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Houston Employment Law Blog


Woman's firing was allegedly retaliation for removing an app

As the world becomes more high tech, people are beginning to feel as if they have less privacy than they did even a few years ago. Monitoring technology is now becoming more prevalent in the workplace, and smartphones are now commonplace. With all of these advances, there may be a conflict between what a Texas company needs to know and what it wants to know about its employees. If workers do not comply with what they believe to be an unnecessary invasion of privacy, employers may act in retaliation and fire them instead.

A woman who worked a for a money transfer service in another state claims that she lost her job because she did not agree with a mandatory phone app. As part of her job, the plaintiff was given a company phone on which she was required to have the Xora app installed and open at all times. This app performed various functions, such as keeping time records, managing paperwork and logging trip information. This app could also track where the employees went because of its GPS capability.

Ex-Zales workers accuse their supervisor of sexual harassment

Many women may think that working for a jewelry store would be a dream come true, but that is not always the reality. A group of three women who worked for Texas-based Zales allege that they were the victims of sexual harassment. Each of the women had filed claims individually, but the cases were consolidated and recently moved to federal court.

The women were all employed by Zales in another state. Two of the women began working for the company in 2012; the other began in 2010. All three of the women had the same supervisor who allegedly caused the misconduct.

Bayer MaterialScience is being accused of sexual harassment

Bayer MaterialScience LLC and one of its supervisors are named as defendants in a case filed by a mother and her son. People in Texas and elsewhere may be disturbed to hear that the materials giant is being accused of sexual harassment and inflicting emotional distress. Both plaintiffs worked for the company as chemical operators -- the mother for 27 years and her son for just over a year.

The year after the son was hired, he began having pain in his kidney, and blood was found in his urine. After a physical done by a company nurse, he was instructed to see a family doctor because of the blood that was found. Four months later, the man was fired by his supervisor for allegedly falling asleep at work.

Worker accuses Kroger of violating the Family Medical Leave Act

Employees may need to take time away from work for any number of personal reasons. Some of these reasons are covered under the Family Medical Leave Act. Texas employees who need to take time off for eligible reasons should not be retaliated against for making use of this benefit.

A man who worked for Kroger in another state claims that he lost his job because he needed to take time off under the FMLA. The plaintiff started with the company as a night stock clerk and purportedly had a good track record during his years with the supermarket. This helped pave the way for him to be promoted to a dairy manager.

Tech professional, age 64, accuses Google of age discrimination

The world of technology may be populated by a lot of young people, but the older generation can also be very knowledgeable on the subject. Google users in Texas and elsewhere may be disappointed to hear about the way in which the company is allegedly determining who should be hired. An older gentleman, who applied for a job with the company in 2011, claims that he was the victim of age discrimination.

The 64-year-old man applied to work for the company as a software engineer -- a position for which he claims he was highly qualified. He had a track record of working with well-known companies in the computer industry. He also had master certifications that were considered rare for most information technology professionals.

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.

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