When someone is hurt at work, they often have many questions. Am I going to get paid for my lost time from work? What about my medical bills? Should I file for workers’ compensation? If I do, will they fire me?
Under worker’s compensation laws in California, your boss can’t fire you for filing a worker’s compensation claim. If they do, they can be charged with a misdemeanor under California’s Labor Code §132a The law also allows the employee to collect back wages and be reinstated. Plus, an employer might have to pay the employee a 50 percent increase in wages up to $10,000 as a further penalty.
Filing a Claim
The claim can be filed with the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board which can hear the case and decide if firing was because of the employee filing a claim. The board will need to see proof that the firing was for that reason and not for any other lawful reason.
One concern many employees have if that if they get fired, then how will that pay their bills including medical bills. The employee is not required to prove they were wrongfully fired to make a claim for medical and wages benefits. The wrongful discharge payments would be above and beyond the regular wages and medical payments.
So if you’re fired after you’ve been injured, you will still get your workers’ compensation wage payments (two-thirds of regular pay up to $1,200 a week) and all medical bills will be paid by the workers’ compensation insurance carrier.
If you feel that the employer is not paying your medical bills or wages as they should, it may be good to get an attorney who can help you get your claim on track. The attorneys at the Law Office of Alice A. Strömbom can help you with your claim. This might include back wages, ongoing wages, medical bills and payment for wrongful discharge.
If you do decide to talk to an attorney, don’t wait too long as there are deadlines that if not met might reduce or eliminate your benefits.