More About Texas Non-Subscriber Law
Protection for workers whose employers do not carry workers’ compensation.
In 1989, the Texas legislature made sweeping changes to the Texas Workers’ Compensation laws. The changes were intended to encourage employers to carry worker’s compensation insurance to cover their workers who are injured on the job. Additionally, the changes were intended to protect workers whose employers did not carry worker’s compensation by limiting the rights of those employers to defend lawsuits brought by the injured workers.
When the law went into effect, most Texas employers carried workers compensation insurance. However, in the last few years many employers have stopped carrying workers compensation insurance and have started Injured Employee Benefit Plans which are not workers compensation insurance under Texas law. These Benefit Plans have many names, but normally have a number of rules, limit the doctors you can see and pay only a portion of the employee’s salary while the employee is off work due to the injury. The employers often tell the employee that it is their only option. Further, the doctors seeing the patients often sent the employee back to work, despite the presence of real injuries. Finally, the rules in these Benefit Plans are so restrictive, many employees are told they failed to meet the Plan rules and are told they have no benefits.
The truth is injured employees who work for employers without worker’s compensation insurance are entitled to get the care they need from doctors they choose. While the care may not be covered by the Benefit Plan, if the injury was in anyway caused by the negligence of the employer, the equipment provided to the worker or an unsafe work environment, the employer is liable and the injured worker is entitled to recover the cost of health care, their full wages, and for pain and suffering they experienced because of the injury.
Many employees are afraid that contacting an attorney or pursuing their rights will result in termination. However, Texas forbids an employer for retaliating against an employee who contacts an attorney or otherwise pursues his or her rights to recover. Specifically, the law allows employees who are fired for pursuing their right to recover their lost wages and get their job back. Criss Law Group, PLLC, is actively involved in helping injured employees get the care they need and recover the damages to which they are entitled. The information above is an overview of these legal issues and is not intended to be a substitute for legal advice.