A work injury can leave you vulnerable and confused. You might be asking yourself: what will happen to my job if I need a long time to heal? Fortunately, the law has provisions that protect your rights and benefits during these circumstances, such as your right to keep your job.
Your employer cannot terminate your employment because of a work injury or disability because it is illegal. Additionally, it is unlawful for an employer to fire your coworkers if they testify for you. These actions can be considered discrimination under the California Labor Code section 132a.
You can file a complaint online if you experience threats of losing your job or discrimination. However, you must file them within a year after their acts of retaliation or discrimination happened.
Your work injury or health condition can have long-term effects, changing the trajectory of your life. In these uncertain situations, you have the right to take advantage of the following benefits:
- Up to $10,000 worth of medical treatments according to the California Labor Code section 132a.
- Up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave without getting laid off. The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) enforce this benefit to employers with at least 50 employees.
- Protection from discrimination if you suffer a severe disability as enacted by the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).
The law protects your right to use these privileges, so you do not need to doublethink about turning to them whenever you need them.
Other forms of financial support
You can use other types of insurance aside from or in addition to your workers’ compensation, depending on your circumstances. However, your disability benefits from Social Security can vary based on your workers’ compensation payments.
You can also check if your employer offers other benefits throughout your recovery, such as group health insurance, salary continuation funds or long-term disability insurance.