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Houston Employment Law Blog


Former chief is awarded $400k re his wrongful termination claim

There are many appropriate reasons that an employee may be let go, but retaliation for reporting improper conduct is not one of them. In some instances, when higher ranking employees feel threatened, they may decide to fire a worker in order to protect themselves and get rid of an employee who is causing them problems. Some Texas workers may accept a wrongful termination and not fight back, while others seek justice and the restoration of their reputation.

A former police chief in another state filed a claim against a city after he was fired for-- what he believed to be-- no good reason. The man apparently joined the police department in 1997 and continued up through the ranks until he became chief in 2005. The community is said had a negative opinion of the department, so he tried his best to try to address those issues. To do so, he started to work with a new interim city manager in 2012.

Twitter accused of workplace discrimination by ex female employee

The roles of professional women are constantly changing, and an increasing number of women are qualified for tech related positions. As women in Texas and elsewhere are attempting to fill these positions, some are receiving pushback from companies to leave these positions mainly to men, which could spawn workplace discrimination claims. Microblogging platform Twitter is making headlines because it is accused of skewing the gender balance on the job to lean toward men. According to Twitter's diversity report, for every women in a tech role, there are nine men.

A former engineer for Twitter allegs that the company favors men. She claims the company does not have a formal system for posting jobs internally or indicating which qualifications are necessary for the positions. The plaintiff asserts that the company is holding back women from being promoted into tech roles through its so-called tap on the shoulder process.

Woman running for public office claims wrongful termination

The former administrative secretary of Precinct 3 is accusing the county and the commissioner of causing her to lose her job unjustly. The Texas woman claims she suffered a wrongful termination as an act of retaliation because she tried to run for Justice of the Peace in another precinct. She alleges that during the five years that she was employed in Precinct 3, she did not have any performance issues. Prior to that position, she claims that she performed well in other capacities serving the county.

When the plaintiff originally discussed the idea of running for Justice of the Peace in Precinct 8, she says that her supervisor was supportive of the idea. Sometime later, he purportedly sought to have her change her mind. To be on the safe side, the plaintiff says she took a leave while she campaigned, even though there were no laws which prevented her from running for public office while employed by the county.

Former employees are accusing Alcon of workplace discrimination

Women who were previously employed by Alcon are claiming that they were not given equal treatment in comparison to their male colleagues. The Texas-based company, a division of Novartis, is being accused of workplace discrimination by the women, and they are requesting a trial by jury. The plaintiffs were called ambitious and very talented according to press releases, but all of their hard work was allegedly not being compensated.

According to the complaint, the company had a "boy's club" mentality that clearly did not favor the women who worked there. The women were allegedly held back from furthering their careers and not given the same opportunities for advancement as their male co-workers. The plaintiffs are also accusing the company of paying men in similar positions more money than their female counterparts.

Prayer at a party ends in a workplace discrimination lawsuit

Talking about religion can lead to arguments in any social setting and can be especially conflicting in the workplace. Texas workers have the right to agree to disagree, but they should not be subjected to retaliation in the workplace for their opinions. Two women who worked for VitalPet are alleging that they lost their jobs due to workplace discrimination because they did not share the same religious views as the company's CEO.

The two veterinary clinic workers claim that the issues started after a holiday party. At the request of the company's CEO, a Christian group prayer was conducted at the party. Because it was not something in which she believed, one woman was offended by the prayer. She tried to get away from the situation but was reportedly not allowed to leave.

Woman denied opportunities alleges workplace discrimination

All employees should be treated fairly regardless of any protected status characteristic. Sadly, in this day and age, workplace discrimination continues to plague employees across the country. However, aggrieved Texas workers often find hope by turning to the court system for assistance.

A 65-year-old woman who worked for Golden Pass LNG Terminal claims that she was the victim of age and race discrimination and a hostile work environment. The plaintiff, an African-American, began working for the company in 2008 as an experienced financial analyst. Five years later, she was placed under a new supervisor, and, from that point forward, her work environment took a turn for the worst.

Ex Shell worker claims he was harassed due to age discrimination

It is a fact of life that people age, but this does not mean that they are any less qualified to do their jobs. Older Texas workers should not be made to feel uncomfortable in the workplace or be treated in such a way that causes them feel less valued. A man who was employed by Shell Oil alleges this is what happened to him, which prompted his filing an age discrimination claim.

The 61-year-old worker worked as a contractor for nine years. He was later transferred from another state to Texas, and that was when things apparently began to change. The plaintiff asserts that his coworkers made derogatory comments about his age. Furthermore, he claims he was also harassed for eating a vegan diet to help him combat prostate cancer and because he had difficulty hearing.

Woman claims wrongful termination due to previous complaint

After hearing some offensive comments, a former housekeeper claims that she lost her job for reporting them. The plaintiff was working at the New Boston Nursing Center in Texas when her position was subcontracted to a third party. As a result, she became an employee of Heathcare Services Group (HSG). It was after joining HSG that she claims that the troubles began that led to her eventual wrongful termination.

According to her complaint, she was engaged in a night-long project with one of her male co-workers. When they took a break, she claims that three of the facility's residents and her co-worker were talking when he began to tell crude stories. The woman asserts that she and the others were offended by what he was saying.

Hospital has at least 2 race discrimination claims pending

Most would like to believe that the days of discrimination are in the past, but unfortunately, they still can exist. Many workers in Texas and elsewhere are still subject disparate treatment in the workplace. This could prompt the workers to turn to the law for assistance. Such claims were demonstrated recently when a medical center in another state was involved in at least two race discrimination claims from former employees.

A black executive vice president for the hospital is alleging that he was not permitted to hire a black woman as legal counsel for the hospital. He also made a stand against how the company handled an issue when a white father purportedly said that he would not allow a black nurse to treat his child. The child was allegedly moved to another employee's care, and there was a note written on the assignment for the child that stated no black nurses were to care for the baby. Those women settled their claim and were paid more than $250,000.

Ex-Starbucks employee accuses the company of sexual harassment

Coffee lovers everywhere may be surprised to hear the accusations being made about Starbucks. The company synonymous with coffee in Texas and across the across the United States is being accused of sexual harassment by one of its former baristas. As an early riser, the woman noted that working the early shift would be a great fit for her. She loved working for the company and enjoyed the customers, but she said all of that changed once a new manager was appointed.

She claims the inappropriate treatment began with insults, such as being called retarded because she burned herself on coffee and had difficulty finding the first aid kit. Her situation allegedly escalated when her manager is said to have grabbed her and forcefully held her for no reason. She said that it happened on three occasions. She started to dislike coming to work and began to question if it was going to happen again or if it was happening to anyone else.

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