Can My Employer Fire Me For Filing A Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Employee injuries happen all the time, particularly in high-risk industries such as construction. When an employee is injured at work or as a result of their work-related duties, they count on the workers’ compensation insurance coverage that they are entitled to. However, it is not always as easy to receive this coverage as it should be. Many employees face workplace resistance to filing a workers’ compensation claim since it increases the premiums for the employer. Employers may cultivate a toxic work environment that discourages or even punishes employees for coming forward and filing a claim. So, what happens if you are retaliated against, penalized, or even fired as a result of filing or attempting to file a workers’ compensation claim? We’ll discuss that here.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation insurance must be held by most employers in California. This insurance is intended to provide medical care and full or partial wage replacement along with other benefits to employees who are injured in the course of their employment. In exchange, employees automatically forfeit their right to bring a lawsuit against their employer for the injuries that they sustain on the job. However, employees often face a number of obstacles in receiving the coverage that they are legally entitled to. Some employers may foster an environment that makes it feel impossible to file a workers’ compensation claim, while in other cases an employee may file a workers’ compensation claim only to have it denied by the workers’ compensation insurance company. This is because both the employer and the workers’ compensation insurance company have an interest in keeping costs down and minimizing the amount of claims that are filed and/or approved. However, this conduct is not permissible, and there are options available to right the wrongs that you are experiencing.
Retaliation for Bringing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Many employees would be rattled upon learning that they may be fired for filing a workers’ compensation claim and may even stop pursuing coverage. However, it is clearly stated in the California labor code that it is illegal for an employer to fire an employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim for an injury that the employee sustained at work or in the course of their employment. In fact, an employer who fires an employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim can legally be fined $10,000 for the illegal conduct. If you have been fired or retaliated against for filing a workers’ compensation claim it is a good idea to consult with an attorney in order to determine your rights and the best course of action.
Schedule a Consultation with the Costanzo Law Firm
It is illegal to fire an employee for filing a legitimate workers’ compensation claim. If your employer has taken illegal action against you, it’s important to stand up for yourself. The experienced San Jose employment law attorneys at the Costanzo Law Firm will fight to hold your employer accountable and get you the support and compensation that you are entitled to. Contact the Costanzo Law Firm today to schedule a consultation.