You should not have to worry about your employer retaliating against you because you have filed a workers’ comp claim. Unfortunately, some workers suffer this injustice. In addition, sometimes an employer takes adverse action due to activities related to the workers’ comp process.
Fortunately, California law extends protections to a range of actions that you or a fellow worker might pursue as you seek to claim compensation.
Making workplace requests and reports
Workers may take steps prior to filing a workers’ comp claim, such as complaining to an employer about unsafe or unhealthy working conditions, or reporting a work-related injury or illness, or asking to see occupational illness or injury records. State Labor Code section 6310 protects workers who perform these acts.
Testifying before an appeals board
In a situation where the insurer for your workplace denies your claim, you may appeal the decision. You might have to testify before the appeals board to make your case. Additionally, one or more of your work colleagues could testify to help you. California law makes it clear that employers cannot retaliate against any worker who testifies in this manner.
Receiving a settlement
Sometimes employers go after workers after they have finished the workers’ comp process and come out of it with compensation or some kind of award or settlement. According to state law, this kind of retaliation is not only illegal, but you could end up with an increase of compensation up to $10,000 if a court finds an employer took adverse action against you.
State law addresses the workers’ comp process from beginning to end. Knowing your rights can give you added confidence to pursue your benefits after getting hurt on the job.