California Labor Code Section 132a
The Bridgeford Law Office, APC Handles Your 132a Claim
Under California law, it is illegal to discriminate against workers who are injured in the course and scope of their employment, and they are prote
cted from retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim
Dealing with a labor code 132a claim? Contact The Bridgeford Law Office, APC for experienced representation today!
What Is California Labor Code 132a?
In simple terms, California Labor Code 132a protects injured workers who have filed a workers’ compensation claim (or who intend to file a claim) against employer discrimination. Employers who take adverse action or threaten action against an injured worker can face hefty fines as well as misdemeanor criminal charges.
Adverse actions that may be considered violations under 132a include:
- Wrongfully terminating an employee
- Reducing an employee’s hours
- Reducing an employee’s pay
- Changing an employee’s work duties
- Denying an employee benefits
- Encouraging other employees to punish the employee
- Failing to promote a deserving employee due to their injury
Labor Code Stipulations
- Pursuant to Labor Code §132(a), a worker is protected from discharge, threats of discharge and discrimination because they have filed or made known their intention to file a claim for workers’ comp. If a violation is found, the employee’s compensation shall be increased by one-half, but no more than $10,000, together with costs and expenses not in excess $250. A discriminated employee shall also be entitled to reinstatement and reimbursement for lost wages and work benefits caused by the employer’s actions.
- Pursuant to Labor Code Section §132(a), an employee has the right to file a separate claim against an employer if they are wrongfully terminated as result of being injured on the job and/or filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Labor Code §132(a) violations are not the same as direct discrimination, EEOC complaints, wrongful termination or other employment/labor disputes which are deemed “civil” in nature and would require specific labor/employment law counsel. 132(a) claims are generally not covered by the workers’ compensation carrier but are deemed as “separate” actions filed under the auspices of the existing workers’ compensation action.
Elements of a Valid 132(a) Claim
Workers’ compensation discrimination claims under 132(a) must satisfy the following requirements:
- The employee filed for workers’ compensation, received a rating, award or settlement in a compensation claim, or made known their intentions to file for workers’ compensation;
- The employer took some sort of adverse action against the employee because of their workers’ compensation claim; and
- The employee was singled out for disadvantageous treatment due to the injury or claim being filed.
Adverse actions against an employee will most often involve wrongful termination or the threat of being fired, though other actions such as reducing hours, changing work duties, reducing pay, or denying benefits may also qualify. Likewise, employers do not have to follow through on these actions; the mere threat of discrimination may still be considered unlawful.
At The Bridgeford Law Office, our experienced Santa Clarita workers’ compensation attorneys are dedicated to helping clients in dealing with issues such as Labor Code §132(a) violations, if they arise.