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Retaliation or Discrimination for Workers’ Compensation Claims

If you have been injured in a workplace accident or are suffering from a workplace illness, you might be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.  Generally, your employer is required to comply with California’s workers’ compensation laws and must provide benefits in the event of a workplace injury or illness, but unfortunately, some employers discriminate or retaliate against employees or workers who file a claim for workers’ compensation.

Under California law, workers who are injured in job-related incidents or accidents should not be discriminated against.  In other words, it is illegal for an employer to discriminate in any way against an employee simply due to the fact that they are injured on the job and as a result, want to file a workers’ compensation claim.  The California Workers’ Compensation Act is meant to protect the interests of both workers and their employers, but if an employer does discriminate against an employee based on a workers’ compensation claim, the employer can face misdemeanor charges.  California law does not allow employers to threaten to discharge or to discharge an employee if the employee:

  • Files an application with the California Division of Workers’ Compensation;
  • Submits a workers’ compensation claim with the employer;
  • Obtains a disability rating from a doctor;
  • Announces their intent to file an application or claim for workers’ compensation benefits;
  • Wins a workers’ compensation award;
  • Settles a workers’ compensation claim with their employer.

In any of these instances, an employee might be entitled to receive additional workers’ compensation benefits of up to $10,000, and they may also receive back pay, be reinstated, or obtain other benefits.

Some of the most common forms of employer discrimination or retaliation in California include:

  • Biased performance reviews
  • Wrongful termination
  • Negative transfer or reassignment
  • Verbal threats or intimidation
  • Lack of promotion or an unjustified demotion
  • Unjustified wage reduction
  • Unjustified refusal to rehire
  • Placing the employee on probation
  • Imposing an unwarranted disciplinary action

If you or someone you know has experienced or is experiencing any of the foregoing types of retaliation or discrimination as a result of filing a workers’ compensation claim, it is imperative that you consult with an experienced California Workers’ Compensation Lawyer as soon as possible to protect your rights and discuss your legal options.

Filing a Retaliation Complaint in California

If you believe you’ve been discriminated against, it is important that you make a record of that retaliation by taking notes and obtaining and/or retaining documents such as emails or reports.  It is also a good idea to consult with a skilled California Workers’ Compensation Lawyer right away in order to ensure that the proper steps are taken to protect your rights.  Typically, you will file a Retaliation Complaint form with the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, and after an investigation into the complaint, a determination will be made regarding your claim.

Experienced and Dedicated Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in California

If you or someone you know has been injured on the job or has suffered an illness as a result of a work-related incident, particularly if the accident happened in the Hemet, San Bernardino, or Inland Empire areas, it is possible that you will be eligible to receive to workers’ compensation benefits under California’s workers’ compensation law.  Albert E. Hirst, III, has for many years handled the claims of injured California workers and he has the knowledge and resources necessary to help you obtain the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve.  Call our office today at (909) 885-7190 to schedule your free initial consultation and find out what we can do to help you.