(915) 996-9798

FAQ Frequently Asked Questions about Wrongful Termination, Work Injuries and Worker's Compensation

I see all my clients personally. Taking an employment case on a contingency (I only get paid if I win which is the only way I take cases) is an important decision. I make the decision myself and meet with you to discuss your case. When I take your case you will know that I believe in your case. In fact we have a rule at our firm that our clients never leave the office without a follow up appointment. Once you sign a contract and become a client you should always have regular appointments to meet with me. This helps me know what is going on in your life (You have been reemployed, what is your medical treatment) and helps to keep you informed of the status of your case.

All active clients who have signed contracts with me can always make an appointment and see me. I see my clients on a very regular basis and we pride ourselves on keeping you informed of the progress of your case.

I am a busy lawyer (I believe most good and successful lawyers are), so I can't guarantee that you will be seen on the same day you call, but we will try and get you in as soon as we have an opening. Remember it is better to wait and hire a competent specialized lawyer even if you have to wait a couple of days.

It costs you nothing to have your case evaluated by Roger Davie. In many cases even if we cannot take your case, we can give you advice on such issues as how to handle your unemployment claim or workers' compensation claim. Many people are not sure whether or not they have a claim and having a board certified employment lawyer can at least ease your mind in determining whether or not you were wrongly terminated.
I do not like to do phone consultations and will only do them under very specific circumstances. If you absolutely cannot come to see me then I will try and accommodate you with a phone consultation.
Most employment attorneys such as the law firm of Roger Davie P.C. will work on a contingency fee basis. This means that you do not owe any fees unless we are successful in recovering money for you. You also will not owe us any fee or expenses unless we make a successful recovery in your case. We do not charge for our initial consultation and we will be happy to review our contract with you and explain in person how the fee agreements work.
I was licensed in Texas in 1985. I was licensed in New Mexico in 1986.
As of March 2012 I have three paralegals, one office administrator and a legal assistant. We have a large staff to give you the attention you deserve.
Call me and let's talk. I am always willing to go see you in the hospital if you can't see me. I don't like the idea of lawyers stalking clients at hospitals, but in employment related injuries there are very strict deadlines that must be followed to make sure that your claim is protected. You can bet that an insurance agent or your employer will come see you at the hospital so don't say anything or sign anything until we talk. So call me if you have a work injury that confines you to the hospital.
Mr. Roger Davie’s general advice is to not sign a termination document. If you have been clearly terminated there is little to gain by signing the document. Even though it is a tense moment you should politely decline to sign the termination. Take the termination document with you when it is handed to you and take it with you so that you can have a copy for your records.
This is a question that will depend on the facts of your situation. There are several laws that interact that will affect this answer. Such issues as do you qualify for FMLA benefits? Does your employer have workers compensation or some substitute plan? Is your type of injury the kind that might be recognized by the Americans with Disabilities Act? Can you do the essential functions of your job with or without reasonable accommodation? Are you being retaliated against for filing a workers' compensation claim? These are all things that must be evaluated based on your claim.
There is no charge to see Mr. Roger Davie. You may or may not have a claim but because there are very strict time limits in employment law you should see Mr. Roger Davie as soon as possible so that you do not lose any rights. It costs you nothing.
No, if you think you are going to be fired or not promoted or are being discriminated against you should see Mr. Roger Davie as soon as possible. Mr. Roger Davie may be able to give you advice that can be invaluable if you do get fired or may be able to give you advice to stop or delay your termination.
No competent lawyer can give you a valuation of your claim until you meet with him personally and go over the facts and damages you have sustained. In fact, valuating a claim is never precise because of the nature of the jury system. Most claims will be tried in front of a jury and every jury is as unique as the individuals who make up the jury. An honest forthright and competent lawyer will never promise results or guarantee results. You can seek recovery for different damages depending on the type of case that you have. The damages range from lost wages in the past and future, mental anguish, pain and suffering, punitive damages and attorneys' fees. Mr. Roger Davie can explain the types of damages available to you based on the type of case that you have.
In Mr. Roger Davie's experience from past cases, if you are accused of stealing from your employer loss prevention employees are very good at scaring you into signing a document that may not be true. They may even threaten you with criminal prosecution. Never ever sign a document admitting to a crime. This is especially true if you did not commit a crime. Leave, go see a lawyer. Many innocent employees have been bullied into signing confessions that are false. In most situations you cannot be held without your consent. If you leave you may be terminated, but do not sign anything without first reviewing the document with a lawyer.
