What about Labor Code Section 132a?
Did you know that California Labor Code section 132a legally prohibits employer discrimination against an injured employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim and/or making known your intention to pursue workers’ compensation?
Generally, discrimination can take the form of an express threat to terminate the injured worker for filing a workers’ compensation claim; however, discrimination may also occur in cases where the employer takes adverse action to the injured worker’s employment status. This may include reduction of pay, denial of promotion or salary increase, loss of seniority, refusal to provide modified or alternative work, loss of benefits, and/or refusal to reinstate to the job position held prior to the industrial injury.
Injured Workers Have Rights
Simply put, California Labor Code section 132a, “prohibit[s] treating injured workers differently, making them suffer disadvantages not visited on other employees because the employee was injured or had made a claim.” Department of Rehabilitation/State of California v. WCAB (Lauher). In other words, an employer must not single out the injured worker for disadvantageous treatment because of the injury.
A claim under Labor Code section 132a is a separate claim against the employer. Therefore, Labor Code section 132a is filed directly against the employer, if the injured worker can show there was a threat to terminate and/or wrongful termination occurred as a result of being injured on the job or filing a workers’ compensation claim. Notably, a Labor Code section 132a “may not be commenced more than one year from the date of the discriminatory act or the date of termination of the employee” (LC132a(4)).
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