Fired After On The Job Injury
Have you been terminated from your employment because of an injury on the job?
After suffering an injury most employees want to get back to work as soon as possible. No one expects to be fired.
When you are injured at work, you have a right to file for workers’ compensation benefits. If your employer fires you or retaliates against you for exercising this right, you may have a claim.
In Texas, an employer may not discriminate against, nor otherwise terminate, an employee who was injured on-the-job, reported the injury, or testified in a proceeding related to a job injury.
Discrimination Against Employees Injured On The Job
It is illegal for your employer to fire you, demote you or take adverse actions against you for:
- Having an on-the-job injury
- Report of the injury
- Filing a workers’ compensation claim
Texas laws protect workers who get injured on the job from discrimination or termination. The law provides protection from discrimination or termination if the worker:
- files a workers’ compensation claim in good faith;
- hires a lawyer related to the job injury;
- if the employee institutes a proceeding under the workers’ compensation laws;
- or testifies in a proceeding related to a workers compensation claim.
Even if the employee is injured on the job and the employee reports the injury to his/her supervisor, the employee will enjoy legal protection from being discriminated against or terminated from employment.
Examples of discrimination after the employee is injured on the job may include:
- demotion from a current position;
- derogatory name calling;
- reduction in pay;
- disciplinary write up;
- exclusion from key meetings;
- micromanaging the employee and criticism for any small mistakes;
- write ups for taking time off related to doctor’s appointments for the job injury.
Other forms of discrimination may include exclusion from bonuses awarded if there are no job injuries. Some companies have bonuses if no employee suffers a job injury or has a reportable job injury. These programs may encourage safety, but the programs also may discourage employees from reporting job injuries in order to allow other employees to get bonuses if there are no job injuries reported. In addition, with safety award bonuses, managers may discourage employees with minor injuries to avoid reporting the injury, no matter how minor, in order to preserve the safety bonus for other employees.
Employers may also have display boards that indicate the number of days of no lost time injuries. These display boards relate to safety bonuses and also discourage employees from reporting their job injuries in order to protect the other employees’ potential bonuses.
Employees should not be discouraged from reporting on the job injuries, no matter how minor.
In addition, the law also protects employees from being terminated from employment because of a job injury, reporting a job injury, hiring an attorney, instituting a proceeding or testifying in a proceeding regarding workers’ compensation.
The law also protects employees from retaliation if they are injured on the job. Retaliation can be in the form of discrimination or termination. Employees who are written up, suspended or ultimately terminated because of a job injury have legal protections.
Employers who terminate employees soon after the employee files a workers compensation claim gives rise to certain presumptions that the employer may have terminated the employee because the employee filed the workers compensation claim.
The employee has the burden to prove the employer may have discriminated against or terminated the employee because of the job injury. The standard of proof is difficult. That is why you need an experienced, board-certified labor and employment attorney to fight for you and your family when you get hurt on the job and get fired.
If an employee is discriminated against, or terminated from employment because of job related injury, the employee is entitled to legal damages including: lost wages and benefits in the past and future; emotional distress and mental anguish damages; and punitive damages.
Contact San Antonio Employment Lawyer
If you have been injured on the job and have been retaliated against or been fired due to your need for or pursuit of workers compensation contact me to schedule a free case evaluation at 210-690-2200.