Worker Reports He Was Terminated After Reporting Work Injury


According to the Texas Tribune article Injured Worker’s Ex-Employer Denies Retaliation, a Honduran man who was injured recently in Austin may have been fired for reporting an OSHA violation.

On November 8th, Wilmer Lopez Sanchez sustained injuries at an apartment construction site when a load of reinforced steel fell on him. Sanchez spoke to OSHA on November 19, and his employment ended the next day. Capform, Inc. was his employer.

Capform denies that Sanchez was terminated for wanting to launch a whistleblower investigation. The article goes on to say that Capform Vice President Jim Renaud said “Lopez Sanchez was not fired, but instead resigned after allegations were raised by two co-workers about “inappropriate behavior” on the job.”

Sanchez is being aided by the Worker’s Defense Project, a group that seeks to raise awareness of Texas laws that favor businesses over workers. Capform’s denials are suspicious, they feel: “The workers group denies the company’s version of events.
Workers Defense Project political director Gregorio Casar said his group is still asking the company to give Lopez Sanchez his job back and to “offer an apology for having terminated him the day after he spoke with workplace investigators.”

Sanchez is being treated for his injuries and there is worker’s comp coverage for his treatment, but not all Texas businesses carry worker’s comp insurance. Texas law does not require employers to carry worker’s compensation insurance, and it’s the only state with that distinction.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says 531 workers were killed on the job in 2012. Of those, 105 deaths were workers in the construction field.

If you or someone you know thinks they have suffered an injury while on the job exposure, Nate Hansford can help. Contact Nate by phone at 770-922-3660.