The causes of Workers’ Compensation retaliation claims
Our strategic partner, HR That Works!, conducted an examination of California Labor Code, Section 132(a) Workers Compensation retaliation claims filed over many years. Although the analysis was based onCalifornia cases, many other states handle Workers’ Comp retaliation claims in a similar manner. When filing a Section 132(a) claim, “in addition to establishing that the industrial injury has resulted in some detriment, the worker must also prove that he or she was singled out for disadvantageous treatment because of the injury.”
Here’s a summary of these cases:
Conduct that will not result in a 132(a) verdict:
- There is truly no work available.
- The employee is unfit for duty because they will risk further injury or aggravation to an injury.
- There are safety issues related to the employee or third parties.
- There’s a business necessity (such as lack of funds or a change in company direction).
- The employee was terminated for cause (and consistently with how others were treated in engaging in similar wrongdoing).
- There’s a layoff or reduction in force.
What’s not OK:
- There’s a change in pay, hours or duties without a business justification.
- The employee was “singled out” or otherwise treated “differently” than others.
- The company makes return-to-work or light-duty decisions without medical proof.
Note that ERISA often preempts benefit discrimination claims in this area.
The Seltzer Group, located inEastern Pennsylvania, specializes in developing safety, workers compensation, human resources, claims, and risk financing programs. They are a proud member of the Keystone Insurers Group and are national recognized for their expertise in workers compensation solutions. The Seltzer Group serves businesses and individuals locally, regionally, and on the national level.
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