As a California employment attorney and lawyer, one of the most common scenarios I see is a client who is injured at work and then, shortly thereafter gets terminated from employment. I am often asked, does this give me a wrongful termination case and the answer is that it very well may and the closer in time your termination was to either your injury or medical leave related to the injury, the more you can and should suspect the employer's motives. The California Fair Employment and Housing act provides the following: (1) You should not be terminated, demoted or discriminated against in any way as a result of sustaining an injury; (2) If your injury is serious enough that it causes you to miss work for some period of time, it may qualify as a "disability" and the employer should not take any adverse action against you because of this and should try to accommodate your disability by respecting any orders your doctor has given as far as time off or work restrictions (example lifting restrictions). The California Labor Code also provides that you should not be retaliated against in any way, including being terminated, as a result of filing a workers compensation claim.
If you or someone you know has suffered demotion or termination following an injury at work, an attorney should be consulted immediately to determine if there is a case for wrongful termination. There are strict time deadlines for filing certain claim and any delay could result in a loss of all rights to seek any compensation for lost wages, emotional distress and other damages.