Accidents can happen anytime. But when employees sustain work-related injuries, they have the right to pursue a workers’ compensation claim to cover their financial needs and losses regardless of whether the employers are at fault.
Unfortunately, many companies aren’t thrilled when they need to shell out a hefty sum of money to support their staff’s recovery, especially when they don’t have an active hand behind the cause of their injury. This leads employers to discourage employees from filing workers’ compensation claims, which under California law, is considered retaliation against workers’ rights.
What Is Workers Compensation Retaliation?
Retaliation occurs when employers don’t want to provide the cost included in the workers’ compensation benefits, resulting in wrongful acts against the employees such as the following:
- Termination, demotion, or suspension;
- Harassment and/or threats;
- Unequal or unfair treatment;
- Reduction in pay or hours;
- Refusal to hire or promote;
These are just a few of the many adverse actions an employer can take to discourage an employee from pursuing their rights to a workers’ compensation claim.
What Are Prohibited Reasons for Retaliation Against Workers Compensation Claims?
Under California law, employers cannot fire an employee simply because they decided to file a workers’ compensation claim against them. They also cannot threaten to discharge employees for announcing their intent to file a claim to get the benefits, nor can they discourage other employees from testifying on behalf of the injured team in a workers’ compensation proceeding.
Additionally, employers cannot discriminate against employees who develop a disability due to work-related injury, nor can they penalize employees for taking sick leaves due to work-related injury.
What Happens Next After Retaliation?
Experiencing retaliation from an employer can be emotionally damaging, financially draining, and traumatizing overall, especially after going through a potentially disabling injury or illness. That’s why on top of the workers’ compensation benefits, employees are entitled to an increase in compensation of up to 50%, but no greater than $10,000, plus reinstatement, and reimbursement of lost wages and benefits.
The Bottom Line: What You Should Know About Retaliation for Filing a Workers Compensation Claim
All employees have a protected, legal right to file a workers’ compensation claim. So when your employer retaliates by taking adverse actions against you, it’s important to seek legal aid from a trusted lawyer who can fight for your workplace rights.
If you think you’re a victim of retaliation and need help filing for your workers’ compensation benefits claim, working with reputable attornies from Pacific Workers can help turn the case in your favor.
Are You Looking for a Workers' Comp Attorney in Oakland?
Dealing with legal work can be daunting, but as a worker, it's important that you understand your right and how exactly workers' compensation can help you. For this reason, it's best to work with Pacific Workers — the lawyers for injured workers.
We are committed to helping the hardworking people of Northern California receive the help they deserve. Book an appointment with us and call 800-606-6999 today for a free consultation!