Workers’ Compensation Retaliation in California Alleged by Employees

A worker at a California home furnishing store has filed a Santa Barbara wrongful termination and workers’ compensation retaliation lawsuit, alleging her employer violated her rights as a whistleblower by falsifying her signature on work injury paperwork. wrongful termination lawyer

In her employment lawsuit, plaintiff alleges the retail furniture store based in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara sought to discredit her work injury claim and bolster its grounds to fire her after she was hurt while moving furniture with a co-worker. She reportedly filed a workers’ compensation claim, but the two owners of the business allegedly prepared a declaration with her name without her knowledge.

According to local news sources and court records of the complaint she filed, the declaration reportedly indicated she ad the other worker hadn’t moved any furniture on the day of the injury and conceded she never reported the job-related injury. Plaintiff alleges the store owners forged her signature on the document and that never was she interviewed by the store owners and that statements attributed to her were wrong. The store then denied her workers’ compensation claim – which is when she learned of the forged declaration. Concerned she may have been implicated in an act that was illegal, she felt she had no choice but to resign from her job right away.

Her employment attorney alleged she was faced with working conditions that were so intolerable, any reasonable person would have believed there no other reasonable choice but to quit, effectively resulting in a constructive termination. Legally, this resignation should be construed as a firing. Plaintiff alleges her employer did all this to conceal the fact the employer failed to secure workers’ compensation insurance, as required by California law.

As our wrongful termination attorneys in Santa Barbara can explain, anytime a worker files for no-fault workers’ compensation benefits for workplace injuries or illnesses, they may be at risk for retaliation by an employer who wants to avoid paying the expense. Most states – including California – have specific legislation that bars companies from retaliating against workers who file for work injury claims.

California law states is is unlawful to discriminate against employees who are injured in the course and scope of employment. Furthermore, courts in California have interpreted this policy to mean workers are protected from retaliation when they file for a workers’ compensation claim. Although workers’ compensation is considered the exclusive remedy for workers injured in the course of their employment, the broad nature of this statute means that employees treated unfairly or fired as a result of a job-related injury can file for remedy through the courts.

There are many types of retaliatory conduct that might be unlawful. However, it’s important to point out that not every act detrimental to a worker is necessarily considered retaliatory, as employers are allowed to adopt policies that apply to all workers, regardless of their disability. Anytime a worker is treated differently and adversely as a result of being injured, such action can be considered discriminatory and therefore unlawful.

If your employer has fired you or otherwise treated you unfairly as a result of being injured at work, you may be entitled to pursue damages in an employment lawsuit.

Contact the employment attorneys at Nassiri Law Group, practicing in Orange County, Riverside and Los Angeles. Call 714-937-2020.

Additional Resources:

EMPLOYEE FILES WHISTLEBLOWER LAWSUIT AGAINST LOCAL BUSINESS, Aug. 14, 2018, Edhat.com

More Blog Entries:

Newspaper Ordered to Pay $2.2 Million in Wrongful Termination Case, Aug. 1, 2018, Orange County Wrongful Termination Attorney Blog