California uses an at-will employment system, meaning employers can terminate an employee’s contract for any legal reason. Unfortunately, many employees fear this system, so they avoid filing a workers’ compensation claim because they think their employer will fire them.
While it’s true that California is an at-will state, the law still protects individuals from wrongful termination, especially when a worker suffers an injury and needs compensation. If your employer threatens to fire you for filing a workers’ comp claim, it’s essential to recognize what rights you have to protect yourself.
Retaliation is Illegal
When an employer tries to fire you for filing a workers’ compensation, it’s wrongful termination. Retaliation is an illegal reason to terminate employment, and you may have additional options to pursue compensation for lost income and benefits outside of your workers’ compensation claim.
You should be able to go through the claims-filing process without fear of losing your job. Don’t let fear prevent you from filing a workers’ compensation claim when you need benefits following a workplace injury or work-related illness.
The Reason an Employer May Try to Fire You
Workers’ compensation insurance comes with premiums that employers must pay to protect their employers. Claims can increase how much employers have to pay in monthly costs. To save money and protect profits, employers may turn to illegal actions. However, it doesn’t work out for most employers because of two reasons:
- It’s illegal to fire someone for filing workers’ comp, and employers may have to pay out compensation in a wrongful termination case.
- You can still receive workers’ compensation benefits after your employer fires you.
To protect your rights, our Oakland workers’ compensation attorneys at Pacific Workers' Compensation Law Center go above and beyond when you need us most. We pursue the benefits you need and deserve, helping you file an accurate and effective claim to safeguard your ability to recover.