California requires employers to provide no-fault workers’ compensation benefits to their employees. Any employee who suffers a job-related injury or impairment has the right to file for workers’ compensation benefits without any “pushback” from their employer. Under California Labor Code Section 132(A), “it is the declared policy of this state that there should not be discrimination against workers who are injured in the course and scope of their employment.” At Yrulegui & Roberts, we want to make sure that companies understand their responsibilities under the law. Here, our California workers’ compensation defense attorneys highlight three things employers should know about Labor Code Section 132(A).
- Employees Have the Right to File for Workers’ Compensation Without Being Punished
Labor Code Section 132(A) is essentially California anti-discrimination law for workers’ compensation claims. In California, all employees have the right to bring a claim for workers’ compensation benefits without being discriminated against or retaliated against by an employer. More specifically, the statute prohibits employers from threatening, terminating/discharging, otherwise punishing people who file for workers’ compensation benefits.
- Labor Code Section 132(A) Violations Require Knowledge, Adverse Action, and Causation
An employee who believes that their rights have been violated under Labor Code Section 132(A) may file a lawsuit against their company or organization. To bring a successful Labor Code Section 132(A) claim against a Fresno area employer, a plaintiff must prove the following:
- The employer/supervisor had knowledge of the workers’ compensation claim;
- The worker faced genuine adverse employment action (demotion, termination, etc.); and
- The worker was punished because they filed for workers’ compensation benefits.
In most Labor Code Section 132(A) claims, causation is the key element in dispute. To be clear, an employer has the right to fire or otherwise take action against an employee even after they have filed for workers’ compensation benefits. The key is that an employer must have a good-faith, lawful reason for doing so—the workers’ compensation claim cannot be a factor.
- Employers Can be Sanctioned for Labor Code Section 132(A) Violations
Central California employers that violate Labor Code Section 132(A) may face a civil lawsuit from an employee. In bringing this type of employment law claim, an employee can seek full financial compensation for their related losses, including payment for back wages.
Beyond that, a California employer may be required to pay a maximum of up to $10,000.00 in penalty workers’ compensation benefits to the employee whose rights were violated under the California state statute.
Employers have the right to defend themselves against alleged Labor Code Section 132(A) violations. If your company is facing a workers’ compensation related discrimination claim or retaliation claim from a current or former employer, legal representation is available.
Schedule a Confidential Consultation with Fresno Workers’ Compensation Defense Lawyer
At Yrulegui & Roberts, we strive to provide the highest level of professional guidance, service, and support to our clients. If you have questions about defending a claim under Labor Code Section 132(A), we can help. Contact us today to arrange a confidential appointment with a lawyer. We provide workers’ compensation defense services from our office locations in Fresno, Bakersfield, and Sacramento.