This depends on the state. Texas is what is known as a one party State. What that means is that as long as one party to the conversation knows it is being recorded then it is legal to record the conversation. It is illegal to secretly tape a conversation you are not a part of or that no party knows is being recorded. In fact, it is a serious crime. My advice is to never record a conversation unless you are part of that conversation. You should also know that some employers, fearing that they may be caught mistreating employees, have rules that make it an employment violation to record a conversation. If they find out they could take employment action against you. However it is generally not illegal to recording a conversation if you are part of that conversation. This applies to private employees and employers and does not cover every situation. In general I do not like the idea of recording people without their knowledge; however I have seen times when employees have recorded conversations that would have probably been denied by their employer had they not had them recorded.
The denial of unemployment benefits does not usually end your wrongful termination claim. Likewise, the granting of unemployment benefits does not mean that you were wrongfully terminated. However it is important that before you have conversations with unemployment you see an employment lawyer first to advise you on how to handle the unemployment claim. The statements made by you in an unemployment claim can be used against you in your wrongful termination claim.
As a general rule once you start working you cannot receive unemployment benefits. The best policy is to call unemployment and let them know about your situation. It is very dangerous to work and to continue to receive unemployment benefits. Call unemployment and let them know what is going on with your employment. Be honest and open with them. If you do not they will come back after you for benefits that you were overpaid and in some cases it could be a crime so be very careful and just be honest and forthright with unemployment.
This is a fear that many terminated employees are concerned about. My experience is that future employers rarely know that you have a claim. Also, your ex-employer may be much more concerned about saying anything bad against you for fear that they will be sued for slander. This is especially true if you are making a claim against them. Also, many statues have anti-retaliation provisions. This means that if your ex-employer attempts to keep you from getting re-employed, they may be in violation of the anti-retaliation rules and this could lead to a separate lawsuit or additional claims. Also if you are making a claim against your ex-employer it is in their benefit that you get re-employed as soon as possible so that you incur less in damages. I would be willing to discuss this information with you in more detail.
You can still make a claim for wrongful termination even if you quit your job if you can prove that your job conditions were so bad that no reasonable person would stay and work. However, resigning your job can make it more difficult to make a claim so you should not resign your job until you and I talk. Resigning can have many bad results including sometimes not being able to obtain unemployment benefits. If your employer brings you in and says "either you resign or we are going to fire you", I generally would advise you to let them fire you so that you have a better chance of getting unemployment benefits and there is then no dispute that you have been fired. You may be able to get unemployment benefits even if you do agree to resign instead of being terminated under some conditions. Every case is unique and we would need to discuss your case so that I can better advise you on what action to take.
No, you should come see me first so that I can advise you on your EEOC claim. The EEOC employees are very good at their jobs but you should always come and see me before you go to the EEOC to make sure that your claim is properly filed. It is vitally important that we talk before you go the EEOC. In some cases going to the EEOC may hurt your chances if your claim is the type that does not need to be filed with the EEOC first. Only a competent employment lawyer can help you in making those decisions.
Never ever sign a severance agreement or a release until it has been reviewed by an employment lawyer. In most cases signing such an agreement can end your claims. These agreements can be hard to understand and can affect your right to make a claim against your company and your rights to receive unemployment. Many times a lawyer can help you negotiate these agreements to your benefit. Signing any document that your employer gives you can be very dangerous for you to do without legal advice. This is especially true for severance and/or release agreements.
This is always a difficult question to answer. On the one hand you want to get re-employed as soon as possible, but if you say that you were fired it might hurt your chances for the job. First, you should ask your employer what information they are going to give to prospective employers. Most employers give very minimal information for fear that if they say the wrong thing they may get sued. I suggest that instead of putting in writing why you got fired I would simply state that you would rather discuss this in person. This will give you a chance to explain the situation. Also you can be general in your reason for leaving; you don't have to go into detail. Things such as "disagreement with management" may be a true statement without going into great detail.

