Many people may hesitate from filing a workers' compensation claim after they have been injured in a workplace accident because they fear they will lose their job or other work-related benefits. However, under California law, it is illegal to discriminate against workers who are injured in the course and scope of their employment.
What does this mean? This means that employees who have been injured on the job are protected from being fired or treated unfairly because they been injured. Employers cannot threaten to fire or fire someone if they have submitted a workers' compensation claim to the employer or announced the intent to file a claim or application for workers' comp. Additionally, they cannot fire or threaten to fire the employee if they win an award of workers' comp. Also, an employee who testifies on behalf of a colleague cannot be fired or threatened either.
These protections are essential. For many injured employees, workers' compensation claims are the only way to get financial assistance to help pay for injuries, as other claims are barred. This means that if a person has limited financial means, then a workers' compensation claim may be the only way to get treatment. On the other hand, since insurance rates can be affected by these claims, employers do not like having to pay out, which is why they might contest them.
However, workplace accident victims should not hesitate from filing the claims they are entitled to, as it is their right under California law. An experienced attorney may be able to guide victims through the process of asserting their rights.