Your California employer pays you well and you have a great benefits package. You get to use your college degree, and you're doing work that you enjoy. You can see that there are options for you to move up the corporate ladder in the future, so this is something that you think of as a viable career.
For many people, that is essentially the American Dream. They just want that stability. They want a steady paycheck.
Whatever your personal reasons, having that employment is important to you.
Then you get hurt on the job. It happens slowly, over time. Your job has a fair amount of physical labor, and you can feel it taking a toll on your back and your knees. You wind up needing some expensive medical treatment.
You think that you have a right to workers' compensation. Your job caused your injury, your injury led to some serious costs, and you also expect to miss time at work after the procedures. You need compensation for all of those costs.
However, you're nervous to file. Not only do you like your job, but your employer does not have the best reputation for being kind and understanding. They're much more concerned about the bottom line. You think that means they'll retaliate when you file the claim by simply firing you and hiring someone else.
It may feel like a blip in time at the company, a minor change in the workforce. For you, though, it could be the end of everything you've worked so hard for. Remember, one of the main reasons that people worry about foreclosure and losing their homes is because of job loss. You may start to see everything unravel if you don't keep this job. It feels like it's not worth filing.
Do not give in to this fear. Do not forget your rights just because you're worried about retaliation.
After all, this type of retaliation is illegal. Your employer cannot fire you just for filing a workers' comp claim. This is true even if they dispute the claim -- maybe they think you got injured at home, not on the job. If so, they can dispute it, but they cannot retaliate against you personally by cutting your pay or your hours, firing you from your position or discriminating against you.
This is a complicated situation. Make sure you know what steps to take and what options you have.