California law states that there should not be discrimination against workers who are injured in the course and scope of their employment. Employers are prohibited from discriminating or discharging any employee who has filed or intends to file a worker’s compensation claim. Even those who testify or plan to testify in another worker’s compensation case are protected from discrimination. In California, you are protected from unlawful retaliation.
Employers that engage in unlawful retaliation may be guilty of a misdemeanor and will be obligated to pay a penalty. The penalty consists of a 50% increase in the worker’s compensation claim but should not exceed $10,000. The employee is also entitled to reinstatement and reimbursement for lost wages and work benefits.
If an employer refuses to reinstate you, it may be equal to an unlawful discharge. However, there are two circumstances wherein refusal to reinstate an employee will not be considered discriminatory.
First, if you suffered permanent disability. Generally, employers are not required to reinstate a worker to a job that he/she cannot perform. And second, if the employer no longer needs the job because of business realities. California law does not require employers to hold a job open indefinitely if the job is no longer needed.
If you think that you are being discriminated, it is best that you talk to a lawyer immediately. A lawyer would make sure that your legal rights are protected and that you get the compensation that you deserve.