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CAUTION: The information on this webpage and website does not constitute legal advice. The purpose of this information is to provide GENERAL information to the public and to raise awareness of Texas employment laws for Texas employees. DO NOT read anything here and make a decision affecting your legal rights, such as a decision not to pursue a lawsuit or to file a lawsuit, without first consulting a lawyer. ONLY your own individual attorney can provide you with legal advice and properly inform you of your rights and remedies under the law. This website does not guarantee the accuracy of any of the information provided within it. Finally, this information only applies to Texas employees, as employment laws differ greatly from state to state.
This is not legal advice.
Serving West Texas, Las Cruces, and Surrounding Areas
Texas Law Protecting Workers Who File for Workers’ Compensation or Testify in Workers’ Compensation Proceedings
Texas law provides protection for Texas workers filing for workers’ compensation and those testifying in workers’ compensation proceedings from retaliation by employers. Specifically, Section 451.001 of the Texas Labor Code provides that “A person may not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against an employee because the employee has:
The broad language of this law offers protection for employees for many actions they might take involving filing a workers’ compensation claim, and may include protection for actions taken prior to actually filing a claim. Similarly, the law provides protection against many adverse actions an employer might take in retaliation for an employee’s filing of a workers’ compensation claim.
The Texas anti-retaliation statute involving workers’ compensation is one of the most employee-friendly statutes on the books in an otherwise employer-friendly state. Presumably, the pro-employee nature of the law is due to the fact that workers’ compensation retaliation is reprehensible conduct and in absolute contravention of public policy. An employee who can prove that he/she has been discriminated against for his/her involvement in a workers’ compensation claim may be entitled to (1) reinstatement in their former position; (2) monetary damages for lost wages, past and future; (3) monetary damages for mental anguish, inconvenience, etc.; (4) punitive damages; and (5) injunctive relief.
Texas juries have demonstrated that they will not tolerate workers’ compensation retaliation by employers. Employees bringing suit who have been discriminated against for their involvement with workers’ compensation have secured substantial jury verdicts in their lawsuits. For example, in a workers’ compensation case in El Paso in 2001, a jury returned a verdict for over 30 million dollars. While this verdict is extraordinary, and was subject to caps on damages which would have reduced the overall award, it demonstrates the emotional nature of these cases and their ability to result in high jury awards.
What to Do if Your Employer Discriminates Against You for Your Involvement with a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Contact an attorney immediately, and preferably an attorney who routinely represents employees in employment litigation. To preserve your rights under the law for this type of discrimination, you should act quickly, as claims under the Anti-Retaliation statute are subject to a statute of limitations. Lastly, take thorough notes regarding everything discriminatory that is said or done to you and keep all of your records related to your employment. These notes and records may prove invaluable in a later lawsuit.