Even in what seems like a safe occupation, a Los Angeles worker can find that he or she has been hurt on the job and will need to file a workers' compensation claim. This may make some workers hesitate. After all, employers do not like it when workers have to ask for workers' compensation benefits because it means higher insurance premiums for the employer. Higher insurance premiums in turn mean that an employer loses profit on the bottom line.
An employer may therefore be tempted to remedy this problem by sending a subtle, or even not-so-subtle, message that workers who file for work comp benefits will either lose their jobs or, at a minimum, not go any further in their careers. This sort of practice though, constitutes illegal employer retaliation in California. Under the law of this state, an employer may not in any way discipline or discriminate against a person because he or she filed a workers' compensation claim or, for that matter, reported a work-related injury. This is true even if a worker files a claim for benefits in good faith but the claim is ultimately denied.
A California worker who feels that he or she has been discriminated against for filing workers' compensation benefits should consider speaking with a California employment law attorney who represents employees. After all, an employer is rarely going to come out and admit that it violated the law and punished an employee for filing work comp, which means a careful investigation of the case followed by a comprehensive legal analysis may be necessary.
Moreover, there are certain complications. This includes when the employer accuses the employee of getting hurt because he or she violated a safety rule that may require the help of an attorney to navigate.
Source: California Department of Industrial Relations, "Workers' Compensation in California: A Guide For Injured Workers," accessed March 30, 2018