Can you be fired for filing workers compensation in Harris TX?
In the event that an injured laborer files for workers’ comp benefits, the injured laborer’s employment situation could have drastic changes. Sure, a boss may not discriminate against an injured employee after they have filed a worker’s compensation report, but the employer can fire the worker on other terms.
In the state of Texas, it is considered an at will employment state, this entails the fact that a manager may fire an employee for any reason at all, as long as, the reason isn’t related to one that is protected by the law. On the contrary, a laborer may also quit for any reason in an at will employment situation. In some cases, an employee is protected from termination by law. According to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employees are protected from being discriminated against, or terminated from their job, on the bases of race, religion, skin color, sex, or national origin.
According to the Texas Worker’s Comp Act Section 451.001, workers who are injured cannot be fired simply for filing a worker’s compensation claim.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that injured workers who have filed a claim have immunity from being fired. There are plenty of legitimate explanations on why an injured worker could be fired. For example:
- If the injured employee’s job is very important to the business and the work must be done, the employer can terminate the injured worker, so that they may replace them
- If the business is going through difficult times, the manager may decide to terminate the injured worker
- In the case that an injured worker has no capabilities of performing their job because of their injury, then the boss may be justified in terminating the injured worker
- However, if the boss has terminated the individual just because he filed a worker’s comp claim, there may be the chance of a wrongful termination lawsuit pitted against the boss.
- If there are any kinds of stray comments made by the employer, or by anyone authorized to hire and fire employees, in regards to the individual for filling worker’s comp, could be used as good evidence the “real” reason behind terminating the injured worker, was only because he had filed worker’s comp, and thus making the termination retaliatory in nature.
If you are an injured worker and you believe that your employer terminated you because you filed a worker’s compensation claim, you should contact an experienced Texas worker’s compensation lawyer now.