Workplace injuries can be stressful and overwhelming, especially when you face retaliation from your employer for filing a workers’ compensation claim. In California, it is illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee who files a workers’ compensation claim.
As a victim of retaliation, you need to act promptly and strategically to protect your rights and your job. Here are the steps you can follow.
Document your claim
The first thing you should do when you suspect retaliation is to start documenting everything. Keep a written record of all interactions related to your claim. If there are any witnesses to the retaliatory actions, document their names and what they saw. This documentation can provide evidence if you need to file a complaint or take further action.
Inform your employer
Next, you should communicate with your employer. Make sure your employer knows you are aware of your rights and that you believe you are being retaliated against. Sometimes, clearing the air and bringing the issue to their attention can help rectify the situation.
Contact the Division of Workers’ Compensation
If your employer continues the retaliatory behavior, contact the Division of Workers’ Compensation in California. The DWC can provide you with guidance on how to proceed and can inform you about your rights and potential remedies.
File a complaint
You have the right to file a complaint with the Labor Commissioner’s Office in California if you face retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim. The complaint should include all necessary information, including the retaliatory actions faced, and you should file it within six months of the retaliatory act.
Take additional action if necessary
If the retaliation continues even after you have taken these steps, you may need to consider other options. This might involve seeking help from organizations that support workers’ rights or filing a lawsuit for wrongful termination if you lose your job.
You have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim without fear of retaliation. Stand up for your rights and take action if you are being treated unfairly.