Can You Be Fired for Filing a Workers Compensation Claim?

Under California law, employees who sustain an injury on the job have a right to file a worker’s compensation claim. Workers who are injured have certain responsibilities including making a timely report to their immediate supervisor or their employer reporting any accidents. If workers suffer a work-related illness, they should notify their supervisor immediately upon becoming aware of the illness. Once reported, an employee should request medical care keeping in mind, their employer has the right to tell them where they may seek care. Finally, workers will have to fill out a worker’s compensation claim form.

Dealing With Your Employer

Once an injured or ill employee has reported the illness or injury to their employer, the employer must report the incident to their insurance company. Typically, workers will be informed by their physician about when they can return to work as well as keep their employer’s insurance company up-to-date on the progress an employee is making. When a physician determines an employee is ready to return to work, they may have to accept work that is not as physically demanding.

When Employers Threaten Retaliation

Employers who have claims against their workers’ compensation also have to track work-related injuries as well as:

  • Provide claim forms to any employee to file a claim within one work day of the report
  • Ensure the employee receives a copy of the work injury report
  • Follow the completed form to the claims administrator for Worker’s Compensation insurance within one business day of the receipt of the report as well as authorize up to $10,000 in medical treatment.
  • If the employee was injured in a workplace crime, they must be notified within one day of the crime they are eligible for workers’ compensation.
  • If a worker is unable to complete their prior assigned tasks, the employer whenever possible must provide light duty assignments.

While an employee may be dismissed as part of an overall layoff, an employer may not retaliate against a worker who has filed a worker’s compensation claim by firing them. Employees who believe they lost their jobs because they filed a claim should seek immediate legal assistance. Employees have a right to expect they will be treated fairly by an employer at all times, even after reporting a workplace injury or illness. Employers may not fire you simply because you filed a workers’ compensation claim.

What Can A Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Help With

Employers who have at least one employee must maintain worker’s compensation insurance in California. In addition, they have an obligation to ensure the employee is receiving appropriate medical attention and their medical bills are being paid while they are unable to work. Any legitimate medical service the employee requires while recuperating should be covered by the workers’ compensation attorney. In addition, the employee will be receiving partial wage benefit while they are collecting workers’ compensation.

If you believe you have lost your job in retaliation for filing a California workers’ compensation claim, your employer could be facing serious liability including full recovery of lost wages, recovery of all medical costs as well as your legal costs in pursuing the case against your employer. However, in order to pursue this case, you will need to work with a competent attorney who understands worker’s compensation laws and who will fight for your rights under the law. The workers’ compensation attorneys at the Appel Law Firm LLP can help you fight back. Call them today at 925-938-2000 for a free consultation and help fighting back after a retaliatory firing. We will be happy to review your case and when necessary, hold your employer accountable for their wrongdoing.

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