Category Archives: Wrongful Termination

Linking Discrimination and Wrongful Termination

In many states, an employee can be terminated for no reason whatsoever. However, this does not mean that it is legal to terminate employees for reasons that are against the laws of the nation. Wrongful termination in Texas, if linked to discrimination can end in the employee hiring a lawyer, taking the employer to court, and possibly being awarded for damages and lost wages.

Age Discrimination

Wrongful termination in Texas includes any type of age discrimination. Some employers may be accused of thinking that it is better to use the younger, faster, more technologically advanced younger generation for work. It is considered wrongful termination to terminate someone’s employment based on his or her age if the employee is in the protected class of age 40 or older.

If a court finds that the employee was terminated due to his/her age, then the employee may be entitled to compensation for damages and lost wages. It is best to consult a lawyer that specializes in these matters in order to determine if the employee does indeed have a case. Likewise, the employer should also consult with a lawyer who specializes in employment law to determine what defenses may be available to the employer.

Gender Discrimination

Despite the advances in modern society, there is still some belief that some employers feel men are better than women are and can do a better job. It is unlawful to terminate anyone based on his or her gender. Failure to promote a woman because of her gender or even to terminate a man based on his gender could be discrimination and grounds for a lawsuit.

These are just a few ways wrongful termination can be linked to discrimination, and end in a lawsuit.

Preparing for the Opening Session with a Wrongful Termination Mediator

Mediation for wrongful termination claims and other legal matters is used quite often. Mediation is a way for the employer and an employee involved in a wrongful termination suit to come to an agreement during mediation instead of going through a court battle.

The first thing lawyers for the employee and the employer to do is find a wrongful termination mediator in Texas to help with the mediation, and then start preparing for the opening session. The parties and their lawyers need to listen to the mediator in most things, because after all he/she is experienced on these matters.

At no time in the mediation, will the wrongful termination mediator in Texas, take sides. He/she is there as a neutral party to ensure that heads are cool and the parties bargain in good faith to attempt to reach an agreement.

When preparing for the opening session, the mediator will go over what the employee needs to bring and what the employer needs to bring as well. Both the parties and/or their lawyers are allowed to make opening statements when the mediation session begins, so everyone needs to prepare their statements in advance and know exactly what they want to say. If the parties and /or their lawyers come unprepared, it may cause the mediation to fail and result in an impasse.

Remember, the parties can end up in court, if the employee and the employer don’t come to terms during the mediation. So listening to the mediator is very important. Hiring a mediator is a process that requires research before making any decision.

Houston mediator, John W. Kelly, Jr., has been mediating wrongful termination cases since 1992, either as an advocate or neutral mediator. As an experienced wrongful termination mediator, he can assist the parties in identifying the strengths and weaknesses of their positions. Contact him today at 713-775-3003 or send him an email at johnkelly@experiencedhoustonmediator.com for a complimentary initial consultation.

How do I Start a Wrongful Termination Case in Texas?

In today’s world, there are laws that protect people from being terminated from a job for unlawful reasons. If an employee feels that he/she was fired without good cause, then the employee needs to contact a reputable lawyer to talk about the employee’s alleged wrongful termination in Texas. A lawyer will be able to examine the case and let the employee know if the employee has a chance in court.

Whether the employee decides to ask for his/her job back, get a severance package for being terminated, or sue the company instead, a reputable lawyer will be able to help the employee find the strengths of the employee’s case in order to help the employee get the best possible outcome.

Wrongful termination in Texas is one of the most common types of employment lawsuits filed. The first thing the employee needs to do after the employee consults his/her lawyer is to determine the employee’s cause of action and figure out the reason that employee believes he/she was terminated for no legal reason.

The employee will need to prove his/her unlawful termination as well, by providing things such as paystubs and records of when the employee was hired and terminated. Once the employee has all of these things to show his/her lawyer, the lawyer will be able to help the employee determine if the employee has a case in court.

Likewise, when an employer is accused of wrongful termination, the employer should contact a reputable lawyer to review the employee’s claims, and identify possible legal defenses such as just cause, lack of discrimination, statute of limitations, etc. The employer should also gather all relevant documents such as the employer’s employment and human resources policies and practices, the employee’s personnel file and all documents justifying the termination. Once the employer has all these things to show to its lawyer, the lawyer will be able to determine the lawfulness of its action and any viable legal defenses.

Both the employee and the employer should make sure that they talk to a reputable lawyer.

How to Identify a Good Wrongful Termination Mediator?

No one wants to be engaged in a legal dispute over wrongful termination, and this is why parties on both sides may see the benefit to mediation. Mediation takes the conflict outside of court and empowers the parties to work together under the guidance of a neutral third party. Most of the time, this results in favorable agreements between the two parties at a reduced expense and time commitment. The resolution is often confidential.

A good mediator knows the benefits of mediation and works hard to ensure that the parties get the maximum benefit of alternative dispute resolution. Rather than promoting arguments between the two parties, a mediator actually has no stake in the final agreement but helps both parties cooperate in order to reach an agreement. A good mediator will be one who understands the issues behind wrongful termination but is also committed to seeing the dispute resolved sooner rather than later.

Be sure that the mediator you identify is comfortable adjusting the scope of the mediation to the needs of you and the other dispute party. This might mean caucusing with each party in separate rooms and shuttling back and forth with suggestions. An experienced wrongful termination mediator in Texas can have a significant impact on the outcome of the case if he or she knows how to structure the conversations effectively.

Ending an employment relationship between an employee and the employer is similar to a divorce. Employees and employers have a relationship like family. When the employee is separated from employment, it is similar to separation from the family. Emotions are involved. A good mediator knows how to handle these emotions, and help the parties deal with the separation as smoothly as possible.

Houston mediator, John W. Kelly, Jr., has been mediating employment discrimination cases since 1992, either as an advocate or neutral mediator. As an experienced employment mediator, he can assist the parties in identifying the strengths and weaknesses of their positions. Contact him today at 713-775-3003 or send him an email at johnkelly@experiencedhoustonmediator.com for a complimentary initial consultation.

Why Does Employment at Will Matter for Wrongful Termination Cases?

Many employees may be familiar with wrongful termination in Texas, but they may not realize the specific behaviors that have to happen in order for a case to meet the grounds for wrongful termination. Since the majority of employment relationships across the country are at will, it is important to understand what this concept means and whether a case truly meets the qualifications for wrongful termination.

“At will” means that the employer is well within its rights to terminate the employment contract at any time and for any reason. The only exceptions to this rule relate to several unlawful reasons for terminating an employee, such as violation of the federal or state’s discrimination laws. If an employer decides to end the employee’s employment, there are limited reasons that the employee can pursue a wrongful termination case. In an at will employment contract, the employer does not even have to have reasonable cause to terminate the employee’s working relationship.

Even if the employee is terminated from an at-will employment contract, the employer is still forbidden from terminating the employee from employment for unlawful reasons. This is the only exception to the general freedom provided to employers under at-will employment contracts. Employees cannot be terminated because of the employees’ membership in a protected class, such as gender, religion, or race. An employee cannot be fired because the employee has complained or reported illegal activity, harassment, health and safety violations, or discrimination.