An employee who was hurt on the job in California has a right to file for no-fault workers’ compensation benefits. As an employer, you are required to obtain and maintain the proper workers’ compensation insurance coverage for your employees. Employers cannot discriminate against an employee who was injured on the job or retaliate against an employee who filed a workers’ compensation claim. An employer that does so could face a damaging legal claim under Labor Code §132(a). Here, our California workers’ compensation defense lawyers provide an overview of the most important things that employers need to know about Labor Code 132(a) lawsuits.
Know the Law: California Labor Code § 132(a)
Under California law (Labor Code § 132(a)), employers are strictly barred from discriminating against or retaliating against employees who file workers’ compensation claims. An employer in California cannot lawfully discharge, threaten to discharge, or otherwise punish an employee simply because that employee filed for workers’ compensation benefits.
For employers, it is imperative that they are aware of the law so that they can effectively avoid the potential legal consequences that could come with a violation. All businesses and organizations in California must ensure that their policies and practices do not infringe upon an employee’s right to file a workers’ compensation claim without fear of retaliation.
What Type of Penalties Can a California Employer Face in a 132(a) Lawsuit?
Employers should know that a 132(a) lawsuit carries the potential for significant legal liability. These penalties can include up to $10,000.00 in additional workers’ compensation damages, reinstatement of the employee, and payment of lost wages and benefits.
Note: California state law makes LC 132(a) damages uninsurable. In other words, an employer held liable for damages through an LC 132(a) claim will not have any coverage through their workers’ compensation policy. They may need to pay out of their own pocket.
How to Defend a Labor Code § 132(a) Lawsuit in California
Defending an LC 132(a) claim requires taking a proactive approach. The sooner you take action to protect your interests, the better position your company will be in. You should consult with an experienced California workers’ compensation defense attorney right away. Additionally, employers should be prepared to do the following:
- Carefully gather all documents, records, and evidence that demonstrates a lawful reason for any disciplinary action or termination of the employee;
- Develop a comprehensive and narrowly tailored defense strategy; and
- Consider all options for settlement if there is a risk of liability.
Get Help From a California Workers’ Compensation Defense Lawyer Today
At Yrulegui & Roberts, our California workers’ compensation defense attorneys have extensive experience handling uninsured employer claims. If you have any questions about defending an uninsured employer case, we are here to help. Reach out to us by phone or connect with us online for a confidential, no strings attached case evaluation. Our law firm provides workers’ compensation defense representation in Fresno, Bakersfield, Sacramento, Salinas, and throughout the entire region.