If you lost your job due to the COVID-19 pandemic, here are 3 things to think about:
1. Did your employer use the pandemic as an excuse to lay you off?
While some businesses are legitimately laying off workers due to the financial challenges caused by the pandemic, others may be blaming the Coronavirus pandemic when the real motive to end the employment relationship is really for a different – and even illegal – reason. For example, if you have work-related injuries or conditions, an employer may see the pandemic as an “opportunity” to lay you off and try to hide their real reasons. In California, it is illegal to discriminate against an employee based on a work injury, age, race, or gender.
2. Is there a record of medical treatment before your layoff?
In workers’ compensation, While the general rule is that you must notify your employer of a work injury or condition before your notice of layoff, there are exceptions. For example, if you have seen a doctor for your work-related injuries or conditions before the layoff, you may still have a valid claim depending on the facts of your case.
3. Did you delay a work injury claim to “save your job”?
Let’s face it – filing a work injury claim with an employer risks retaliation, even in the best of times. That’s why many workers with legitimate work injury claims decide to “tough it out” and not report their injuries. When the employer decides to lay you off, however, you are left with no job and compromised health. The sooner you determine your rights, the better chance you have at securing workers’ compensation benefits, including medical treatment, temporary disability benefits, permanent injury compensation, and future medical care.