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How Do the Laws Protect Against Workers’ Compensation Discrimination?

 Posted on April 22,2022 in Workers' Compensation

b2ap3_thumbnail_gilroy-workers-comp-attorney.jpgA workplace accident or injury can lead to multiple types of difficulties that may affect a victim’s personal and professional life. While workers’ compensation benefits will usually be available to anyone who has suffered a work-related injury, there are some situations where workers may be hesitant to pursue these benefits out of fear that they will face consequences at their job. However, worker’s are protected against workers’ compensation discrimination, and they should be sure to understand their rights in these cases. This can ensure that they will be able to receive the benefits they deserve while preventing their employer from taking illegal actions against them.

What Is Workers’ Compensation Discrimination?

Every employee has the right to file a workers’ compensation claim and receive medical benefits, temporary or permanent disability benefits, or other applicable benefits following a work-related injury. It is illegal for an employer to penalize an employee for filing a workers’ comp claim, reporting a work injury, or otherwise asserting their rights. 

Workers’ compensation discrimination can take multiple forms, including:

  • Firing an employee who has reported a work injury or filed a workers’ comp claim.

  • Refusing to allow an employee to return to work after they have recovered from a work-related injury.

  • Reducing an employee’s wages or salary in retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim, including reducing the employee’s work hours or scheduling them for work at times when they are known to be unavailable.

  • Demoting an employee, reducing their seniority, or refusing to promote them because they reported a work injury.

  • Denying an employee access to benefits that were available to them before they suffered an injury at work, such as retirement benefits or the use of company facilities.

  • Encouraging other employees to harass a person because they reported a workplace injury.

  • Reporting an employee to immigration authorities as punishment for filing a workers’ comp claim.

Employers can face significant penalties if they retaliate against an employee who has reported a work-related injury or filed a workers’ compensation claim. This is a misdemeanor offense, meaning that an employer may face criminal charges and penalties such as fines or jail time. In these situations, the compensation that a person receives through workers’ comp may be increased by 50 percent, up to a maximum of $10,000, plus an additional $250 for fees and expenses. An employee who was wrongfully terminated may also be reinstated to their previous position, and a person may be compensated for any lost wages or benefits they experienced due to their employer’s discriminatory actions.

Contact Our Hollister Workers’ Compensation Discrimination Lawyers

At Cramer + Martinez, we fight to protect the rights of people who have been injured in the workplace. We can assist with filing workers’ compensation claims, and we can help address any related issues, including discrimination or retaliation that a person has experienced. To arrange a complimentary consultation and learn how we can help you receive the benefits you deserve, contact our Gilroy workers’ comp attorneys at 408-848-1113.



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