When an injured worker is entitled to workers’ compensation in California, employers are not just expected to comply. It is a legal requirement. If you are an injured worker who fears that an employer may retaliate or discriminate against you for pursuing the workers’ comp benefits you are legally entitled to receive, know that California law protects you from an employer’s discriminatory or retaliatory responses.
An Orange County workers’ compensation lawyer will help you pursue additional damages in addition to your workers’ compensation benefits if you faced employer retaliation or discrimination simply because you exercised your legal right to pursue deserved benefits.
California Workers Are Protected From Discrimination by Section 132a of the California Labor Code
As stated in the California Labor Code’s Section 132a, California law says that there “should not be discrimination against workers who are injured in the course and scope of their employment.” In plain English, filing a workers’ compensation claim cannot be met with discrimination of any kind from an employer.
If an employer engages in such unlawful behavior, they may be guilty of committing a misdemeanor offense under California law. Workers who are subjected to such unlawful behavior may also be able to receive added compensation, up to a maximum of $10,000.
What Kinds of Employer Discrimination or Retaliation Are Common in Orange County
Signs that you may have been wrongly retaliated or discriminated against for filing a workers’ compensation claim include:
- Wrongful termination
- A reduction in wages or a demotion that is not warranted
- Verbal or physical intimidation and similar harassing conduct
- An unfair performance review or job transfer
These are just a few of the types of discriminatory conduct to be aware of after filing for workers’ compensation benefits. That said, do be aware that proving wrongful termination will require the help of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in California.
Why Proving Wrongful Termination Can Be Difficult in California
California is an at-will employment state, which simply means that employers can fire an employee for any lawful reason or for no reason at all. Likewise, employees can quit at-will as well, without needing to give a reason.
This law can make it difficult to prove that an employer fired an injured worker for collecting workers’ compensation reasons, rather than claiming that the business needed to downsize or that business is slow. Effectively, then, proving wrongful termination was based on retaliation will require a lawyer who knows how to carefully review evidence and make strong legal arguments based on suspicious employer activity.
At The Ledger Law Firm, our team of aggressive legal advocates will pursue your right to justice and the benefits you deserve after a workers’ compensation injury. No employer should be allowed to retaliate against workers who are already suffering from injuries that occurred on the job.
Contact us online today to speak with an Orange County workers’ compensation lawyer who will represent you with aggressive, dedicated and effective legal advocacy.