Can You Get Laid Off While on Workers’ Compensation?

Can you get laid off while receiving workers’ compensation benefits? Unfortunately, there really is no simple answer, and every case is different. However, if there are facts that show that an employee was laid off or otherwise discharged because of their workers’ compensation claim, then the termination may indeed be unlawful and wrongful. 

It is well-established that an employee has a fundamental right in obtaining benefits and treatment from workers’ compensation for a work-related injury. Labor Code 132a prohibits employers from discriminating, “in any manner”, against workers who file workers’ compensation claims or receive compensation awards. 

To successfully establish a case of discrimination based on a workers’ compensation claim, an employee must show that he/she suffered a work-related injury, that the employee suffered some adverse employment action after the injury, and that the employer singled out the employee because of the work-related injury.

California’s Labor Code specifies numerous penalties that may be imposed against employers who discriminate against industrially injured workers, including reinstatement and reimbursement for lost wages and work benefits, plus increased workers’ compensation benefits.

This is not to say, however, that employers are always obligated to reinstate or retain an injured worker where “business realities” dictate otherwise, i.e. where an employee is no longer competent to perform his or her job, or their position is no longer available. However, an employer cannot discriminate “in any manner” against an employee who remains competent if his or her former position is still available. 

Know Your Rights

Remember, an employer can’t fire you for discrimination or retaliation because of your workers’ compensation claim. If your boss laid you off because you were on workers’ compensation, this is illegal and something you’re protected against. 

Have you been laid off while on workers’ compensation and think you have a case? Contact Gokal Law at 949-753-9100. Gokal Law Group is a family firm that treats our clients as if they were our own flesh and blood. We fight for our clients as we would our own children, sisters, brothers, and parents. We are our clients’ Warriors, fighting to bring them justice and right the wrongs they have endured.

Each attorney has a specific practice area for which they are tried, tested, and battle-ready. They have vast years of experience in their practice area, providing them the knowledge, skills, and vision to fight and win. Learn more about Gokal Law Group.


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