Workers’ compensation benefits programs are administered by state agencies and are used to provide an employee with medical treatment and other services that are required to assist that employee with recovering from a work-related illness or injury. Workers’ compensation benefits are concerned with assisting employees with receiving at least partial wage replacements from wages that will not be earned while the employee is recovering, in Los Angeles.
Workers’ compensation benefits include employer-paid medical treatment, and employment wage benefits as compensation for permanent or temporary loss of employment wages as a result of the employment-related injury or illness. In addition to medical treatment and wage replacement, supplemental job displacement benefits can also be received. This supplemental job displacement benefit is a voucher that can be used to pay for retraining or skill enhancement training when your employer does not offer continued employment, or you otherwise do not return to your original job following your work-related injury or illness. However, workers’ compensation benefits do not include pain and suffering damages, nor punitive damages.
In Los Angeles, it is very important that an employer does not discriminate or retaliate against an employee for either filing and/or receiving workers’ compensation benefits that are provided under California state law. Common forms that such retaliation can take include:
- Firing or demoting an employee because of the fact or belief that the employee filed for workers’ compensation benefits and/or because the employee is receiving workers’ compensation benefits; or
- Reducing benefits and reassigning an employee to a different location or position in response to the employee filing for or accessing workers’ compensation benefits.
Workers’ Compensation and Retaliation Suits
The Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) is the government agency that monitors and oversees the administration of California’s workers’ compensation claims. The DWC provides judicial and administrative services in order to resolve disputes that may arise in connection with workers’ compensation benefits claims. When retaliation occurs as a result of an employee filing a workers’ compensation benefit claim, the DWC and the Department of Fair Housing and Employment (DFEH) should both be made aware of the retaliatory actions.
Under California law, employer retaliation is a form of discrimination that is taken very seriously. In fact, under California Labor Code section 132 (a)(1), if an employer discharges, threatens to discharge or otherwise discriminates against an employee because that employee either filed, and/or made it public knowledge that they planned on filing 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. 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.
Los Angeles, California Retaliation Lawyers Can Help
Filing for workers’ compensation benefits is the right of every employee who has been injured and/or sustained a work-related illness. If you are a victim of retaliation because you filed a workers’ compensation benefit claim, or if you are an employer being sued for allegedly retaliating against an employee who filed a workers’ compensation claim, you should contact the employment and labor lawyers at HKM Employment Attorneys LLP in Los Angeles, California today.