Houston Wrongful Termination: The Houston Employment Law Blog

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Wrongful Termination in Houston

There are many unlawful reasons for losing a job, including getting fired in violation of federal anti-discrimination laws, labor laws, or as a form of retaliation. Wrongful termination claims are filed when an employer has fired or laid off an employee for an illegal reason. With such a claim, the former employee can collect compensation for punitive damages and lost wages.

If you need advice on an employment law issue, including wrongful termination, you should speak with a Houston employment lawyer. Houston employment lawyers can assess your legal issue and can tell you how to go about filing a wrongful termination claim. You can find a local lawyer by viewing FindLaw's directory of Houston employment lawyers. For more information about Houston wrongful termination, see:


Recently in Wrongful Termination Category

Can You Be Fired For Being Gay?

A poll taken in 2011 showed that 90 percent of Americans mistakenly believed Congress had already passed a law granting protections against anti-gay discrimination.

But in 29 states, including Texas, you can get fired for being gay. This is because there is currently no federal, state or local law in place protecting members of the LGBT community from employment discrimination in Houston.

But the law in Houston may soon change.

Employee Lawsuits: Should You Settle?

How should a company respond to an employee lawsuit? If faced with a lawsuit, should the company just settle out of court? Or is it worth it to proceed with litigation?

There's no set answer for that and as with anything, the answer depends on the facts and circumstances of the case.

In general, people shy away from costly litigation. So there is a general notion that settlement is better than a long drawn-out battle in court. Not all would agree, however.

Harris County Woman Sues for Gender, National Origin Discrimination

National origin discrimination, or at least allegations of it, are becoming quite common in modern American workplaces. A woman in Harris County filed such a lawsuit against her former employer, APR Acquisitions Inc., after she alleged that she was wrongfully terminated.

The woman, Maria M. Nava, also alleged wage disparity based on gender (i.e. gender discrimination), claiming that men were paid more than women and that men also got promoted faster than women. APR Acquisitions conducts business under the name Double Eagle Sports & Events.

Nava, a woman of Hispanic origin, claimed that she and others of Hispanic origin were denied insurance and not invited to company events, writes The Southeast Texas Record. Nava also claims she was fired for complaining about discrimination.

Waste Management Sued for Racial Discrimination in Houston

Waste management is the type of industry that you would think has trouble keeping people from quitting. Of course, there are plenty of things that need to happen in the removal and disposal of garbage besides picking it up, which isn't even so bad with the new automated trucks.

So it's not too surprising that someone would sue to keep their job at Waste Management Inc. ("WM"). Which is exactly what Angelia Osborne of Houston did when she felt she was racially discriminated against and wrongfully terminated, according to The Southeast Texas Record.

Osborne was the only African American at her office and claims she was denied access to a training seminar because of her race. Osborne also claims she was constantly maligned by supervisors even though she completed all of her assigned duties and responsibilities, according to the Record.

Will her suit be successful?

MHMR Sued for Wrongful Termination Based on Age, Sex

In this economy, nobody wants to be fired or laid off, especially if the action is unlawful. But in such cases, a fired or laid-off employee may have legal recourse to get her job back, or at least some lost wages.

An ex-employee with Mental Health and Mental Retardation of Harris County has sued the agency for wrongful termination, according to The Southeast Texas Record. Yvette Hand's lawsuit claims she was fired because of her age and sex. She had been working at MHMR as a licensed professional healing arts therapist.

Hand alleges there was a plan to harass her until she resigned, and claims she was fired for false reasons when the plan did not work, according to the Record.

Was this termination wrongful?

Blowin' the Whistle? You Have Rights Against Retaliation

While the image of blowing the whistle may conjure images of a NFL referee or get Too Short’s “Blow the Whistle” stuck in your head, it is a serious matter when it comes to employment law. Who better knows about the wrongdoing within a company than an employee?

A former deputy constable in Dallas County claims that he was fired for being a whistleblower. After the deputy, Lester Smith, made good faith reports to the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, he was fired by Precinct 1 Constable Derick Evans, according to Courthouse News Service.

Judge Finds No Age Discrimination in Gray Hair Lawsuit

Sandra Rawline accused her former employer of six years, Capital Title, of firing her from her position as branch manager because of her shoulder length gray hair, according to the Houston Chronicle. She claimed that her refusal to dye her hair was the main reason she was fired.

Capital Title denied the claims, and has actually filed a defamation suit against Rawline for the media coverage she brought to the company, according to the Chronicle. The judge agreed with the company, dismissing Rawline's suit and letting the defamation suit go forward.

This raises the issue of what Rawline would have had to prove to succeed in an age discrimination suit.

Fired for Posting to Facebook -- Again

Social media is at it again; another person has been fired for posting to Facebook. This time it is a woman, Lauri Dillman, who was employed as an administrative assistant with Whitehouse, Texas' police department, according to KYTX-TV. The post in question is a link to a Tyler Paper article about 3 constables being fired after an investigation, with Dillman's comment of "LoL."

Dillman claims that she was fired immediately after posting, according to the complaint reported by Courthouse News Service. Her lawsuit is based based on the allegation that her employer violated her First Amendment right to free speech. While this is a proper suit to bring, it would also be proper to bring a wrongful discharge suit under Texas law.

Severe Obesity is an ADA-Protected Impairment

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana issued an important opinion that may have expanded the class of disabled Americans protected by ADA regulations, reports TheJobMouse.com.

The case, which has since settled, involved a severely obese woman working at a home for those fighting chemical dependencies. Lisa Harrison worked as a prevention/intervention specialist at Resources for Human Development's Family House in Louisiana from 1999 until late 2007. She was terminated by RHD, despite supposedly being able to fulfill all of the essential functions of her position.

Though Harrison passed away in 2009, the EEOC continued the suit on her estate's behalf.

How to Fire an Employee in Houston: What Not to Do

Most employers will tell you that they don't like letting people go. However, sometimes firing an employee is necessary.

For employers in these parts, this raises the question of how to fire an employee in Houston. This post will try to answer that question.

Generally, there are a number of things you need to be aware of about firing an employee in Houston. Knowing these may help you avoid some of the issues that could come up with the Texas Workforce Commission.