Can you lose your job for seeking workers’ compensation benefits?

On Behalf of | Dec 16, 2021 | Worker's Compensation |

Employees in California have numerous legal protections that exceed the federal employment protections they have. One of the most important forms of worker protection is workers’ compensation. 

State law requires that companies provide insurance coverage for their staff members. If a worker gets hurt on the job or a doctor diagnoses them with a work-acquired medical condition, they can claim workers’ compensation benefits. 

Claiming workers’ compensation helps you get the medical care you need and support yourself until you recover. Yet, you might not be sure if your job will be safe? Can your employer fire you for claiming workers’ compensation benefits? 

Employers cannot retaliate against workers who assert their rights

The company that employs you cannot punish you for asserting your basic employment rights, even if your actions affect the company’s operations or expenses. Reporting an injury or claiming workers’ compensation does not justify a company taking punitive action against an employee. 

If a business fires a worker for reporting an injury or having a medical condition, the firing may constitute retaliation or discrimination, both of which may qualify as wrongful termination. However, sometimes businesses have no choice but to let an injured or sickened worker go. 

If your employer cannot accommodate your condition or offer you a different position with the company, they may eventually terminate you when you cannot resume your work. That may not be retaliation, but it may affect what benefits you receive. Learning more about your rights as a workers’ compensation claimant can help you avoid employer violations of those rights.