Employee says workers’ comp claim led to firing

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in Employee Benefits Program,Firing,Human Resources

The oil-field communications company RigNet faces a lawsuit alleging it fired an injured field technician after he filed for workers’ compensation benefits.

In May, Donnie Nash was involved in a car accident while driving from his Louisiana job site to RigNet’s Texas office. The trip was part of Nash’s job duties.

Nash claimed that on June 4 he asked the company how he was going to be reimbursed for medical expenses related to the accident. Instead of paying up, Nash alleges, his supervisor questioned the route he had taken to return to the office. Nash filed for workers’ comp. On June 7, the company terminated him.

Nash filed his lawsuit in early July. The suit alleges RigNet violated the Texas Labor Code by wrongfully terminating someone who files workers’ compensation claims. Nash also claims the company violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by failing to pay his rightful overtime compensation.

The lawsuit seeks $500,000 in damages for back pay, front pay, mental anguish, overtime pay for the preceding three years, liquidated damages, punitive damages, attorneys’ fees, expert fees, interest and court costs.

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