There is an old saying “Don’t piss on me and tell me it’s raining.” This was my first thought when I read Walmart’s explanation of why they are becoming a non-subscriber in the State of Texas. They claim “we want to be certain Walmart Associates have access to quality physicians and receive prompt, fair, and excellent care.” (Page 5 of Texas Injury Care Plan). Walmart does this by limiting in almost every aspect the ability their Associates handle they work injury claims.
Under their new plan, Walmart has changed the benefits to their Associates when injured in the Course and Scope of their employment. There are many differences from the Texas Workers’ Compensation system. Injured Associates should familiarize themselves with the requirements of the Texas Injury Plan.
The Plan limits salary replacement benefits to 120 weeks. While, the Texas Workers’ Compensation system allows for up to 104 weeks of Temporary Income Benefits, three weeks of benefits for each point of impairment rating and supplemental income benefits for workers who receive over a 15% impairment rating, resulting in benefits for up to 401 weeks. So, Walmart’s new plan provides less than 1/3 of potential weeks of indemnity benefits.
Walmart will also cap medical treatment at 120 weeks. Under the Texas Workers’ Compensation system, workers’ have lifetime medical treatment to treat the effects of the compensable injury. Under the Plan, if an Associate disagrees with the Walmart doctor, the injured Associate may have a onetime evaluation with another doctor (paid for by the Associate), Walmart will review this record when they make treatment decisions.
Walmart has created a completely different system with very few of the benefits going to their injured Associates. However, by going non-subscriber, Walmart has lost their statutory protection from being sued for claims of negligence. So, if an Associate is injured as the result of an act of Negligence, they potentially have a claim for damages against Walmart.
The Morris Law Firm (214)3571782 email firstname.lastname@example.org