California workers should know that employers cannot fire you for making a worker compensation claim. If you’ve been injured on the job, it’s important to file a worker’s compensation claim. Not only does it help cover your medical expenses and lost wages, but it’s also your legal right to do so. Unfortunately, some employers may retaliate against employees who file these claims.
If you’ve been fired for making a worker’s compensation claim, it’s important to know your rights. California law specifically prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who file worker’s compensation claims. It is a serious issue, and it’s essential to be aware of the laws and your rights in these situations.
California Employers Cannot Fire You For Making A Worker Compensation Claim
It is unlawful for an employer to terminate an employee simply for filing a worker compensation claim. California Labor Code section 132a, specifically states that it is unlawful l for an employer to discharge, threaten to discharge, or in any manner discriminate against an employee for filing a worker’s compensation claim. This means that if you’ve been fired for making a worker’s compensation claim, you may have a valid legal claim against your employer. This law applies to all employers, regardless of the size of the company. Furthermore, this law applies to all types of worker’s compensation claims, whether it’s a claim for a physical injury or a mental health condition.
California Employers Retaliate Against Workers
According to the California Division of Workers’ Compensation, there were over 1,700 retaliation complaints filed in 2020 alone. This highlights the prevalence of this issue in California and the importance of being aware of your rights. Additionally, a study by the Center for Progressive Reform found that nearly one in four California workers who file worker’s compensation claims experience some form of retaliation from their employer. This is a disturbing statistic and shows the need for stronger enforcement of the laws that protect workers from retaliation.
What To Do If Employer Fires You For Making a Worker Compensation Claim
Terminated employees should consider filing a complaint with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE). The DLSE is the state agency responsible for enforcing labor laws, including those that prohibit retaliation for worker’s compensation claims. You can file a complaint with the DLSE by filling out a form and submitting it to your local DLSE office. It’s important to gather as much evidence as possible, such as emails or witness statements, to support your claim. Once the DLSE receives your complaint, they will investigate and determine if there is sufficient evidence to support your claim.
If the DLSE finds that your employer has retaliated against you, they may order your employer to reinstate you to your job and pay you lost wages and other damages. They may also impose fines or penalties on your employer. This can be a powerful tool in holding employers accountable for their actions. However, if the DLSE does not find that your employer has retaliated against you, you still have the option to file a lawsuit against your employer in court. It’s important to consult with a lawyer to explore all your options and the best course of action to take.
Filing a DLSE complaint can be tricky sometimes. As such, you should consider speaking with a lawyer before filing the complaint. Many times, a lawyer can represent your matter and file the claim on your behalf.
Consider Claim Deadlines
It’s important to note that there are deadlines for filing complaints and lawsuits, so it’s important to act quickly if you’ve been fired for making a worker’s compensation claim. In most cases, you only have six months from the date of your termination to file a complaint with the DLSE and one year from the date of your termination to file a lawsuit. Failure to meet these deadlines can result in the dismissal of your claim, so it’s crucial to be aware of the deadlines and act accordingly.
Contact a Lawyer
In addition to legal action, you may also want to consider talking to an attorney. An attorney can help you navigate the legal process and ensure that your rights are protected. They can also advise you on the best course of action to take and help you gather the evidence you need to prove your case. Having an attorney on your side can provide peace of mind and ensure that you are represented fairly throughout the process. They can also advise you on potential settlement options and negotiate on your behalf.
If you’ve been fired for making a worker’s compensation claim, it’s important to know that you have rights. There are steps you can take to seek justice. Retaliation against workers who file worker’s compensation claims is illegal in California. It’s important to remember that employers can’t fire you for making a worker compensation claim. Don’t let your employer get away with this illegal behavior. Remember to gather evidence, file your complaint within the deadline and talk to a lawyer. Don’t hesitate to reach out for support during this difficult time.