If you have been injured at work, it can often be a traumatizing and challenging situation. According to 2019 statistics, it is believed that there are 2.8 million non-fatal workplace injuries reported each year in the United States. Regardless of what your employer might tell you, you are well within your rights to file a workers’ compensation claim.
However, filing a workers’ compensation claim can be a harrowing experience, especially if you have been fired, discriminated against, or demoted because you filed a workers’ compensation claim. Should you have been fired or demoted due to filing a workers’ compensation claim, you should consider speaking with a qualified Garden Grove workers’ compensation attorney. In this article, we will look at if your OC employer can fire you or demote you for filing a claim, and we will look at what you can do if they have.
Under the California workers’ comp system, it is illegal for your employer to fire, demote or discriminate against you if you file a claim in the hopes of receiving benefits. Worker discrimination doesn’t only include being fired or demoted. It can also include pay cuts, verbal harassment, unfair work duties, and false inadequate performance evaluations. Should you believe that you have been illegally discriminated against, unfairly demoted, or fired because you filed a workers’ compensation claim, you should speak with a workers’ compensation attorney.
Have you been fired or demoted because you filed a worker’s compensation claim? If so, you will have to prove that your employer retaliated against you. Retaliation is when an employer disciplines or punishes a worker over an action for which they are legally protected. Generally, there are two ways that an employee can prove that they were retaliated against for filing a workers’ compensation claim.
The first way to prove retaliation is through direct evidence. This method is often the most difficult as it involves establishing that your employer directly stated that they were firing or demoting you because you filed a claim. Most employers are aware of anti-retaliation laws, and as such, they are careful not to give workers this form of evidence.
This means that an employee will need to rely on circumstantial evidence, which is the other method used to prove retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim. With circumstantial evidence, you will need to prove to the courts that your employer violated your rights because you filed a claim. To prove circumstantial evidence, you have to usually show the following:
- That you filed a workers’ compensation claim, or the employer new you had a workers compensation claim,
- That you were entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits
- That the employer took some type of action against you such as fired or demoted you because you filed a claim.
Essentially, it is illegal for you to be fired, discriminated against, or demoted at your place of work for filing a worker’s compensation claim. Fortunately, with an attorney’s assistance, you can take legal action against your employer if they have mistreated you, as you have the right to file a lawsuit. If you want to seek justice against an employer that has retaliated against you, why not consider hiring a Garden Grove worker’s compensation lawyer.