Workers’ Compensation Retaliation and Discrimination
Employers are prohibited under state law from retaliating or discriminating against employees for filing workers’ compensation claims or in anticipation of a employee filing a workers’ compensation claim. Some employers create an environment of fear around workplace injuries in an effort to suppress the filing of workers’ compensation claims. Other employers automatically believe their employees are faking their injuries, trying to milk the system, or otherwise trying to avoid working by filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Texas workers’ compensation laws, in addition to the above prohibitions, also prohibit employers from targeting employees who hire a lawyer to represent them in a workers’ compensation claim or who testify or are about to testify in an administrative proceeding regarding a workers’ compensation claim.
Often times after an employee files a workers’ compensation claim, employers will create a false reason to terminate an employee. For example, some employers accuse employees of poor performance or some other supposedly terminable offense. Other employers will utilize a policy that is related to the underlying workers’ compensation claim. For example, some employers will terminate employees days after a severe injury under so-called “no-call / no-show” policies or by strict compliance with a rule requiring an employee to return to work within a set amount of time after a workplace injury (often times the duration is 180 days and the rule is commonly known as a “180-day policy”).
Don’t fall victim to this predatory behavior. Contact us so we can help you.
When an employee brings a workers’ compensation claim and wins, he or she is entitled to an award of damages which may include:
- what he or she should have been paid but for the wrongful termination or other wrongful act;
- damages for mental anguish, pain and suffering, and inconvenience, etc.;
- punitive damages; and
- injunctive relief.