can an employer lay you off while on workers comp?
3 Answers from Attorneys
Only if you are being laid off for reasons besides being off on an industrial injury, such as the economic need to eliminate your position.
YES, employers CAN lay off workers while they are Temporarily Disabled and away from the job.
That said, if the ONLY reason you were laid off is because you requested Comp benefits, THAT lay-off is a violation of Labor Code 132a.
If several workers of your same length of employment and salary level were laid-off, it will be nearly impossible to prove your lay-off was triggered solely by your work injury.
BUT if you were the only person laid-off, the employer is doing well financially, and they hire your replacement shortly, you need an attorney and insist she/he file a Petition for Benefits under LC 132a for a wrongful termination.
NOW: GET YOUR unemployment insurance application ready to file THE VERY DAY the Comp Doctor declares you've reached "Maximum Medical Improvement" or he mentions "Permanent & Stationary". You get no more Temporary Disability from the Comp Insurer the day the doctor finds you permanent & Stationary.
edd.ca.gov is a good place to start: http://edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/UI_Tip_Sheets_and_Fact_Sheets.htm
BE CAREFUL: don't indicate to EDD in the Unemployment Application that you have limitations or reasons you are unable to work after the doc releases you; you may have pain or a work restriction, but pain and work restrictions DO NOT stop you from working in california.
Your State Legislators have determined YOU CAN work with ongoing pain and work restrictions, so if you check any box on the Unemployment application that there are limits on your employment, Unemployment Insurance gets denied (and they you have to mail in an appeal and wait 5 weeks with no money for an EDD hearing and explain yourself to a hearing officer).
Hope that helps!
Yes you can be terminated if the reason for termination is unrelated to your stated reason for termination. Feel free to call us at 213.388.7070 for a free consultation.