Take a moment to read this investigative journalism piece. Men sent to work at a chicken processing plant for “treatment” rather than go to prison. Chicken processing plants have high incidences of on the job injuries. Program participants that got injured on the job were sent to prison while the owners collected the workers compensation payments. Oh, and the husband and wife got $168,000 a year salaries and the processing company furnished someone to make $250,000 a year as a “consultant.” While this was purportedly a “rehab” program, it is no different from the client stories we hear from workers in meat packing and chicken processing plants across Texas.
I bet 75% of all the cases we look at have some form of employer theft going on. This is a serious problem in Texas. Remember, when the laws are so favorable to the companies, their greed will take over and they will try to get even more. Click this link to find out more.
Contact an attorney today and have them look over your wages to make sure you are not getting taken advantage of.
In 1991, Texas employers sought policy writers to create polices covering employees injured on the job. To fuel this need, the Texas legislature created the Texas Workers’ Compensation Insurance Fund, the largest writer of workers’ compensation insurance. In 2001, the state changed the fund’s name to Texas Mutual Insurance Company (TMIC) but maintained the same goal: to stabilize the state’s workers’ compensation system. Since its creation, TMIC has accomplished just that, consuming 40% of Texas’s workers’ compensation insurance market. Today, TMIC insures over 60,000 employers and their 1.4 million employees. Despite its success, TMIC recently announced its desire to cut ties with the state. The purpose of this blog is to explain some of the pros and cons associated with converting the state fund into a private company.
Workers’ compensation fraud occurs when individuals intentionally make false representations to obtain or to deny workers’ comp benefits, which reimburse employees injured on the job.
Individuals committing workers’ comp fraud carry many faces—employees, employers, and healthcare providers all qualify as potential violators. Employees become violators when seeking benefits by misrepresenting their injuries, employment status, or treatment. Alternatively, employers commit workers comp fraud not to receive benefits, but to avoid responsibility. Employers often seek to avoid responsibility by underreporting employee payrolls and avoiding premiums. Last, health care providers, such as doctors, counselors, and pharmacists, become violators by duplicating bills, billing patients for improper services, and receiving payments from multiple insurance carriers for the same treatment.
2012’s Top 10 Cases
In 2012, the top ten workers’ comp fraud cases cost America $97,446,500. Below is a short description of each case and its damages:
On average, a Texas worker is 12 percent more likely to be killed on the job than someone doing the same job elsewhere, according to a Dallas Morning News analysis of federal data. That translates to about 580 excess workplace deaths over a decade. Construction has contributed mightily to Texas’ booming economy. And the state’s construction sites are 22 percent deadlier than the national average. Government and industry here have invested relatively little in safety equipment, training and inspections, researchers say. And Texas is one of the toughest places to organize unions, which can promote safety.
President Obama has recently issued an executive order that is being hailed as "the most important workers’ rights reform of the last 20 years." Additionally, it is a beginning step at curbing the abuses of arbitration clauses. We still have a long way to go in this country, but these steps create ripples…
Click the link below for more info:
Texas is an employment at-will state. What this means is that your employer can fire you at any time for any reason because your employment is at the will of the employer. However, there are situations where your employer cannot fire you. Often times when a workers’ compensation claim is filed, the injured employee is worried about his/her job and rightfully so, since the employment is at-will. But here are some things to watch for to use as leverage in keeping your job:
- Race/Sex/Age/Religious Discrimination – you cannot be fired for one of these reasons.
- Public Whistleblowers – you cannot be retaliated against for blowing the whistle on a public employer.
- Refusing to commit a crime.
- Jury Service – You cannot be fired for missing work for jury duty.
- Subpoena Compliance – You cannot be fired for missing work for obeying a subpoena to appear in court.
- Military Duty – You cannot be fired for missing work for military duty.
- Voting – You cannot be discriminated against for voting.
- Union Membership – You cannot be denied employment based upon union membership.
- Because Your Employer has been given a Child Support Withholding Order.
- Agricultural Laborer Protections – Agricultural workers cannot be discriminated against for seeking information or working with authorities regarding hazardous chemicals in use.
- Handling Hazardous Chemicals – Likewise, anyone who handles chemicals of more than 55 gallons or 500 pounds is protected.
- Nursing Home Workers – nursing home employees are protected from reporting abuse and neglect that takes place in the facility.
- Health Care Facility Workers – You are protected from reporting abuse, neglect, illegal, unethical or unprofessional conduct of persons associated with health care facilities.
- And finally, you cannot be fired or discriminated against for filing a workers’ compensation claim.
If you have been fired and you believe one of these exceptions to the at-will nature of you employment applies to you, then you should seek out a lawyer as soon as possible.