Although you have every right to pursue a workers’ compensation claim for your work-related injuries, employers in California are not exactly thrilled when they see such a claim on their table or when their workers are actually awarded workers’ comp benefits.
Under California law, employees with job-related injuries and illnesses are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits regardless of whether their employer is at fault. While some employers in Los Angeles and elsewhere in California inexpressively dislike the fact that their employees can obtain workers’ comp benefits, others may discourage their employees from filing a workers’ comp claim.
“But this is not the worst thing that can happen,” says our Los Angeles retaliation attorney at JML Law. “Some employers in California go as far as threatening their injured employees not to file a workers’ comp claim, while others choose to discriminate or retaliate against workers who were injured on the job or developed a work-related illness.”
You do not have to put up with this kind of behavior, as California law actually prohibits both discrimination and retaliation against employees for filing workers’ compensation claim or being awarded workers’ comp benefits.
What happens when you file a workers’ comp claim?
Under California law, employees with work-related injuries are entitled to seek compensation regardless of whether their employer is at-fault for the workplace injury or illness. While this prompts employers in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and elsewhere in California to ensure and maintain a safe environment in the workplace, not all employers are happy about this.
So when an injured employee files a workers’ comp claim, it is not uncommon for employers to threated or retaliate against such an employee either by harassing or discriminating against him/her or even terminating his/her employment. Not only do employers have to pay out workers’ comp claims, but also face the risk that their insurance company will increase insurance rates each time employees are awarded workers’ comp benefits.
What constitutes employer’s retaliation in workers’ compensation cases?
Our experienced retaliation attorney has outlined the most common types of retaliatory conduct on the part of your employer (that conduct may be illegal). Under California law, employers are prohibited from firing, threatening to terminate employment or taking any other adverse employment action against an employee because of he or she:
- Files a workers’ compensation claim
- Announces the intent to file a workers’ compensation claim
- Files an application to have California’s Division of Workers’ Compensation decide a claim
- Hires a workers’ compensation attorney to collect evidence about the case
- Obtains a disability rating from the primary treating physician
- Settles a workers’ comp claim
- Successfully obtains workers’ comp benefits
- Testifies on behalf of another employee in a workers’ comp proceeding;
- Misses work due to a work-related injury (if the employee can prove that the injury or illness was sustained in the course and scope of employment); and/or
- Takes part in rehabilitation services offered as part of the workers’ comp benefits.
While some employers retaliate against their employees for filing a workers’ comp claim in a way that is obvious to the naked eye, most employers take a more subtle approach. That is why it is highly advised to speak to a retaliation attorney to determine whether your employer’s conduct or actions constitute retaliation.
Schedule a free consultation by contacting the JML Law today. Call our offices at 818-610-8800 or fill out this contact form for a free case evaluation.