Worker’s Comp Retaliation

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Texas law also prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who make worker’s compensation claims. Specifically, Texas Labor Code § 451.001 states that a person may not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against an employee because the employee has:

  • (1) filed a workers’ compensation claim in good faith;
  • (2) hired a lawyer to represent the employee in a claim;
  • (3) instituted or caused to be instituted in good faith a claim for workers’ compensation benefits; or
  • (4) testified or is about to testify in a proceeding for workers’ compensation benefits.

The Legislature’s whole purpose in enacting section 451.001 of the Texas Labor Code was to protect people who are entitled to benefits under the workers’ compensation laws and to prevent employers from firing them for taking steps to collect benefits.

In order for a workers compensation retaliation case to be successful, the employee must prove that “but for” the filing of the workers’ compensation claim the discharge would not have occurred when it did. The employee need not prove that retaliation was the sole cause of his or her termination. Rather, they must show that, “but for” the filing of the claim, the discharge would not have occurred when it did. Several nonexclusive factors have been recognized as circumstantial evidence sufficient to establish a causal link between filing a compensation claim and subsequent termination of employment, including:

  • (1) knowledge of the compensation claim by those making the decision on termination;
  • (2) expression of a negative attitude toward the employee’s injured condition;
  • (3) failure to adhere to established company policies;
  • (4) discriminatory treatment in comparison to similarly situated employees; and,
  • (5) evidence that the stated reasons for the discharge was false.

Should you feel you have been discriminated or terminated after filing a workers compensation claim, please contact Scherr Legate at (915) 544-0100.