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Seasoned Sacramento Injury Attorneys

Can My Employer Fire Me for Reporting a Work Injury?


Your employer can’t legally fire you for reporting a work injury. Under the California Labor Code Section 132a, employers may not terminate or otherwise reprimand an employee because they reported a work injury and/or filed a workers’ compensation claim.

It’s understandable why many people believe they could be fired, though. Workers’ comp insurance, which all employers in California are obligated to carry, becomes more expensive as employees file claims. Employees might fear that a retributive employer will look for ways to “get back” at an employee who reported an injury and cause their insurance rates to go up. An employer that would do this would violate the law and may become liable for additional legal claims.

Your Employer Might Fight Your Claim

Remember: It’s your right to report a work injury and file for workers’ comp benefits without facing any threats or backlash from your employer. Because the workers’ compensation claim process can be difficult, though, you should always have legal representation to help you protect your claim.

Even if your employer doesn’t retaliate against you for filing a workers’ comp claim, they might challenge your claim. Although California’s employees are entitled to workers’ comp benefits, there are a few reasons why a claim may be denied.

Common grounds for denying claims include:

  • The injury was not work-related: A claim can be denied if the injury was not caused by activity related to the job or workplace. For example, if an employee is injured while engaging in recreational activity outside of work, the claim may be denied.
  • The injury was caused by a pre-existing condition: A claim can be denied if an employee’s medical records show evidence of a prior condition that is related to the current issue resulting from the workplace accident or illness.
  • The employee failed to notify their employer: An employee must immediately report any injury or illness resulting from a workplace incident. If an employee does not report the incident, their claim may be denied.
  • The employee did not receive medical attention: For an injury or illness to be covered by workers’ compensation, it must be diagnosed and treated by a medical professional. If an employee fails to seek treatment, their claim may be denied.
  • The employee was violating the company’s safety policies: An employer can deny a claim if the injury or illness is due to unsafe behavior on the part of the employee. This includes violations of any safety rules or regulations put in place by the employer.

It’s important to contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney if your claim has been denied in California. An attorney can review the details of your case and work with you to understand why your claim was denied and what options are available to you. They can also help you appeal a denied claim, ensuring that you receive the compensation you deserve.

Contact Smolich and Smolich for Help

At Smolich and Smolich, we understand that navigating the workers’ compensation claims process can be daunting. Our experienced attorneys are here to guide you through every step of the process and ensure that you receive all the benefits you’re entitled to under the law.

Learned more about how we can help by contacting us online.