Workers’ Comp: How to Identify If Your Employer Is Retaliating Against You?
In California, as in most states, it is illegal for your employer to discriminate you on the sole basis that you had filed for worker’s compensation benefits. In other words, your employer cannot fire, threaten to fire, discipline or perform discriminatory acts (such as cutting hours or wages) against you for the sole basis that you had filed for workers’ comp claims.
However, it is still legal for them to do all the listed above you – fire you, discipline you, threaten or inform that they will fire you, etc. – if they have legitimate business or economic reasons to do so. For instance, if the company you’re working for is losing money, they’ll be forced to lay you off some of their employees – regardless if one filed for workers’ compensation or not.
In other words, workers’ compensation does not safeguard you from these decisions – only that, they should not be done for the sole basis that you have filed for workers’ compensation.
And this is where the tricky question begin: how will you know if his/her decisions against you are based on legitimate business reasons or because you filed for workers’ comp? This is not an easy question to answer, but we will give you pointers to know on whether or not you’re being discriminated against.
Did your boss fired you after you filed for workers’ compensation?
This is perhaps the most common pointer when considering if you are being discriminated against at, at your workplace. If you are fired after you filed for workers’ compensation, then chances are, your worker’s comp is the reason behind you’re fired.
However, this isn’t always the case – it is possible that your employer decided against you for his/her business just after you filed for workers’ compensation.
Observe your co-workers if they got the same decision (getting fired, cutting hours) as you
For instance, if your hours or wage is cut after you filed for workers’ comp, observe and ask your co-workers if their hours and/or wage is cut, too.
If you seem to be the only person who had a decreased hour or wages, chances are, this is because you filed for workers’ comp – an illegal move from your employer.
However, if some or many of your co-workers faced the same action, then maybe it’s purely a business- or economic-based decision.
Considering your co-workers’ situation is also helpful when assessing your employer’s decisions against you.
Did I do anything wrong?
Perhaps, we can simplify your assessment by simply asking yourself if there is any legitimate reason your employer decided against you.
Are you performing poorly over a certain period of time? Do you miss any work days? Have you been reported for violating company policies lately?
If your answer to one of these questions is “Yes”, then maybe, your employer does have a legitimate reason behind his decisions. However, if you are performing well, then maybe, your employer does not have any legitimate reason at all.
Ask your employer
When all else fails, simply ask your employer. But don’t ask him on whether he fired you (or other discriminatory acts) because you filed for workers’ comp. Simply ask him if you did anything wrong for him to make a decision against you.
One thing should be clear: your employer (and their insurance company) will never admit that they fired you because you filed for workers’ compensation, regardless of the truth. After all, this is illegal – hence, it will be costly for them to do so.
If you are concerned over your employer’s decision, having a great workers’ comp lawyer help you in your case. Tell your concerns to him/her and he/she will give you advice on your case.
LG Law Offices houses the best workers compensation lawyers that will help you to win your case. For more information, you may visit their website.
If you need more information about, visit LegalFacts.org – they publish great articles about our laws and regulations.