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Former Texas City refinery worker files suit against BP

Workers who are injured on the job in Texas are often entitled to workers' compensation benefits. However, some injured employees are reluctant to report accidents or injuries because they are afraid that their employers will retaliate, even though this is against the law.

One Texas employee claims this is exactly what happened to him. The Dickinson, Texas, resident says he suffered a back injury while working at BP's Texas City refinery in 1999. The worker said he filed a workers' comp claim after the injury and was met with discriminatory behavior before being fired by BP in late 2011.

In a personal injury lawsuit against BP, the worker says that it wasn't until sometime in 2010 that he realized that his employer had made a mistake on his workers' compensation claim by stating that he had suffered a neck injury instead of a back injury. The worker said he alerted his supervisors of the mistake and immediately after BP "began treating him differently than other employees."

The worker was reportedly harassed and was forced to perform "very" physical tests that required him to do things his doctor didn't approve of. Eventually, the worker claims he was fired due to "his disability, age and prior complaints about age and disability discrimination as well as his initiation of a claim under the Workers' Compensation Act."

According to the lawsuit, an internal investigation conducted by BP's human resources department supports his allegations. He is now seeking a monetary damage award and a jury trial in Galveston County District Court. BP has not yet publicly responded to the lawsuit.

Source: The Southeast Texas Record, "Dickinson man alleges BP fired him for filing worker's comp," John Suayan, Dec. 12, 2012

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