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When it comes to Dallas area employment lawsuits, such as wage and hour claims, it is important to consider not only the issues in a case currently facing an employer but also the potential implications of the employer’s position in the current case if other lawsuits or claims are filed later.

Otherwise, an employer’s argument in one case could be used against it in another case.

Facts of the Case

Being a defendant in a Dallas employment law case once is challenging enough, but what happens when a disgruntled employee’s claims are dismissed in federal court but he refiles a second suit in state court?

The answer depends on several factors, each of which must be examined in detail by the court in which the second action is filed.

Facts of the Case

A recent case began with the plaintiff former employee filing suit in federal court against the defendant former employer, asserting claims for both discrimination and a hostile work environment, as well as common law claims associated with the defendant’s alleged disclosure of certain information about him to two police departments. The federal court dismissed the plaintiff’s suit with prejudice. Continue reading

Sometimes, an employer can do everything in its power to “work with” an employee, giving him or her the benefit of every doubt, and yet still find itself on the wrong end of a Dallas employment law case.

In a recent case, an employer did not immediately terminate a delivery driver whose drivers’ license was suspended due to drunk driving, placing him in a non-driving position instead. Nevertheless, the employee filed multiple union grievances, an OSHA complaint (after falling in a liquid substance at work), and, eventually, a lawsuit against the employer.

Facts of the Case

When someone believes that their legal rights may have been violated, there are certain rules, procedures, and laws that apply to the assertion of that individual’s claims. In a Dallas sexual harassment or retaliatory discharge case, one of these procedural requirements is the filing of an administrative claim with the appropriate governmental agency.

Sometimes, a claim is made but the employee later tells a different story when suit is filed – one that includes “facts” not initially reported to the governmental agency. In some cases, this can result in dismissal of the subsequent lawsuit against an employer or former employer.

Facts of the Case

For an employee who believes that he or she has been the victim of a wrongful act in the workplace, an important step in a Dallas employment discrimination lawsuit is the filing of a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within 180 days of an alleged unlawful employment practice.

When this does not happen, an employer may be able to have a subsequent claim in state or federal court dismissed due to the plaintiff’s failure to exhaust his or her administrative remedies. Sometimes a claim is filed, but the parties later disagree about whether the plaintiff’s EEOC charge properly put the defendant on notice of his or her allegations.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case, the plaintiff was a bistro manager who alleged that she was the victim of unwanted sexual advances and harassment from the director of dining services at the defendant college. According to the plaintiff, the director touched her inappropriately, made sexual comments to her, kissed her neck, and made lewd comments about her body. She also averred that, after she reported the director’s conduct to the assistant director, she was ordered to close the bistro single-handedly in retaliation for her complaint. She further claimed that, due to her demanding workload, she was hospitalized for high blood pressure and then terminated for insubordination in March 2017. Continue reading

There is no such thing as a perfect employee or a perfect employer. Tension and stress in the workplace often lead to conflict. Sometimes, this type of situation can, in turn, lead to formal complaints and even employment litigation.

However, when a business is named as a defendant in a Dallas employment discrimination lawsuit, this does not automatically mean that any unlawful conduct occurred. Very often, the employer is able to prove that there was a legitimate, perfectly legal reason for the adverse employment action about which the plaintiff complains.

Facts of the Case

In a case recently decided on appeal, the plaintiff was an African American male who worked for the defendant school district as a director of risk management. After he was terminated for his alleged failure to follow district policy and procedures, he filed a discrimination charge with the Texas Workforce Commission. In his charge, he claimed that he had been the victim of a hostile work environment and that he had been discriminated against because of his race and gender.

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Since Texas is an “employment at-will” state, generally employees can be fired for good cause, no cause, or even bad cause – as long as the “cause” is not illegal under state or federal law (such as age or race discrimination). Still, it is not unusual for a retaliatory discharge claim to be filed against an employer that acted legally. If your business has found itself in this situation, you should talk to a qualified Dallas employment defense attorney as soon as possible.

Facts of the Case

In a case recently reviewed by the Court of Appeals for the Fifth District of Texas at Dallas, the plaintiff was a former employee of a convenience store. She complained that the defendant store had engaged in a retaliatory discharge when it fired her after some 25 years of employment (for 23 years of which she had worked as a store manager). According to the plaintiff, the termination of her employment was a direct result of her reporting an instance of sexual harassment involving a subordinate employee (who claimed to have been sexually harassed by a male store manager).

Like other types of lawsuits and claims, cases involving allegations of employment discrimination have certain deadlines that, if not met, can be fatal to a would-be plaintiff’s claim. Of course, whether or not the dismissal of a case is mandatory in, for example, a Dallas age discrimination lawsuit that is not timely filed is ultimately a matter for the courts to decide.

Generally speaking, the burden is on the plaintiff to convince the court that his or her case meets some specific exception to the general rule establishing the deadline for filing a claim. However, unless a defendant asserts an aggressive defense, the case is not likely to “go away” on its own, even if it is untimely.

Facts of the Case

In today’s competitive business environment, it pays to take every possible precaution when it comes to protecting intellectual property, client lists, trade secrets, and the like. One way to do this is with a restrictive covenant such as a non-compete agreement, non-disclosure agreement, or non-solicitation agreement.

However, it is important that such agreements be properly drafted (without being overreaching) and executed in an appropriate fashion, or else a reviewing court may side with the employee if the agreement is breached and litigation ensues.

Facts of the Case

In a case recently considered by the Texas Court of Appeals, the plaintiff was a company that fabricates and services equipment used in the oil and gas industry. It filed suit against the defendants, a competitor and a former employee, seeking injunctive relief and monetary damages because the employee had gone to work for the competitor and was allegedly violating certain non-competition, non-disclosure, and non-solicitation agreements. Continue reading

Many issues can arise in the workplace, some of which are actionable under Texas law and many of which are not. In a typical Dallas employment discrimination case, the plaintiff may assert that he or she was treated unfairly on account of his or her age, gender, and/or race.

The employer, in response, may present its side of the case, defending itself against the employee’s accusations and, in some cases, asking the trial court to dismiss the case against it.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case, the plaintiff was a former telephone-triage nurse who filed an employment discrimination lawsuit against the defendant medical center in the District Court for Harris County, alleging that she had been subjected to racial discrimination, gender discrimination, and retaliation for her opposition of discriminatory practices in the workplace. The plaintiff was a Caucasian female; her supervisor was an African American male. According to the plaintiff, the supervisor subjected her and other Caucasian nurses to harassment, threats of physical violence, and abusive treatment because of their gender and their race. The plaintiff resigned approximately four months after she began employment with the defendant. Continue reading

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