Juan: Hi Jason, my dad got injured at work. I told him to file for workers compensation but he’s afraid he’ll get fired. Is it legal for his company to fire him if he files for it?
Jason: Thank you for your question, Juan. Before I can answer this, I want to confirm that the company your dad works for offers workers comp to its employees. In Texas, not all companies are required to carry it.
Juan: Hmm, now that you say that I don’t know. I guess I assumed all companies like the one my dad works for carry it.
Jason: In most states, workers comp is a requirement, but that’s not the case in Texas. There are a few employers that are required to have it such as public employers, companies working with government agencies, building and construction contractors for public workers, motor carriers, or dealers in liquid propane gas and compressed natural gas.
Juan: None of these sound like what my dad does. I guess that is really bad news. Those medical bills are going to be expensive. And it might take some time before he can even go back to work.
Jason: This isn’t necessarily bad news, Juan. Workers comp may not be required, but it’s still possible that his company carries it. And if the employer doesn’t offer it, he can file a lawsuit against the company for his injury.
Juan: Well that is good news, but I’m not sure he will look into it if he thinks he is going to be fired.
Jason: I can understand his concerns. Texas is an at-will state which means businesses can fire someone without a reason if they choose. However, the Texas Labor Code protects your dad from being fired simply for filing workers’ comp. Also, if he was disabled by the injury, he is also protected from discrimination by the American Disabilities Act.
Juan: Well that it good news. So what would happen if they did try to sue him?
Jason: If he was fired for filing a good faith workers’ compensation claim, he can sue the company for lost wages during the time he was off work. If the case goes to trial, the court has the authority to reinstate his job and order that the employer pays him the workers’ comp benefits.
Juan: So he would need a lawyer?
Jason: Yes. My recommendation is that your dad consult with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. This would help to protect his rights if he files for workers’ comp. And if his company does not offer it, his lawyer could help him sue the company for damages if it was at fault for his injuries.
Juan: I will go have a talk with him about this.
Jason: I’m glad to hear it, Juan. Your dad deserves compensation if the company is responsible for what happened to him. He can contact me on my personal cell at 210-591-9777 and I will discuss the case with him. There is no fee for this. I don’t charge my clients a dime unless we win the case.
Juan: Thank you, Jason!
DeSouza Injury Lawyers is a leading personal injury firm representing accident victims throughout Texas.
If you’ve been injured by a car, truck, 18-wheeler, company vehicle, or in the oilfield, call Jason DeSouza personally today at 210-591-9777 or 361-799-2222 or visit the firm online at https://jfdlawfirm.com