Injury Retaliation Lawyer

Discrimination Against Employees Injured On The Job

Many employees are injured on the job. This should come as no surprise to anyone. However, in the past many employees have been fired or otherwise retaliated against for merely making a claim to receive workers compensation for their injuries, which is unfair and can make an already grim situation for the injured employee far worse with discrimination at the workplace or possibly even wrongful termination.

Because workers compensation is always correlated with the loss of a worker for a certain amount of time, the searching for and hiring of a new worker who may or may not be retained once the former worker has healed, as well as the payment to the injured employee of a typically large sum of money sufficient for rehabilitating him or her, employers have many incentives to discriminate against employees who previously may have enjoyed a healthy, productive relationship with the employer but who now are a financial burden to them.

To counter those incentives, Labor Code 132A protects employees and ensures they are not discriminated against for justly seeking compensation as a result of the bodily harm they incurred while working.

Labor Code 132A

This statute begins with the words, "It is the declared policy of this state that there should not be discrimination against workers who are injured in the course and scope of their employment."

Labor Code 132A continues and declares that employers are forbidden from terminating, discriminating against, or otherwise retaliating against any employee for: applying or intending to apply for workers' compensation benefits; receiving a rating, award or settlement; or testifying or intending to testify in another employee's case.

Refusal of workers compensation pay is not the only variety of damages an injured employee may face, though. Employees may also find themselves suddenly losing benefits they traditionally received before the onset of their injuries, for instance. As an example, an employer may tell his worker after an injury to use vacation or sick time in order to afford time and pay for the injury, but this would be a violation of Labor Code 132A. Andersen v. WCAB, (2007) 149 CA4th 1369, 1377. Any sort of discrimination is expressly forbidden by the language of Labor Code 132A.

Of course, employers will not be required in every situation to reinstate the injured employee once her injury has subsided, as she may have become incompetent to perform the duties of her position. However, if the employee is still competent, the employer must not discriminate against them.

The statute also provides a list of several penalties an employer discriminating against an employee injured on the job might face. The list includes criminal prosecution for a misdemeanor, reinstatement and reimbursement for lost wages and work benefits, increasing the employee's workers' compensation award by 50% (up to $10,000), and reimbursement for any costs and expenses (up to $250) incurred in proving such discrimination.

Contact Us

If you have been threatened or retaliated against at your workplace due to your need for or pursuit of workers compensation due to a worksite injury, contact the best attorneys working on Labor Code 132A cases in Los Angeles at Kokozian Law Firm, APC. 323-857-5900. Ask about our free initial consultation.