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News Wrongful Termination, Workers' Compensation and Work Injuries

How much time between the retaliatory act (discipline or termination) and complaint of discrimination is too much to support a claim of retaliation.

Written by Mr. Roger Davie on Friday, 25 Nov 2016.

How much time between the retaliatory act (discipline or termination) and complaint of discrimination is too much to support a claim of retaliation. In Texas Parks and Wildlife Dep’t v. Gallacher, 2015 WL 1026473 (Tex. App.— Austin 2015), the Austin court held that the passage of two months and one week between a supervisor’s discovery of protected conduct and an allegedly retaliatory act was not sufficient, standing alone, to support an inference of retaliatory intent. However [read more]

Texas Supreme Court rules that employee who counseled and admonished a manager to stop asking female employees out to lunch could be fired because the employee was not opposing sexual harassment because no reasonable person would think that.

Written by Mr. Roger Davie on Friday, 25 Nov 2016.

In San Antonio Water System v. Nicholas, 461 S.W.3d 131 (Tex. 2015), the Texas Supreme Court overruled a jury verdict and held that an employee who admonished a manager for repeatedly asking two other employees out to lunch could not reasonably have believed the conduct she was “opposing” constituted sexual harassment. Although the admonishment occurred at a meeting arranged by the employer for the very purpose of warning the manager to cease his conduct, the employer’s sense that the c [read more]

To have a valid case of retaliation an employee must let their employer know that they are complaining abcout discrimination or opposing an illegal discrimination. What words do you have to use?

Written by Mr. Roger Davie on Friday, 25 Nov 2016.

To gain protection from retaliation under the opposition to discrimination clause of Title VII (Federal Law) or Chapter 21(State Law), an employee must have opposed conduct made unlawful by those same discrimination laws. However, there might be a question whether the employer reasonably should have understood the employee was opposing such conduct. In Rincones v. WHM Custom Services, Inc., 457 S.W.3d 221 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi 2015), the plaintiff’s alleged protected cond [read more]

The law requires an employer to accommodate an employee’s religious practice unless accommodation would cause an “undue hardship,” . The Courts have interpreted that to mean that almost any hardship will justify an employers refusal to accommodate.

Written by Mr. Roger Davie on Friday, 25 Nov 2016.

Both State and Federal laws require an employer to accommodate an employee’s religious practice unless accommodation would cause an “undue hardship,” .  The Courts have interpreted that to mean that almost any hardship will justify an employers refusal to accommodate.  Probably one of the most common types of accommodation that a religious person might ask for is try and tell others about his or her faith or to be able to proselytize [read more]

In a discrimination case an employer can sometimes avoid liability if it takes action to protect the employee and stop the harassment. However the employer must do diligently and in a expedient manner.

Written by Mr. Roger Davie on Friday, 25 Nov 2016.

In a discrimination case an employer can avoid liability for harassment by showing that it took proper and reasonable remedial action in response to an employee’s complaint about sexual harassment. However, this defense failed for the employer in River Oaks L-M. Inc. v. Vinton-Duarte, 469 S.W.3d 213 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2015). Despite the employee’s repeated contacts with the human resources department about her sexual harassment complaint, the company delayed inve [read more]

Even if your company violates their own policies and procedures that does not mean they are liable for wrongful termination.

Written by Mr. Roger Davie on Friday, 25 Nov 2016.

In Houston Methodist San Jacinto Hospital v. Ford, 483 S.W.3d 588 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2015),  the employee claimed that she was being sexually harassed.  Under the law of sexual harassment the sexual harassment must be either sever or pervasive.  The employee claimed that while this was the "legal" standard the companies own policies and procedures lowered that standard so that sexual harassment included behavior that was below "severe and pervasive.&nbs [read more]

If your sexual harasser uses the same language to men and women one Texas Court says that's not sexual harassment.

Written by Mr. Roger Davie on Thursday, 24 Nov 2016.

In Texas Department of Family and Protective Services v. Whitman, ___ S.W.3d ___, 2016 WL 2854149 (Tex. App.—Eastland 2016). the plaintiff/employee, a woman, alleged sexual harassment based on repeated comments by other women in the workplace. The court of appeals held that the aggrieved employee's case should be dismissed  because her case lacked any evidence that the alleged harassers (other women) were motivated by sexual attraction or that they singled out [read more]

Offensive behavior is not necessarily sexual harassment, even if it is sexually offensive, unless it is “because of sex.”

Written by Mr. Roger Davie on Thursday, 24 Nov 2016.

In Alamo Heights Independent School District v. Clark, 2015 WL 6163252 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 2015), one female coach offended another—the employee who sued—by frequent comments about the her sexual anatomy. The Trial Judge  dismissed the employees claim of sexual harassment  on the employers argument that the harasser used the same behavior toward many employees, male and female, and that the offensive behavior was not “because of” the plaintiff’s sex. [read more]

Are unpaid interns covered for sexual harassment?

Written by Mr. Roger Davie on Thursday, 24 Nov 2016.

In the past unpaid Interns were not always covered by discrimination laws because they were not necessarily considered employees under State or Federal Discrimination laws. . There can be a question whether an unpaid intern is an “employee” protected by Chapter 21 or Title VII, but in the future an intern’s status as an employee or non-employee might not matter for purposes of sexual harassment law. Under newly enacted Tex. Labor Code § 21.1065, an unpaid intern gains protection from se [read more]

Your being harassed at work but you have not been fired. Can you sue for wrongful termination? Maybe not.

Written by Mr. Roger Davie on Wednesday, 23 Nov 2016.

You file a complaint of discrimination from your supervisor with the EEOC or your employers HR department. Your supervisor starts to retaliate by harassing you. Do you have a case of retaliation? In the recent case of   Esparza v. University of Texas at El Paso, __ S.W.3d ___, 2015 WL 4711612 (Tex. App.—El Paso 2015), the El Paso Court of Appeals  rejected the employee's retaliatory harassment claim, finding that the employer’s “micromanagem [read more]