Cleared by doctor, but forced into lesser paying position after injury?

by Jay
(Bakersfield, CA)

The workers' compensation doctor cleared me to return to working full duty. But my employer told me I could not work at my previous position since I'm a liability because I was injured doing the job.

I was cleared to return to full duty by the doctor, and now my employer is advising me that I have to take a lesser paying position because I am a liability? I'm assuming it's because I was injured in the position, but is this legal? What can I do?

I am inclined to resign and find other work since my status with the company does not seem to have a future, since I have been deemed a "liability." Do I have any options here? Thanks.

Visitor Question:
Disclaimer: Information provided in our response is NOT formal legal advice. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Under no circumstances should the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site be relied upon when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Our response does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Always get a formal case review from a licensed attorney in your area.

ANSWER for "Cleared by doctor, but forced into lesser paying position after injury?":

Jay (Bakersfield, CA):

Retaliation against a worker for filing a workers' compensation claim is illegal. If you have proof, or strongly believe you were demoted as a direct result of having filed a workers' comp claim, contact an experienced attorney. Most workers' comp attorneys will not charge a fee for an initial office consultation.

There are several ways to prove retaliation. One is to show an employer's history of demoting workers who have filed workers' comp claims. A second way is a review of emails, intra-company memos, and statements of present and former management personnel.

If you are unable to find proof of retaliation, your attorney may be able to file a claim on your behalf and start having subpoenas issued for any possible evidence that might prove retaliation.

Finally, if you can't prove retaliation, you might be best served by finding alternate employment. This is especially true in light of your belief your future at the company has been compromised.

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,

Judge Calisi

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