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Jack's Place Robbery: A Workers' Comp Claim Worthy of a Rap Star

While it seems like only stars in the hip hop world get paid if they survive a shooting, workers' comp insurance just might pay a regular Joe if he got shot at work.

After KHOU reported this week's robbery and shooting at Jack's Place Game Room in Harris County, you might wonder if workers' compensation insurance would cover your injuries and inability to work if you were shot on the job. According to the Houston Chronicle, the manager of Jack's Place was shot in the foot after one of the perpetrators opened fire on the office door.

There are a few considerations that the manager should take before filing for workers’ compensation. First of all, Texas law allows certain employers to decide whether or not they will purchase workers comp insurance coverage. Once it is known that the business is covered, then the injury must be allowed to be compensated by the law.

Texas requires that compensation be paid, no matter whose fault it is, if the injury happens at work and during the employee's regular duties. But don't expect to be covered if you pissed someone off enough to come in looking for you, or if you're injured while drunk at work again. You’re also not going to be covered if you are shot at the company softball outing, enjoying some good old fashioned horseplay, or injured by a random act of God.

The victim of the Jack’s Place Robbery seems to be in a good position to be compensated. If Jack’s has coverage, that is. It is likely that the manager was at Jack’s as part of his regular duties managing the game room. It is possible that a robbery is outside the regular duties of a game room manager, but robbery is not one of the exceptions to coverage.

Even if Jack’s does not have workers’ comp insurance, the victim of the Jack’s Place Robbery is not out of luck. Texas allows him to sue the business for negligence, in other words, for failing to provide a secure workplace, if there is no workers' comp insurance in place.

Luckily, the manager of Jack’s may well have a remedy to this injury that he would not have had access to if he had been a customer.

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