Can I Be Terminated While on Workers' Compensation?
If you have sustained an injury while at work, you are entitled to compensation for injuries, lost wages, and possible disability benefits. Unfortunately, many people experience hostility from their employer and are sometimes even terminated. But in California, Under California worker’ compensation law, an employer cannot terminate a person’s employment just because they sustained an injury on the job or decided to file a workers’ comp claim. But, this does not mean that the employer cannot terminate a person for any reason at all.
California is an “at-will” state which means that an employer can terminate an employee at any time for any reason as long as the reason does not violate the law. Unfortunately, when an employee loses a job while collecting unemployment, rarely will the employer actually admit that it was due to the worker's comp claim. In most cases, they will use a “legal” reason to terminate the employee.
Some legal reasons an employer can give for terminating an employee after they file a workers' comp claim:
Company financial problems
Poor work performance
What if I am terminated before I fully recover? If you are terminated before you fully recover, your employer is required to continue paying benefits until you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). "Maximum medical improvement", or "MMI" describes the point in which an injured worker is not expected to further improve with additional medical treatment.
If you or someone you know has been injured on the job, do not hesitate to contact the experienced worker's compensation attorneys at State Law Firm by calling (818) 477-0773 to ensure that all your rights are being protected.