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Can My Employer Fire Me for Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim in California?

  • Published: June 13, 2023

When you suffer an injury at work, there are many things you must consider as you decide how you will move forward. A workplace injury can leave you dealing with pain and discomfort and prevent you from continuing to fulfill your normal work duties for some time. Beyond the immediate needs you may face, such as burdensome medical expenses and the loss of your income, you may also worry about other consequences that may follow your injury.

Many workers in your position may question whether an employer can move to fire them because of the injury sustained on the job. Termination following a workplace injury is a difficult subject, as there can be other factors at play following a work accident. If you lose your job after filing a workers’ compensation claim or you are worried an employer may move to terminate you if you file a claim, you should speak to a workers’ compensation attorney with our team as soon as possible.

California’s Workers’ Compensation Laws

The law in California is clear: an employer cannot fire a worker in retaliation or because of an injury suffered on the job. Filing a workers’ compensation claim is not a justifiable nor legal reason to fire you after a workplace accident. However, California is an at-will state, meaning an employer can terminate an employee for any valid legal reason at any time. This is where issues and confusion can arise and why having a workers’ compensation claim attorney can make a big difference in your case.

Although an employer may be able, in some circumstances, to fire you on other valid grounds after filing a claim for an injury, this does not mean you do not have a right to pursue a claim, and you can still likely collect compensation for certain damages arising from the workplace accident. A workers’ compensation attorney can help you by protecting your rights against your employer regarding your workers’ compensation claim as well as unlawful termination that may follow the filing of a claim.

Why Would You File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in California?

Every employer in California is mandated by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage to protect their employees from the aftermath of a workplace injury. If you are a worker in California, you may have a right to file a claim under your employer’s workers’ compensation coverage if you sustain an injury while at work or while carrying out your work duties in the field. An injury at work can happen to anyone. However, those in certain hazardous positions, such as construction, manufacturing, and transportation, may be at the highest risk of suffering a work injury.

If you suffer a workplace injury and your employer carries the required workers’ compensation insurance coverage, often your primary recourse for seeking help to pay your medical bills and certain other impacts is to proceed with a workers’ compensation claim. By mandating workers’ compensation coverage, California laws protect workers from the burdensome costs often associated with a work injury and also offer protection to employers from legal action against them following a work-related accident. In most cases, an employee cannot sue their employer for an injury suffered at work when the employer carries workers’ compensation insurance coverage.

What Are Your Rights to Compensation Following a Workplace Accident?

Often, there can be misunderstanding as to when workers’ compensation insurance kicks in following an injury on the job. Workers’ compensation coverage is a no-fault system in California. You do not need to prove or show that your employer or another party is to blame to be eligible to file a claim. An injury that occurs at the workplace or during your work duties should automatically trigger coverage and your right to seek compensation through the benefits available. 

Although coverage becomes available after a work injury, it does not mean that getting access to the funds you need is automatic, and there is often a tedious process and fight you must endure to get the benefits you may be entitled to under the law. A workers’ compensation lawyer can help you understand your rights and what benefits may be applicable in your case.

Benefits you may be able to claim in a workers’ compensation case include:

  • Medical costs
  • Portion of lost income
  • Temporary disability
  • Permanent disability
  • Retraining costs when necessary

The benefits available to an injured worker in California can vary based on the type of injury you sustain and the level of impact the injury has on your ability to continue to work both in the short term and in the long term. Your attorney can guide you to determine the compensation available in your case and to gather the evidence and support necessary to pursue those benefits through an insurer.

After an Injury, Contact KCNS Law Group – Glendale’s Experienced Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

You have a lot to deal with after an injury that occurs while working. While you manage the immediate effects of the injury, such as pain and medical treatment plans, you must also think about the far-reaching effects the injury can have on your future. Being unable to work as you recover can have significant financial impacts and can cause you burdensome difficulties the more time that passes. At KCNS Law Group, we understand the challenges you face, and we can protect your rights in the aftermath.

Filing a workers’ compensation claim is not easy, and you should not let the fear of an employer retaliating against you for filing a claim prevent you from getting access to the benefits you need following a work accident. Our lawyers can work to protect your rights and file a claim for compensation available to you under the law. Your employer cannot fire you for filing a workers’ compensation claim in California. Contact us at (818) 937-9255 or through our contact form to discuss your case and the benefits you may be eligible for under the law.

KCNS Law Group LLP

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