I’m on workers’ compensation leave in Houston following a construction accident that shattered my wrist and required extensive surgery. Just recently, I learned that I will be laid off along with four of my coworkers. Is this legal to be laid off while on workers’ compensation?
Unfortunately, this is something that many injured people could be facing in this tough economy as companies try to operate on leaner workforces to combat income problems.
This situation could seem initially suspicious, and some research by a legal professional must be done in order to determine the motivation behind your company laying you off. While it may initially seem that you are being laid off because of your injury, there could be more at play.
Being on workers’ compensation in Texas does not automatically protect you from any terminating or disciplinary action on your company’s part; it merely protects you from actions related to the fact that you are injured. If you are a notoriously dangerous or incompetent employee—or if your company is merely downsizing—being out on workers’ compensation does make you immune to losing your job.
If you are suspicious that your company could be “getting back at you” for taking advantage of your Texas workers’ compensation benefits, however, something illegal could be afoot. Companies throughout Texas and the country are strictly prohibited from taking actions that “punish” employees for being out on workers’ compensation leave.
If you suspect that your company is taking punitive action against you for exercising your Texas workers’ compensation rights, you may have a case against your employer. You need an attorney who will work hard to investigate the reasoning behind your termination, and who will fight equally as hard to ensure that your rights are protected. Houston workers’ compensation attorney Steve Lee can help you get to the bottom of this difficult case; call him now at 800-232-3711.