Generally speaking, Texas is a “right-to-work” state – meaning that your employer can fire you for almost any reason. However, if management discourages you from filing a workers’ comp claim, or if they make negative comments about the fact that you already filed a claim, and then they fire you (or take other adverse employment actions) you may have a wrongful termination case.
This usually happens because of the tremendous pressure placed on supervisors and foreman to keep lost time injuries to a minimum. Unfortunately, some managers will not report injuries to improve the company’s “lost time injuries” statistics. For example, some managers might put an injured employee in a tent or shed and call it “light duty” and will then feel justified not reporting the incident as a “lost time injury”!
The problem with this approach, of course, is that the employee is not getting the appropriate medical care. When the employee finally feels that enough is enough, they file a workers’ compensation claim and get fired! This kind of activity is illegal in Texas and there are steps you can take to protect your rights. If you feel you have been treated unfairly at the worksite because you filed a workers’ compensation claim and have questions, feel free to give us a call.