Labor Code 132(a)
What is California Labor Code 132(a)?
Under California Labor Code 132a, employers are prohibited from treating injured employees differently. Any employee who experiences discrimination because they have filed (or intend to file) a workers’ compensation claim is entitled to be compensated under this labor law. 1
Labor Code 132a also provides for sanctions and penalties against an employers who discriminates against an injured worker. It may be considered a violation to terminate, or threaten to fire, a worker for filing or intending to file a claim for compensation. Additionally, employers are not allowed to threaten staff members who provide testimony in a worker’s compensation case.
What is a workers’ compensation discrimination claim?
A workers’ compensation discrimination claim is a legal action that can be taken if an injured employee believes they have been discriminated against by their employer while they were on workers’ compensation.
Discrimination claim under Labor Code 132a usually arises when an employer is Accused, treated differently, or suffer any kind of retaliation because he or she has been injured on the job. For example, if an employee files a claim for workers’ compensation and then gets fired because they missed work while they were recovering from their injuries, they may have a discrimination claim against their employer under Labor Code 132a.
Usually, in order to prove a workers’ compensation discrimination claim, the following needs to be shown:
- The employee was injured at work;
- The employer knew about the injury; and
- The employee was treated differently because of the employee’s work injury
What is considered workers’ compensation discrimination?
In California, workers’ compensation discrimination refers to situations where an employee is discriminated against by their employer or their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. However, It can be difficult to prove discrimination under Labor Code 132a, but here are some examples:
- If a manager tells you that you will have to pay back your workers’ compensation payments if you return to work (even if this is not true), this could be considered discrimination.
- If a manager tells you that your benefits will be reduced if you return to work (even if this is not true), this could be considered discrimination.
- If an employer refuses to hire someone because they have filed for workers’ compensation benefits in the past (even if this is not true), this could be considered discrimination. 2
Beside the mentioned examples, however these also can be considered discrimination:-
- Reducing the employee’s hours,
- Mistreating an injured worker for filing a workers’ compensation claim or reporting a work injury
- Reducing the employee’s salary or hourly pay,
- Change in work duties,
- Scheduling the employee at a time that the employer knows the employee cannot work,
- Failing to promote the employee,
- Reporting the employee for immigration violations,
- Constructive discharge,
- Canceling an employment contract,
- Denial of benefits, or
- Encouraging other employees to punish the employee.
How do I file a California Labor Code 132a claim?
A workers’ compensation discrimination claim is handled by the California Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB). A claim for reinstatement, increased compensation, and reimbursement is made by filing a petition with the WCAB. 3
An employee has one year (1-year) to file a claim from the date of the discriminatory act or the date of termination.
The WCAB handles claims for increased compensation, reimbursement, and reinstatement. However, the WCAB does not determine whether the employer is guilty of the misdemeanor charge or any criminal violation.
At Lavrac Accident Law Office, our experienced California workers’ compensation attorneys are dedicated to helping clients in dealing with issues in relation to possible Labor Code §132(a) violations. Don’t hesitate to call now.
For questions about workers’ comp retaliation or discrimination or to discuss your case confidentially with one of our experienced attorney, do not hesitate to contact us at 877-244-6727.
The content and views expressed herein is for information only and may not be accurate AND does not constitute legal advice or legal representation. If you have questions, you should contact our office immediately or should speak with an attorney as soon as possible.