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News Wrongful Termination, Workers' Compensation and Work Injuries

​Whistleblower Act—Report of Violation of Law

Written by Mr. Roger Davie on Monday, 22 Jan 2018.

Whistleblower Act—Report of Violation of Law—County Immunity from Contract Liability— Patterson v. Marcantel, 2017 WL 4844514 (Tex. App.—Beaumont 2017) (not for publication)—The plaintiff’s alleged report of the violation of internal department policy did not constitute protected whistleblowing because an internal policy is not a “law” for purposes of the Whistleblower Act. The plaintiff’s breach of contract claim against the defendant county failed because [read more]

Severance Pay—Unconstitutional Debt—Waiver of Governmental Immunity from Contract—

Written by Mr. Roger Davie on Monday, 22 Jan 2018.

—City of Pearsall v. Tobias, ___ S.W.3d ___, 2017 WL 3495137 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 2017)—A public employment contract that provided severance pay of up to one year’s salary did not violate the Texas Constitution, art. 11, § 7 (limiting the creation of public debts not covered by current revenue), because the contract limited the city’s liability to a single year’s pay. Moreover, enforcement of the contract was not barred by governmental immunity. The Legislature has w [read more]

Civil Service Commissions—Election to Appeal to Hearing Examiner

Written by Mr. Roger Davie on Monday, 22 Jan 2018.

Civil Service Commissions—Election to Appeal to Hearing Examiner—In re City of Beaumont, 2017 WL 5179785 (Tex. App.—Beaumont 2017) (not for publication)—A suspended firefighter or police officer can choose between appealing to the local civil service commission or to an independent third-party hearing examiner. Tex. Loc. Gov’t Code §§ 143.053, 143.057(a). In this case, the firefighter initially elected to take his case before a hearing examiner and he prevailed i [read more]

Backpay—Front pay—Mitigation of Damages

Written by Mr. Roger Davie on Monday, 22 Jan 2018.

Backpay—Front pay—Mitigation of Damages—Office of the Attorney General of Texas v. Rodriguez, ___ S.W.3d ___, 2017 WL 4586128 (Tex. App.—El Paso 2017)—The employer argued that the plaintiff in this Whistleblower Act case failed to mitigate her damages for purposes of front pay. The court observed that if a plaintiff presents evidence of reasonable efforts to obtain substitute employment, the defendant must present evidence “that substantially similar positi [read more]

​Wrongful Death—Gross Negligence—Risk Analysis

Written by Mr. Roger Davie on Monday, 22 Jan 2018.

Wrongful Death—Gross Negligence—Risk Analysis—Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company v. Rogers, ___ S.W.3d ___, 2017 WL 3776837 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2017)—The Workers’ Compensation Act preserves the right of a deceased employee’s survivors to sue for wrongful death caused by an employer’s gross negligence. Tex. Lab. Code 408.001(b). This case outlines the standards and means of proof of gross negligence, and it upholds a jury’s verdict finding the employer grossly [read more]

Age discrimination is the most insidious discrimination.

Written by Mr. Roger Davie on Thursday, 26 Oct 2017.

Age discrimination is the most insidious discrimination. A recent government study shows that old workers are systematically discriminated against in employment. Older women received the highest amount of discrimination. This is illegal under both Federal and State law. https://www.theladders.com/p/16251/new-study-prove... (https://www.theladders.com/p/16251/new-study-proves-it-is-harder-to-find-a-job-as-you-get-older)

So you have been given a bad job reference by your ex-employer. Can you sue for defamation (libel/slander)?

Written by Mr. Roger Davie on Wednesday, 30 Nov 2016.

As a general rule you can sue someone who makes a false statement about you that hurts your reputation subject to certain privileges.  You should note that if the statement or reference is true or is an opinion it is not subject to a lawsuit for defamation (libel/slander). A former employer’s response to a prospective employer about a former employee’s job performance is widely viewed as subject to a qualified privilege, and this qualified privilege is re-enforced by an “immun [read more]

If you are fired and you have unpaid commission can you still receive the commission or is it contingent on being employed?

Written by Mr. Roger Davie on Wednesday, 30 Nov 2016.

As an El Paso employment lawyer I see a lot of fired employees who don't necessarily want to sue for wrongful termination but want to be paid for commission that they believe they are owed but remains unpaid. The law generally says that you are owed the commission unless the commission agreement says that it is conditioned upon your being employed when paid. In other words if the agreement indicates that the commission is earned when the sale is made then you should get the commission e [read more]

If you want to have a valid whistleblower claim you better make sure that your supervisor knows not only that you disagree with the illegal activity but also knows you reported the illegal activity to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

Written by Mr. Roger Davie on Wednesday, 30 Nov 2016.

I have written at length about the Texas Whistleblower Act and that you must be a government employee who reported illegal activity to an appropriate law enforcement agency: (1. http://rogerdavie.com/news/whistleblowing-is-not-p....; http://rogerdavie.com/news/before-filing-a-whistle...; 2. http://rogerdavie.com/news/the-courts-hold-that-yo...; 3. http://rogerdavie.com/news/before-filing-a-whistle... (http://rogerdavie.com/news/whistleblowing-is-not-protected-by-the- [read more]

The Courts hold that you must file a whistleblower claim within 90 days of the retaliation and you must file a grievance (even if there is not one or it does not apply to you) and the 90 days is suspended while the grievance is pending unless it doesn't.

Written by Mr. Roger Davie on Wednesday, 30 Nov 2016.

I have written at length about the Texas Whistleblower Act and that you must be a government employee who reported illegal activity to an appropriate law enforcement agency: (http://rogerdavie.com/news/whistleblowing-is-not-p.... Also under the grievance procedure you no only must report the illegal act to the appropriate law enforcement agency and file the grievance (even if there is no grievance procedure (http://rogerdavie.com/news/before-filing-a-whistle...)) but you must file th [read more]