Tag Archives: Wrongful termination in Texas

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.

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.

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.

Wrongful Termination and Sexual Harassment Complaints

An employer who may have reasonable cause to fire an employee should be especially careful taking any action when the employee has alleged sexual harassment or has already filed a sexual harassment complaint. While the majority of employers are well within their rights to fire an employee who is employed on an at-will basis, a firing that appears to be connected to a sexual harassment complaint can put employers at higher risk.

Laws on the state and federal level exist that protect employees who raise concerns about sexual harassment in the workplace. Firing an employee who has raised allegations of sexual harassment in the office could violate discrimination statutes. An employer is prohibited from discriminating or retaliating against an employee because that employee has made a claim regarding sexual harassment.

Even in instances where the employee needs to be terminated from his or her position, the employer should seek legal counsel regarding the appropriate steps to take if an incident of sexual harassment has been mentioned in a claim. Employers would do well to proceed cautiously in these situations so as to avoid further disputes or legal entanglements with that employee. An employer should have established a protocol for handling sexual harassment claims and document what they have done in response to these claims. This documentation can be essential in the event that the employee alleges wrongful termination in Texas as a result of filing a sexual harassment complaint.