You should never lie in your interview or application. For one thing if you do get the job you may be terminated if they find out you lied on your application and if you do get into litigation with your ex-employer they will almost certainly be able to get your applications for employment and use those against you at trial.
If you work for a private contractor on a military base you still have rights to be free of discrimination. However there may be different time limits that pertain to your claim. If you work on a military base it is very important that you seek legal advice as soon as possible.
Many employers require you to sign an arbitration agreement or have one in their employment manual. As a general rule these agreements require that if you have a claim you must go to a third party (arbitrator) instead of going to court. These agreements are generally legal and binding but there are exceptions to this general rule and in some cases you may be able to avoid these arbitration agreements. You have the right and generally need a lawyer to represent you in your claim even if you have an arbitration agreement. An arbitration agreement is not the end of your claim, it simply requires you to bring your claim in a different forum than a lawsuit.
First you should go to your computer and copy this link into your computer to get this basic information about how to get benefits:
http://www.twc.state.tx.us/ui/bnfts/benefits-tutorial.pdf
This will guid you through the "how to" for Texas Unemployment Benefits.
Texas, unlike most states does not require an employer to have Workers' Compensation. However if they do not have Workers' Compensation you may be able to sue your employer for your injuries if you can prove the employer was negligent in causing your injury. Also your employer cannot use your negligence as a defense for your claim. For example if an accident is 99% your fault and 1% your employers fault then your employer will be liable for 100% of your damages, not 1%. These types of claims are called non-subscriber claims because your employer was a non-subscriber of Texas Workers' Compensation.
This answer depends on the types of workers' compensation payments you are getting. I always advise my clients to let the workers' compensation carrier know that you are working. Being honest and forthright will help you stay out of trouble and in some instances out of jail.
Many employers do not purchase Texas Workers' Compensation but do have their own health and injury plan. If that is true, you may be able to still sue your employer. It is very important that you do not sign anything related to this injury plan until you seek legal advice. Some employers will send you to a doctor and then try and have you sign documents that can cause you to waive your rights to make a claim for negligence against your employer. This can be very costly to you and can cause you to waive your rights to make a claim for compensation pursuant to Texas law. Always seek legal advice from a competent employment lawyer prior to signing any documents related to your injury. Remember, your employer is in the business to make a profit and your injury claim can lower your employer's profit so they may not be looking after your best interest.
Call Mr. Roger Davie, if he may be able to advise you on what steps to take to preserve your workers' compensation claim. If Mr. Roger Davie cannot help you he may be able to refer you to someone who can help you.
If you are really an independent contractor then you can still sue the company or person you work for if you can prove that they were negligent for causing your injury. If you were not really an independent contractor but should have been classified as an employee then you may be able to sue your employer as a non-subscriber (See "Employer does not have Workers' Compensation. What are my rights"? above) or be able to make a workers' compensation claim if they carried workers' compensation.
In Texas and New Mexico if your employer does carry Workers' Compensation then you can usually not sue your employer for your injuries. Your sole remedy is workers' compensation. Even if you can prove that your employer's negligence caused the injury you will generally not be able to sue your employer if they carried Texas Workers' Compensation insurance. It is important to note that if the accident was caused in full or in part by someone other than your employer or a co-worker (for example by the negligence of another company or an employee who worked for another company) you are generally not prohibited from suing that company. There is an exception if the work injury causes a death. In that case your family may still be able to pursue a claim on your behalf for damages.
This would depend on the type of workers' compensation benefits you are getting. The most important thing is to be open and honest with unemployment and workers' compensation. Call them and let them know what other benefits you are receiving. Generally you cannot collect income or workers' compensation benefits at the same time as you receive unemployment benefits. However, honesty in this regard is not only the best policy but can keep you from doing something that could be interpreted as a crime. Don't put your head in the ground when you are getting a check from unemployment and from workers' compensation and just hope it all works out. It won't. Call unemployment and let them know what is going on. Better yet, put it in writing so there is no doubt that you are trying to be honest.
This has been a disputed area of the law for some time. Health insurance companies generally want to get paid back for the medical bills they paid before your get any money. Unfortunately the Texas Supreme Court in Fortis Benefits v. Cantu,234 S.W.3d 642, (Tex 2007) gave insurance carries the right to obtain money from a settlement or judgment if the insurance policy gives them a contractual right to these funds. This is known as contractual subrogation because the insurance companies right to get these benefits are contained in their insurance contract. The U.S. Supreme Court in Sereboff v. Mid Atlantic Medical Services, Inc. made a similar ruling. Therefore it is important to try and negotiate with the insurance company before the case is settled. Once the case is settled an injured worker will have less power to negotiate with the health insurance provider.
Generally the answer is yes. Texas is a very pro-insurance and pro-insurance Company state and the legislature and the Texas Supreme Court have made if very difficult to not pay back the insurance company for benefits they paid, even if you are not fully "made whole" by the responsible third-party. For example if you are in a car wreck while working and your employers workers' compensation carrier paid your medical and partial lost wage payments (known as indemnity); the workers' compensation carrier gets their money back first before you get a dime. There are some situations where the workers' compensation lien (or subrogation amount) can be lowered. If the employer is found partially negligent then the lien may be reduced by that amount. If the workers' compensation carrier agreed to waive their subrogation rights then no amount will be required to be paid back (This happens rarely but if it does happen it usually occurs in a construction project where the owner or general contractor require the subcontractors to have workers' compensation policies that waive the right of subrogation - unfortunately this may simply shift the right of subrogation to the owner or general contractor based upon the contract between these parties). If the workers' compensation carrier is unrepresented then the attorney is allowed up to 1/3 attorneys' fees.
Work Injuries are different than simple personal injury claims. A board certified employment lawyer like Mr. Roger Davie knows the details of employment law and how that affects your injury claim. Even a car wreck that occurs while you are working may have workers' compensation issues, FMLA issues and health insurance issues. All of these issues need to be evaluated by a board certified employment lawyer. Knowing employment law can sometimes make a huge difference in how to proceed with your injury claim and hiring a board certified employment lawyer could make the difference in winning or losing your case. If you have a family matter you should hire a family law lawyer. If you have a simple car wreck while not working hire a personal injury lawyer. But if you have a work injury, hire a board certified employment lawyer. Make an appointment with Mr. Roger Davie today! Call 915-838-1100.
This has been a disputed area of the law for some time. Health insurance companies generally want to get paid back for the medical bills they paid before your get any money. Unfortunately the Texas Supreme Court in Fortis Benefits v. Cantu,234 S.W.3d 642, (Tex 2007) gave insurance carries the right to obtain money from a settlement or judgment if the insurance policy gives them a contractual right to these funds. This is known as contractual subrogation because the insurance companies right to get these benefits are contained in their insurance contract. The U.S. Supreme Court in Sereboff v. Mid Atlantic Medical Services, Inc. made a similar ruling. Therefore it is important to try and negotiate with the insurance company before the case is settled. Once the case is settled an injured worker will have less power to negotiate with the health insurance provider.
Generally the answer is yes. Texas is a very pro-insurance and pro-insurance Company state and the legislature and the Texas Supreme Court have made if very difficult to not pay back the insurance company for benefits they paid, even if you are not fully "made whole" by the responsible third-party. For example if you are in a car wreck while working and your employers workers' compensation carrier paid your medical and partial lost wage payments (known as indemnity); the workers' compensation carrier gets their money back first before you get a dime. There are some situations where the workers' compensation lien (or subrogation amount) can be lowered. If the employer is found partially negligent then the lien may be reduced by that amount. If the workers' compensation carrier agreed to waive their subrogation rights then no amount will be required to be paid back (This happens rarely but if it does happen it usually occurs in a construction project where the owner or general contractor require the subcontractors to have workers' compensation policies that waive the right of subrogation - unfortunately this may simply shift the right of subrogation to the owner or general contractor based upon the contract between these parties). If the workers' compensation carrier is unrepresented then the attorney is allowed up to 1/3 attorneys' fees.

