Not all businesses are safe for their workers and there are many precautions and measures taken to ensure that the employees do not get injured on the job. Other businesses do not operate in the realm of danger, though; office jobs, retail jobs, and service workers are generally more likely to get injured in accidents as opposed to the nature of the work. Injured workers are able to receive worker’s compensation benefits in California that will supplant their income and allow them to recover while not panicking about funds. However, despite these benefits, employers may still mistreat their workers and end up firing them for choosing to act on these rights. It is illegal for a business to fire a worker because he filed for worker’s compensation. Our team of lawyers at the California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group can ensure that you are properly treated and not fired for your choice to receive worker’s compensation benefits.
What is worker’s compensation?
Worker’s compensation in California is no-fault, which means that any kind of injury sustained at work can be used as grounds for a claim, whether the employee was responsible for the incident or not. This allows workers the freedom to collect immediately without having to necessarily prove that the employer put them in a dangerous position, that there were problems with the environment, and more.
Workers can receive coverage for medical treatment at the time of the injury, such as surgery, medical evaluations, treatments, prescription drugs, medical aid devices, and transportation. They can also receive disability payments which will allow them to get weekly income while hurt. However, these wages are not equal to their usual income amounts. They are able to receive two-thirds of their average income. Therefore, if you bring home $1,000 a week, your temporary disability payments would drop to roughly $660 a week.
Permanent disability is different from temporary disability and allows workers to receive coverage for up to 14 years. It involves the inability to return to work of any kind. Further, you can receive life pension, retraining costs, and more.
In the event a family member dies in a work accident, worker’s compensation can also include death benefits. The family of the deceased victim can receive coverage for burial fees, pre-death medical bills, continued income, and more.
What are some laws and regulations of worker’s compensation?
It is important that you understand what your employer must do to provide you with worker’s compensation benefits or what he must do to ensure that you are given proper treatment. For example, you must inform your boss as quickly as possible so he can authorize medical treatment. He then has one day to provide you with the worker’s compensation form. If he does not provide this to you but instead fires you, you have grounds for a lawsuit.
You also must use your company’s medical doctor unless you specifically denoted that you prefer to use your own health care team.
You should be aware that you cannot be fired for sustaining an injury. However, if the company had plans to perform lay-offs, or if your job were already in jeopardy prior to your injury, you may not be safe from being terminated. The most important piece of information is that you cannot be fired for filing a worker’s compensation claim. If you are, this is retaliation by your employer, and retaliation is one of the key factors in laws regarding wrongful termination.
There are laws that dictate the accommodations that you can receive after an injury, as well. Reasonable accommodations are part of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. That is, you must be given specific accommodations upon returning to work, or you may be given accommodations outside of the work place. For example, you could be given the ability to work remotely, to take on fewer shifts, to work part-time, and more.
Your business must be able to prove that it is a business decision if you are not rehired, if benefits are removed, or if you are terminated. There may be underlying reasons that are discriminatory in nature.
If you need assistance determining if you were discriminated against at work or if your employer broke the law by firing you while you were on worker’s compensation, you can contact our law firm for more help.
How can I prove that I was illegally fired after going on worker’s compensation?
In order to prove that you were illegally terminated for going on worker’s compensation, you will need a fair amount of evidence against your employer. It is extremely rare to find an employer who will willingly state the reason that you were fired. They are generally smart about not revealing discriminatory practices, so you must use a lot of proof that point to their true actions.
First, you should document any communication between you and your employer to show if there were any reasons that your boss would want to terminate you that were unclear. If you mentioned a longer recovery time, for example, or if you mentioned something personal, you may be able to link that to the choice to terminate you.
Next, you can ask your coworkers for their input and testimonies. Their testimonies can greatly increase the strength of your claim. They may have overheard your boss make statements about choosing to fire you or they may have been given access to information that says that you were targeted. Former coworkers can also give you their evidence – they may have been terminated for going on worker’s compensation as well. This pattern of behavior from your boss can point to discrimination of some kind.
You will need to document the types of injuries that you suffered as well, and the treatments that you received. If your boss or company claims that you abused the system or your benefits, you can show that you were going by what the doctor said.
Lastly, we recommend calling a lawyer with experience in wrongful termination and worker’s compensation claims. If you have never filed a lawsuit before, you will automatically be at a disadvantage. Further, if you don’t have an expansive knowledge of the law, you will not be able to determine what was actually illegal and what was within your employer’s rights. One of our expert lawyers in Los Angeles will be able to handle your case for you.
What can I win in a lawsuit against my employer for violating my worker’s compensation rights?
It is possible for you to receive a fair amount of compensation if you were wrongfully terminated from your job for pursuing worker’s compensation. These wrongful termination claims can result in large settlement amounts, especially if there were specific practices set up to marginalize you or to abuse you. We will strive to win you the following damages:
- Reimbursement of lost income and benefits
- Payment for medical bills and expenses that you will need in the future or reimbursement of those bills from the past
- Reinstatement into your previous position (although many individuals choose not to go through with this option if they were victims of discrimination because their boss or other complicit workers will still be at the company, and the process may simply start over but with more subtlety)
- Pain and suffering damages if there were emotional turmoil, anxiety, and other psychological traumas
It is also possible to receive punitive damages if your employer were deliberately acting against you or in some way meant to cause you harm. Punitive damages are hard to win, though, and are generally viewed as excessive by juries. Only a skilled lawyer will be able to secure them for your case.
How long do I have to sue my employer for firing me for taking worker’s compensation?
California’s statute of limitations for wrongful termination claims is 180 days from the date of the termination. However, this is true only if you are filing under Federal law; State law increases this deadline to 300 days from the date of the termination. You must put your claim through with the EEOC or the DFEH; they will then issue you a right to sue letter, which must be acted upon within a year.
Failure to adhere to the statute of limitations will negate your ability to receive compensation in the future. You should move quickly to pursue a claim or your evidence will be lost or corrupted over time. Many individuals do not manage to get the restitution they deserve because they acted entirely too slowly.
If you come to our firm, we will make sure that your case is filed on time and that you are not in any danger of missing an important date. Our lawyers are punctual and will always pay attention to necessary deadlines.
Why Choose Us?
The California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group is one of the premier law firms in the state. We have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for workers who have been mistreated by their employers. We know the law inside and out and we always fully dedicate ourselves to our clients. If we have to go to court to win your claim, our aggressive lawyers will not hesitate to do so.
For a free legal consultation, call our law firm today. We will help you understand how the legal process works, how worker’s compensation can be grounds for a lawsuit, and what your employer can legally do when you are pursuing disability payments. We will ensure all your case information and personal details are kept private, as well.
Moreover, we will give you our zero fee guarantee if you hire us. This means that you won’t have to pay a dime out of pocket – we will get paid only if we win, and your employer will cover the costs. If we lose, we take no payment at all.
To sue your employer for firing you after worker’s compensation, contact the California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group today.