Long Beach Workers’ Compensation Attorney
American workers have several legal protections after suffering injuries in the workplace. While businesses may lose a bit of productivity after an employee injury, it’s important for California employers to protect the rights of their workers rather than act against them. Workers’ compensation benefits exist to help allay the immediate expenses after an on-the-job injury. While typically not enough to fully cover all the associated costs of a workplace injury, workers’ compensation benefits are still valuable.
Under California law, every business must carry a workers’ compensation insurance policy, even if they have only one employee. Some employers may grow frustrated from employee injuries because their insurance policy premium rates may increase following claims, but the law prohibits employers from taking any adverse actions against injured employees or interfering with the workers’ compensation claims process in any way. At Harting Simkins & Ryan, LLP, we are committed to helping employees get the benefits they deserve and a dedicated Long Beach workers’ compensation attorney at our firm stands ready to help you with your case.
Understanding Workplace Retaliation in California
The legal concept of retaliation often arises in workers’ compensation disputes. According to the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, retaliation is a form of discrimination and describes any negative or punitive action taken against an employee in response to a protected action. Protected actions include testifying in court against an employer as required by subpoena, reporting workplace hazards or unethical practices to oversight agencies, or filing for workers’ compensation benefits. Some examples of employer retaliation include:
- Firing an employee for wishing to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.
- Demoting an employee, or unnecessarily cutting an employee’s regular shifts for filing for workers’ compensation.
- Changing the employee’s job duties, or transferring the employee to a different location or department without justification.
- Casting the employee in a negative light to coworkers and other employees.
- Verbal or physical abuse.
- Giving the employee a poor performance review without just cause.
- Any action taken that makes the employee’s job more difficult than necessary.
An employer who engages in retaliatory actions against an employee for taking protected actions stands to incur significant penalties. If you feel that an employer’s attitude has changed after filing a workers’ compensation claim, speak with a Long Beach workers’ compensation attorney as soon as you can to determine whether or not your employer’s actions constitute retaliation.
When California Workers’ Comp Isn’t Enough
In many cases, workers’ compensation benefits may help offset your medical costs and lost wages immediately following an accident, but severe injuries may entail extensive recovery that workers’ compensation will not cover. In these situations, injured employees have several options, including filing a personal injury lawsuit against their employers, filing a claim against a third party (such as a random driver who hit your work vehicle while performing your job duties), or the manufacturer of a dangerous or defective product. Additionally, navigating the claims process and securing workers’ compensation benefits can be tricky. A qualified Long Beach workers’ compensation attorney will help you handle the claims process and explore any other possibilities for additional compensation.
If you’ve suffered an injury that has left you permanently disabled and unable to return to your job, workers’ compensation may provide vocational training to learn a new career, but only in a limited capacity. The best way to recover after suffering permanent damage is to hold the negligent party or parties accountable and seek compensation through a civil action.
Harting Simkins & Ryan, LLP | Workers’ Comp Lawyers in Long Beach, CA
The attorneys at Harting Simkins & Ryan, LLP are here to help injured workers in Long Beach, CA, secure the compensation they need to recover and return to normal life. A workplace injury can have devastating effects, and injured employees shouldn’t have to contend with uncooperative or unethical employers.
Contact us for more information about workers’ compensation laws in California or if you’d like to schedule a consultation about your workplace injury.