A tanning salon worker who claims to have suffered a seizure after being "assaulted" by her boss can continue with her suit and claim that her employment was not covered by the exclusivity provisions of the Texas Workers' Compensation Act, a state appellate court ruled Tuesday.
By partially set aside a lower court judgment granting salon operators a summary judgment Michelle Kaplowitz v Lone Star Tan GP LLC; LST Austin I Ltd et al The Texas Court of Appeals in Houston ruled that the employer had not proved that Kaplowitz was covered by, among other things, an employee policy.
Unlike other states, Texas allows employers to opt out of the labor system and not provide coverage to employees. Employees who are injured during the work for so-called non-subscriber employers are not limited by exclusive remedies and can sue for damages.
Ms. Kaplowitz worked at Palm Beach Tan in Cedar Park, Texas. She claims that she suffered an injury after the store manager lost her temper and "assaulted" verbally triggered a nonepileptic attack ̵
The store is operated as a franchise by Lone Star, which is affiliated with LST, court records say. Kaplowitz said she was employed by Lone Star and was told by the person who trained her that she was not covered by employee assistance.
The defendants claimed that Kaplowitz was employed by both Lone Star and LST and that both were covered for employee support.
According to court documents, Kaplowitz's employment package listed Lone Star as its employer and only LST was listed in employee policy.
"Lone Star has not come up with an employee compensation policy listing Lone Star as an insured, nor has LST provided conclusive evidence that Kaplowitz was its employee at the time of the alleged injury," the Court of Appeal ruled. "While Lone Star and LST claimed to be employers and both were employee benefit subscribers, the Post does not definitively establish these facts."
The case was referred back for further proceedings.
Lone Star's lawyer could not be immediately reached for comment. Catalog