Attorney Esequiel Solorio is a certified specialist in workers’ compensation law as certified by The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.

5 ways to protect yourself against workers’ comp retaliation

On Behalf of | Apr 8, 2024 | workers' compensation

Workers’ compensation offers wage replacement and medical benefits to employees who suffer injuries or illnesses as a result of their job. It also limits the liability of employers for workplace injuries.

However, the fear of retaliation keeps many employees from filing for workers’ compensation. In California, there are several steps you can take to protect yourself.

1. Know your rights

Understanding your rights under California labor laws is important. Review the protections for injured workers, including the right to file a workers’ compensation claim without fear of retaliation.

2. Document everything

Keep detailed records of any communication or actions related to your injury and workers’ compensation claim. This includes emails, letters and conversations with supervisors or human resources personnel. Documentation can serve as evidence in the event of retaliation.

3. Report any incidents

If you experience retaliation or threats from your employer due to your workers’ compensation claim, report it immediately to the appropriate authorities. This could include filing a complaint with the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement or seeking assistance from a government agency. Signs of retaliation can include the following.

  • Changes in job duties such as getting menial tasks or being reassigned from important projects
  • Negative performance reviews
  • Exclusion from meetings or social gatherings
  • Suspension or demotion
  • Termination or layoff without explanation

Pay reductions and unreasonable work conditions can be other indicators.

4. Seek support

Seek support from coworkers, friends or family members who can offer guidance and encouragement during this difficult time.

5. Be proactive

Take proactive steps to protect yourself from potential retaliation. This could include keeping your supervisor informed about your progress in returning to work, following all company policies and procedures, and maintaining open communication with your employer.

With these proactive measures, you can better protect yourself against workers’ compensation retaliation.