Millions of sick Americans visit health care clinics and hospitals each year, relying on medical professionals to diagnose and treat them. Medical professionals receive extensive training and take special precautions to ensure they do not acquire an illness from their sick and infectious client base. When a Texas company or employee fails to follow proper procedure, however, it may result in a medical professional becoming injureexposure to infectious agents.

Exposure to workplace hazards

Not only do health care professionals work directly with patients, there are also employees behind the scenes who are responsible for culturing, testing and identifying various infectious agents. These employees are also at risk for exposure to a toxic or infectious agent if proper protocol is not followed. One person’s error may lead to the injury or exposure of another medical professional. According to OSHA, all employers are responsible for ensuring their workers are safe in the workplace by committing to the following:

  • All laboratory employees must receive formal training to ensure they are familiar with all policies and procedures regarding the handling of certain samples.
  • All protective equipment, including fume hoods and biosafety cabinets, should be tested regularly to make sure that they are working properly.
  • New lab procedures, methods or techniques should be approved with the employer before being implemented.
  • All employers should have a chemical hygiene plan and a biological safety plan available to employees, telling them what to do if exposure to an infectious agent or hazardous chemical occurs.
  • When an employer does not follow or enforce mandatory safety guidelines, and an employee is harmed as a result, the employer may be held liable for their injuries.

    Most hospitals are nonsubscribers under the texas workers compensation system which means they can be forced to pay damages for their negligence to employees. Please see non-subscriber liability above.  Also because you work for a a medical facility there are certain other requirments that must be met to preserve your rights.  Texas employment law is very complicated and you should see a Texas employment lawyer as soon as possible so you do not lose your rights. 

    When to contact an attorney

    Health care workers who have been injured in the workplace may be eligible for compensation for their medical expenses, time taken off of work, as well as pain and suffering. An attorney can offer legal counsel to those who wish to seek compensation for their injuries.