not only are you legally entitled to workers’ compensation coverage, you may have a claim for retaliation.
Our trusted team is all too familiar with companies that unfairly threaten their employees for seeking coverage. We will apply our knowledge and skills to help you understand and protect your rights. Give us a call to schedule a thorough and confidential consultation with a Glendale workers’ compensation retaliation lawyer.