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Texas Supreme Court Rules in Workers’ Compensation Matter

The Texas Supreme Court recently ruled in a workers’ compensation case.

December 20, 2015

(press release: cdklawyers) // Dallas, Texas, United States // Keith Clouse

The Texas Supreme Court recently ruled in a workers’ compensation case. Kingsaire, Inc. v. Melendez, No. 14-0006 (Tex. Dec. 4, 2015), available at http://www.txcourts.gov/media/1190163/140006.pdf.

After suffering an on-the-job injury, an employee took leave. When he was unable to return after the expiration of the leave provided by the employer’s policy, the employer terminated his employment. The employee sued for workers’ compensation retaliation. The jury found for the employee and the intermediate appellate court affirmed the verdict. The employer appealed.

The Texas Supreme Court reversed the lower court’s ruling. The employer maintained an absence control policy whereby an employee would be terminated if he failed to return to work within three months of taking a leave of absence. Here, the employee was unable to return to work after the expiration of his leave, and the employer terminated his employment in accordance with this policy. Because the employer enforced its reasonable absence control policy against all employees (not just against those who took leave for on-the-job accidents), the employee could not show that the employer retaliated against him for filing a workers’ compensation claim.

To speak to an employment law attorney about workers’ compensation, send an email to debra@clousedunn.com or call (214) 239-2705. This article is presented by the Dallas employment law lawyers at Clouse Dunn LLP.