Can I be terminated 3 days after filing a claim for an on-the-job injury?
(San Mateo, CA, USA)
I was injured on the job on Sunday July 6, 2014. I injured my right shoulder, arm and elbow lifting a bag. I filed a workers' compensation claim for the injury the day it happened. On Thursday July 10, 2014 I was terminated from my job.
Is this legal in state of California? Can a worker be fired simply for being injured, so soon after the injury happened and a claim was filed? Do I have any recourse? I really appreciate any information you can give about this. Thanks.
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ANSWER for "Can I be terminated 3 days after filing a claim for an on-the-job injury?":
George (San Mateo, CA, USA):
The State of California is not a right to work state. In that regard, you may have access to union representation. If you are a member of a union, speak with your union representative. Your representative may be able to intercede on your behalf.
Moreover, if your employer has in place a written employee manual, and that manual contains procedures which your employer must follow before initiating termination, you may be able to rely on that.
If you aren't a member of a union, or your employer doesn't have a written employee manual governing employee termination procedures, you may be in a precarious position.
Absent specific guidelines governing employee termination procedures, your employer can terminate your employment for just about any reason (except for reasons based on discrimination, including color, creed, sexual preference, age or gender). An additional prohibition on employee termination is termination based on an employee's filing of a workers' compensation claim.
Unless you can PROVE your termination was based on discrimination, or because you filed a workers' compensation claim, you may have to start looking for new employment
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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