Workers compensation claim form after a workplace accident
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Filing for workers’ compensation in Los Angeles can be a cause of concern, especially when it comes to job security. Many employees are worried that seeking the benefits they are entitled to may lead to termination. This fear is understandable as recovering from workplace injuries is essential, and no one wants to risk their employment. In this blog, we will provide you with a better understanding of your rights under California law so that you can feel more confident and informed about your protections in such situations.

Understanding Workers’ Compensation in California

Workers’ compensation in California serves as a safety net for employees who suffer job-related injuries or illnesses. It’s a no-fault system, meaning employees don’t need to prove their employer was at fault to receive benefits. Instead, they can obtain medical treatment, disability benefits, and support for lost wages during recovery. This system aims to ensure that workers are cared for without the added stress of litigation, providing a straightforward path to recovery while maintaining their livelihood. 

Legal Protections for Employees

California law firmly opposes employers retaliating against employees for filing workers’ compensation claims. Several statutes safeguard your rights, ensuring that your job or career does not suffer simply because you sought the benefits you’re entitled to after a workplace injury. For instance, the California Labor Code explicitly prohibits any form of discrimination against workers who file or intend to file a workers’ compensation claim. This includes protections against unjust firing, demotion, salary reduction, or any adverse employment actions that could be deemed retaliatory. These legal shields are essential, offering peace of mind to employees during their recovery process, knowing that their decision to claim compensation cannot legally be held against them in their place of work.

What Constitutes Retaliation?

Retaliation takes many forms, often subtle, aiming to punish employees for exercising their right to file workers’ compensation claims. Actions like termination, demotion, unjust negative evaluations, salary reductions, or creating a hostile work environment can all be signs of retaliation. Even more indirect methods, such as changing shifts to less favorable hours or unwarranted disciplinary actions, may constitute retaliatory behavior. It’s important for employees to recognize these signs early. Identifying retaliation not only helps in taking timely action but also in protecting oneself and one’s career from unlawful employer practices that aim to discourage legitimate claims for workers’ compensation benefits.

Steps to Take If You’re Retaliated Against

If you suspect retaliation after filing a workers’ compensation claim, taking swift and decisive action is crucial. Here are steps to help protect your rights:

  • Document Everything: Keep detailed records of any changes in your job role, performance reviews, or interactions that feel retaliatory.
  • Report Internally: Notify your HR department or supervisor about your concerns, following any internal procedures for such complaints.
  • Seek Legal Advice: Contact a legal professional who understands workers’ compensation law to discuss your situation and options.
  • File a Complaint: If necessary, file a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or the appropriate government agency.
  • Act Quickly: Be mindful of deadlines for filing claims or complaints to ensure your rights are fully protected.

These steps are essential in building a case against unjust treatment and safeguarding your employment and well-being.

Contact an Experienced Los Angeles Workers’ Compensation Attorney

At Ardalan & Associates, we’re committed to defending the rights of employees who’ve faced retaliation for filing workers’ compensation claims. Our experienced team offers personalized legal strategies to secure your job and compensation. Facing employer pushback? Contact us today to discuss how we can fight for your rights and ensure justice is served.

About the Author
P. Christopher Ardalan has been a champion for the people since becoming an attorney in 2000 and establishing Ardalan & Associates, PLC. His practice, rooted in Southern California, emphasizes personal injury law where he, alongside a formidable team, tirelessly advocates for his clients. A Cum Laude graduate of California State University, Northridge, and Loyola Law School where he also graduated Cum Laude and Order of the Coif, Ardalan's early legal acumen earned him the moniker “The kid with the golden tongue.” His accolades include numerous mock trial victories, prestigious memberships, and high-profile awards such as being a Litigator Award® recipient and an inductee into ABOTA and the Million and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forums. Recognized by both his peers and prestigious legal associations, Ardalan’s relentless pursuit of justice is fueled by a lifelong dedication to learning and a heartfelt commitment to his clients. With a reputation as a seasoned trial lawyer and a compassionate advocate, he finds the greatest fulfillment in making a positive change in his clients’ lives, honoring his role as their voice for justice.