California workers who get hurt or sick on the job have the right to seek workers’ compensation benefits to make up for their medical bills and lost income. However, some employers do their best to pressure their workers not to file for workers’ comp, or even take time off from work when they get injured.
These businesses put their bottom lines ahead of their workforce’s health and safety. To keep their insurance costs down, they may use a variety of tactics to try to intimidate injured workers. These often include:
- Telling an injured worker to get “first aid” instead of going to a doctor for medical attention
- Forcing workers to take unpaid time off to recover
- Tying bonuses to the number of “accident-free” days, to discourage the reporting of accidents
- Punishing injured workers when they return to the job by transferring them far away, putting them on unusual shifts, etc.
- Firing employees who file for workers’ compensation
These and other schemes are against the law in California. A worker who has suffered workplace discrimination for exercising his or her right to workers’ compensation is entitled to compensation. So too are workers who are subjected to discrimination for testifying in a co-worker’s workers’ comp case.
Proving that an employer’s actions against an injured worker were retaliation for filing a claim can be tricky, but an experienced employment law attorney knows where to look for evidence. No worker should have to suffer the effects of a bad employer that does not respect the law.