What are My Rights if I was Laid off After a Work Injury? 5 Ways to Document Your Case
A work injury can be taxing on the victim for many reasons. The National Safety Council (NSC) reported that work-related medically consulted injuries totaled 4.26 million in 2021.
One who suffers a work injury is generally entitled to workers’ compensation benefits (exceptions might include independent contractors). Workers’ comp can help injured employees recover lost wages or medical bills.
Some industries with the most preventable fatal work injuries include:
- Agriculture (forestry and fishing)
- Professional and business services
Some of the more common causes of a workplace injury include:
- Slips, trips and falls
- Construction accidents
- Malfunctioning equipment
- A falling or shifting object
- Driving accidents
Workers can suffer from debilitating injuries following a workplace accident, including:
- Brain hemorrhaging
- Back pain and injuries
- Scars and disfigurement from cuts or lacerations
- Neck pain and injuries
- Damage to your kidneys, lungs, heart or other vital organs
- Spinal cord injuries
- Wrongful death
While workers’ comp is a coup for employees to offset finances after their inability to work, in some cases, an employer may not show as much compassion for the victim.
Imagine a situation where a construction worker named Bill suffers a back injury after falling into a trench. He receives workers’ compensation, but while he’s out recovering from his work injury, he’s laid off by his employer.
What are Bill’s rights if he was laid off after a work injury? Is this practice legal in California?
You may right away believe it is illegal. There are various directions this case could go, but the short answer is yes, Bill could be laid off after a work injury while he’s recovering and receiving workers’ comp.
California is an at-will state, meaning employees can be relieved of their duties at any time as long as their employers are not violating any laws in doing so. Employees also have the right to leave their position at any time.
However, firing someone because they are injured is against the law, and could be the grounds for retaliation.
If an employer punishes an employee for partaking in an act legally protected by the law, the employer is being retaliatory against them. In fact, termination is one of the top signs of retaliation.
In Bill’s situation, if he was able to prove that his employer fired him because of his work injury, he may have a case. His employer can not legally fire him because of his work injury.
Just because your employer claims they are not firing you due to your work injury doesn’t mean they are being honest. Employers may use other crutches, such as financial issues or company realignment as an excuse for your dismissal.
It’s important to know your employee status before filing a claim, as it could make a difference in the results of your case.
For example, let’s say you were already on a probationary period for poor performance. Your injury may not play as much of a factor since you were already on a potential path to termination.
If you suspect that you were laid off after a work injury as a form of retaliation, contact the LA worker’s comp attorneys at C&B Law Group.
Our team of Los Angeles lawyers will work to build a case against your employer suspected of breaking employment laws.
Documentation that may assist with your case include:
- Emails to and from your employer
- Medical reports from your doctor
- Company rules and regulations
- An employee handbook
- Any other written information from your employer
Standing up to your employer after their wrongdoings may seem intimidating. You don’t have to do it alone. Let C&B Law Group assist you with your claim.
Our firm has a successful track record of settling 99 percent of our injury cases. Your consultation to see if you have a claim is free.
Reach out to us today for more information.