Visitor Question

Mistreated by employer after on-the-job injury?

Submitted By: Anonymous (Torrance, California)

I have been with the company since 2015. I injured my shoulder on the job on 10/10/2018 and was given workmans comp. The doctor put me on restrictions at work, which my employer did not follow.

On 2/2/2019 I was diagnosed with heart failure. I gave a copy of the doctor’s order to my employer, also with work restrictions which they did not follow. Due to repeated work assignments, my left shoulder has gotten worse.

I put everything into my work, even though they didn’t accommodate my restrictions. I was always complaining and many times would show them how swollen my shoulder was because of the normal duties they assigned me. They would just tell me to be careful.

They said they could not accommodate me, and that they could put me on leave but I wouldn’t get paid half of what I made if I was working. Last year I went to vote and they didn’t pay me because I had to leave my job to go vote. When I was diagnosed with heart failure they used my extra hours to pay me the week I was off.

Do I have a case for mistreatment by my employer after my injury? Should they have accommodated my work restrictions as given by my doctor? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Anonymous,

Under California law, it is a crime for an employer to retaliate against an employee for filing a worker’s compensation claim.

California Labor Code section 132 (a)(1) states the following:

“If an employer discharges, threatens to discharge or otherwise discriminates against an employee because that employee . . . filed . . . a claim for compensation, then that employer is guilty of illegal employment discrimination retaliation. Such illegal practices are considered a misdemeanor under California labor law.”

Section 132(a)(1) also provides for additional damages if you are the victim of retaliatory discrimination:

“If found guilty, the compensation that the employer is required to pay to the employee can be increased by 50% (but no amount greater than $10,000) of the amount of compensation benefits to be awarded to the employee. This employee can also be entitled to reimbursement and/or reinstatement for lost work benefits and wages that resulted from the employer’s discriminatory and/or retaliatory acts.”

The California Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) is the state agency that administers workers’ compensation claims. Contact the DWC if you believe you’ve been the victim of retaliatory discrimination.

You also should contact the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). DFEH is the state agency charged with enforcing California’s civil rights laws. Their stated mission is “to protect the people of California from unlawful discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations . . .”

Finally, you may be entitled to a workplace accommodation under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).

The ADA requires an employer to make reasonable accommodations for a known disability of an employee if those accommodations would not impose an “undue hardship” on the employer’s business. Keep in mind that an employer is required to offer reasonable accommodations only if asked to do so.

You have several options to address what has happened to you. If you’re overwhelmed or unable to pursue this issue on your own, contact an experienced employment attorney.

Learn more here: Worker's Comp FAQs

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.

Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call 888-972-0892.

Best of luck with your claim,

Published:

How Much is Your Injury Claim Worth?

Find out now with a FREE case review from an attorney…

  • Your Accident
  • Your Claim
  • Contact Info
  • Your Evaluation

Leave a Comment

Don’t ask a personal injury question here – comments are not reviewed by an attorney. Ask your question on this page. Required fields are marked *