Cramer and Martinez

Free Consultation408-848-1113

7459 Monterey St., Suite A, Gilroy, CA 95020

Gilroy Workers' Compensation Discrimination Attorneys

Monterey County workers' comp discrimination attorney

Lawyers Protecting Injured Employees From Discrimination By Employers and Insurers in Santa Clara County

If you have been injured because of your work, you may face a long and complicated process in order to obtain the workers' compensation benefits to which you are entitled under California law. Discrimination from your employer or their insurance provider can make the process much more difficult. It is important that you understand your rights during the workers' compensation process so that you can recognize discrimination and take action to protect yourself.

At Cramer & Martinez, LLP, we have more than 20 years of combined experience in workers' compensation law, and we represent injured employees throughout all legal aspects of the claims process. If you believe that you have been discriminated against, we will help you protect your rights and stand up to your employer while pursuing all available recompense for the harm done to you.

Discrimination in the California Workers' Compensation Process

The California Labor Code protects employees from several forms of discrimination specifically related to the workers' compensation claims process. First and foremost, neither your employer nor their insurance provider is permitted to fire you, threaten to fire you, or otherwise discriminate against you because you:

  1. Have filed a claim for workers' compensation
  2. Have filed an application for adjudication with the Division of Workers' Compensation
  3. Intend to file a claim or an application for adjudication
  4. Have received a permanent disability rating
  5. Have received an award or settlement for your workers' compensation claim

In addition to termination, possible discriminatory actions could include an unreasonable reduction in pay, disciplinary actions, harassment, or punishment for refusing to accept work that you are incapable of performing due to the limitations of your injuries. Other employees who plan to testify on your behalf in a workers' compensation appeals proceeding are also protected from discrimination.

In order to take legal action against your employer or their insurer for discrimination, you need to file a petition with the California Workers' Compensation Appeals Board within one year of the discriminatory action. Your attorney can help you take the necessary steps to initiate the process and prepare to present your case at judicial hearings. A judgment in your favor can result in the reinstatement of your employment, reimbursement for economic damages including lost wages and benefits, and an increase in the amount of your workers' compensation benefits by one-half, up to a maximum of $10,000 plus $250 for any costs you have incurred in relation to the discrimination proceedings. Discrimination in the workers' compensation process is also considered a criminal misdemeanor in California, and you may choose to notify the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement to further hold your employer accountable.

Additional Protections For Injured and Disabled Employees

Federal and state laws including the Family Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the California Family Rights Act, and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act provide additional protection from discrimination against employees that may be indirectly related to the workers' compensation process. For example:

  • An employer may not discriminate against a potential hire for having filed a workers' compensation claim in the past.
  • An employer may not discriminate against an employee who has a disability and must provide reasonable accommodations to the employee whenever possible.
  • An employer with at least 50 employees must allow up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave if an employee needs it because of a serious injury or medical condition.

If you believe that you have been subjected to employment discrimination because of your work-related injuries, we can help you find the legal representation you need to resolve your case on the state or federal level.

Contact a Morgan Hill Workers' Compensation Discrimination Lawyer

Responding promptly to an act that you believe to be discriminatory may give you a better chance of successfully holding your employer accountable. Contact us today at 408-848-1113 for a free consultation that can help you decide how to proceed. We serve clients in workers' compensation cases throughout Santa Clara County, San Benito County, Monterey County, Santa Cruz County, Gilroy, Morgan Hill, Hollister, Salinas, San Jose, Watsonville, Los Banos, and the surrounding areas.

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