The Employee Injured On the Job
An employee injured on the job is entitled to file a worker compensation claim. The employee’s injury may be temporary or permanent and may be of a nature that the worker can continue to work or require the worker to take time off work.
Employer Retaliation and Employee Claims
Under California law, if the employer retaliates against the employee for filing a worker’s compensation claim, the employee can also file a claim for additional compensation to punish the employer under the worker compensation claim.
What happens under the disability discrimination laws if the employer also fires the worker?
It depends on whether the employee is able to do his job either with or without accommodation. If the injured employee can do his or her job, the employer cannot fire the employee even if the employer thinks the employee may get re-injured on the job.
If the employee is fired when the employee can do the job, the employee can also file a claim for discrimination.
Damages recoverable under worker compensation are very limited and set by a predetermined formula. Damages under disability discrimination can include all, part, and future loss of wages, benefits, emotional distress, attorney fees and even punitive damages.
The Jury’s Point of View on Disability Claims, Workman’s Compensation
What happens if the doctor says the injured worker can’t do the job, needs retraining, but the worker is actually doing his or her job? If the employer’s doctor tells the employer that the injured worker can’t perform his job, but the worker is actually doing the job, then the employer who fires the worker, does so at his own peril.
The jury will probably use their common sense and say that if the worker is doing his or her job, then the doctor is wrong.
Juries don’t like malingerers but do like people who stick it out and try to work even if injured. Therefore, the injured employee who wants to work has the jury sympathy and the employer who fires that injured worker may face the wrath of the jury.