Can You Get Fired For a Workplace Injury?
If you are an injured worker who has not yet filed a Workers' Compensation claim, what's holding you back? If you are like many injured workers, it might be the fear of retaliation from your employer. While this is an understandable fear, the law is on your side: it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against you for filing a Workers' Compensation claim. This is a very serious matter and is covered under California Labor Code sec. 132 (a).
Unfortunately, while this kind of discrimination is illegal, it still happens more often than it should. Discrimination can range from your employer refusing to provide proper modified duty or blocking modified duty, to something as blatant as firing you for filing a claim or making a report of an injury. Discrimination simply means you are being treated differently from other workers, so if you file a claim and then feel your employer has begun treating you differently, this may also be covered by section 132 (a). Additionally, your employer refusing to make reasonable accommodations that let you continue to perform your job may also be covered under Title I of the Americans With Disabilities Act.
It is abhorrent and infuriating that we still see discrimination for filing claims by even the most sophisticated of employers. However, the law is very clear on this issue. Retaliation and discrimination against injured workers is illegal. If you feel that you have been discriminated against, or if your fear of retaliation is keeping your from filing a claim, talk to a Workers' Compensation attorney. You have rights, and a good attorney can protect them.