Workers’ Compensation Employer Retaliation
In many cases, employers are more than willing to cooperate when an injured worker needs to file a workers’ compensation claim. However, sometimes an employer will attempt to block an employee from filing a legitimate claim, or retaliate against him for doing so.
Workers’ Compensation Retaliation Is Illegal
It’s illegal in Texas to terminate an employee for seeking workers’ compensation benefits. According to Chapter 451 of the Texas Labor Code, employers cannot retaliate against an employee for:
- Filing a workers’ compensation claim in good faith.
- Hiring a workers’ compensation attorney.
- Initiating a workers’ compensation proceeding in accordance with the law.
- Testifying during a workers’ compensation proceeding.
Penalties for Employer Retaliation
If your employer violates this law, you may be awarded reinstatement of your employment, lost wages, compensation for mental anguish, and punitive damages. Since it is often difficult to determine exactly why an employer terminated an employee who was seeking workers’ compensation benefits, the courts consider a number of factors in an effort to establish retaliatory intent:
- Evidence indicating that the stated reason for the termination is false.
- Failure to follow established human resources policies.
- Discriminatory treatment compared to other employees on workers’ compensation.
- Evidence of a negative attitude regarding the employee’s injuries.
- Awareness of the workers’ compensation claim by those individuals who decided to terminate the employee.
You Need an Attorney
When you’re injured on the job, you rely on your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance while you’re recovering from your injuries. If your employer attempts to prevent you from filing a workers’ compensation claim, or retaliates against you for doing so, you need an experienced attorney to help you protect your rights.
If your employer fires you in retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim, your attorney can help you prove that you would not have lost your job, but for the filing of the claim. To learn more, contact the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., by clicking the Live Chat button on this page.