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Can i file workers comp in california after termination?

Palm Springs, CA |

7 days after informing my assistant manager and scheduler that my doctor told me i will be needing physical therapy and possibly surgery for neck, back, and shoulder problems, i was fired. i was fired for another reason. i worked for the employer 4.5 years. the problem started very slowly 2 years into my employment but it was managable and i tried not to think about it. the last 3 months the pain spread and increased considerably forcing me to go to the doctor. my doctor visit and xrays were 10 days before termination and the physical therapy started 5 days after.

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Attorney answers 3


Yes you can continue to pursue your claim even though they fired you. As long as you saw a doctor before being fired for your injuries. You also have a valid 132a Claim, (wrongful termination) for the firing. You really shoud see a work comp lawyer ASAP

While I'm in OC I represent injured workers from Ventura to San Diego. You can call my office (714) 799-0543 or email me at for more information. Consultations are free and to retain my office does not require any payment until the case is settled

Craig Wasserman,Esq


The general rule in California is that you cannot make a claim "post-termination." Once you were fired, you were terminated so any claim now would be post-termination. There are, however, exceptions to the rule. One is if the injury is due to cumulative truama...on going wear and tear. That's exactly the type of injury you've described. Another exception is if the employer new of the injury before the say they did know. A third exception is if you got medical treatment for the injury before the say you did. I would say you could make your claim. It will probably be denied as post termination but you should win that argument.

I recommend you consult with a good W.C. attorney. There are some very good ones out your way. Find a good one here at or at CAAA is the association for attorneys here in California who represent injured workers. Or you can call me for a referral.

Labor Code 132a says that an employer cannot punish you for getting hurt on the job. You may also have a claim under LC 132a. When you talk to that lawyer, bring this issue up, too.

Good luck.


You can file the cumulative trauma (CT) claim post-termination, and the insurance will probably Deny liability for the injury. The Judge will make the ultimate decision.

You also say that you were fired for a reason other than your injury; that fact will preclude the 132a discrimination claim. Discrimination in WC only applies if you were fired for reporting the injury or exercising your WC rights.

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