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You were fired after your workplace injury. Now what?

Your life can change forever if you suffer an injury related to your work. This injury can leave you permanently or temporarily disabled, unable to generate income due to the recovery process prescribed by the doctor, which will require financial, physical, and time effort due to the limitations caused by the accident. In California, all employees are protected by the law, which allows them to claim workers’ compensation benefits that apply to them.

What happens if the employee is fired after suffering an injury on the job or making a workers’ compensation claim?

The people involved sometimes wonder whether employees have the right to keep their jobs after suffering an injury, accident, or illness. Most states have laws prohibiting firing an employee solely because the employee has suffered a workplace injury and filed a workers’ compensation claim. 

However, unlike other states, California does not have a law that specifically requires employers to reinstate injured employees when they are ready to work or find new jobs for them if they are unable to perform their previous jobs. Nonetheless, California has a strong position against discrimination. Under Section 132a of the California Workers’ Compensation Code, it is considered illegal for an employer to fire an employee due to a work injury.

This means that while an employer is not required to rehire an injured worker, failing to provide a legitimate business reason to do so could lead to a discrimination claim. For example, if an employee is authorized to return to work and their position is still open. The employer refuses to rehire the employee without explanation, advertises the job for months, and eventually hires an employee with less experience. This might seem like proof of discrimination. An employer may demonstrate a business need if they reasonably believe that the employee is permanently unable to perform the job or that the disability will last so long that they need to replace the employee.

If you suffered an injury or accident on the job and are fired, let us review your case. We will guide you through the process!