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Employer cannot terminate worker by denying employee rights

One way for an employer to try and wiggle out of providing workers' compensation and employment benefits is to fire the employee within a day or two of the employee sustaining a serious work-related injury that's covered by employment benefits. Texas law and that of other states would frown on and prohibit such a flagrant attempt to violate laws protecting employee rights. According to a wrongful termination lawsuit filed by one former employee, his employer did just that.

The man alleges he was hired by the employer in Jan. 2011 and sustained a serious work injury on June 1, 2011. On June 3, 2011 he was terminated. He claims that the employer knew that he was in the process of attempting to file a Workers' Compensation claim when the employer terminated him. He asserts that the employer knew that the worker's attending physician had completed a report of Occupational Injury or Disease.

The man filed the action in the Kanawha Circuit Court in West Virginia. The complaint further asserts that when he was released to return to work the company committed discrimination by refusing to take him back. The complaint asserts that the employer violated various state laws in acting in the way that it did. He seeks compensatory and punitive damages in the suit.

Similar abuses have been known to occur in Texas. When an employer is acting to frustrate the purposes of the law and to deny employee rights, the employee would be well-advised to contest any such illegal activities. While most employers will be more ethical and will honor such basic mandates like workers' compensation and other employee benefits, there is always an oddball that stands out. The best option for someone who faces heavy-handed employer tactics is to go over your situation with an experienced employment law professional in order to know your rights and your remedies.

Source: The West Virginia Record, "Former employee sues Excel for wrongful termination," Kyla Asbury, June 20, 2013

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