When a worker sustains an injury on the job, he or she has the right to file a workers’ compensation claim to help pay for medical expenses and lost wages. Unfortunately, sometimes an employer might wrongfully retaliate against the employee for exercising this right. This is a violation of the law and, if this happens to you, you have the right to take action against your employer and must seek legal counsel to ensure you are able to hold them accountable for their actions.
According to Section 132a of California Labor Code, any employer who retaliates against an employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim has committed a misdemeanor. Additionally, if you were to report the retaliation to a law enforcement or government agency, section 1102.5 of California Labor Code would prohibit your employer for taking action against you for doing so.
Examples of Retaliation for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Retaliation can come in the form of firing an employee, but there are countless other ways an employee can retaliate against an employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim. Below is a list of some examples:
- The injured employee could be transferred to another department
- The injured employee might be threatened
- The injured employee could be demoted
- The injured employee might have his or her promotion withheld
- The injured employee’s wages might be reduced or denied an increase
- The injured employee might be put on probation
- The injured employee might be given an underserved poor performance review
- The injured employee might face an unwarranted disciplinary action
These are just a handful of the many actions that an employer might take against an employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim and they are against the law.
Legal Options for Employer Retaliation
If your employer retaliated against you for facing a workers’ compensation claim, the first thing you should do is take notes about it, including all relevant dates. You should also seek skilled legal representation from a workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible to ensure you all necessary steps are taken to protect your rights. Your attorney will then be able to submit a Retaliation Complaint form to the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement.
After the filing of your complaint, an investigation will be conducted and a report will be submitted to the labor commissioner. He or she will make a determination regarding the claim and, if successful, your workers’ compensation amount can increase by 50%, but in an amount that should not exceed $10,000. If you were fired or lost wages due to retaliation, you will be reinstated and reimbursed the total amount of your lost wages.
Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in Sacramento
If your employer retaliated against you after you were injured and filed a workers’ compensation claim, you need to act now to ensure your rights are protected. At Smolich & Smolich in Sacramento, our workers’ compensation attorneys are dedicated to fighting on behalf of injured workers’ and will do what it takes to ensure you get the benefits you deserve.
Contact our law office today at (888) 452-0703 to request a free initial case evaluation. You will not owe us any legal fees until we win your case!