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Steven C. James Attorney PLLC

521 Texas Avenue
El Paso, Texas 79901

Phone: (915) 543-3234
Fax: (915) 543-3237

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Wrongful Termination and Discrimination

A job is more than a job

Getting fired or being discriminated against hurts.  Your pride, your ego, your family, your bank account and more may suffer.

I do understand the importance of having a job—I was raised in a humble household. My mom was a waitress and secretary. My dad worked in natural gas compressor plants. Growing up, I washed dishes in a restaurant, sold newspapers, sold ice cream, worked as a bellboy at a hotel, worked in the oilfield, and spent three years as a computer operator. I know first-hand the need for a good job.

Examining the root cause of your termination

If you work in Texas, your employer hires and fires using the state's employment at will doctrine. That means your employer can let you go without cause or reason. It also means you can leave without any legal implications.

But there are certain conditions under which this doctrine does not apply:

  • Violation of state or federal law. You may have a wrongful termination case if you have been fired because of—
    • Discrimination based on your race, sex, religion, national origin, age, or disability
    • Having filed a worker's compensation claim
    • Having reported abuse or neglect of a nursing home patient or of a hospital patient
  • Violation of public policy. You may have a wrongful termination case if you have been fired for—
    • Refusing to break the law
    • Reporting the employer’s violation of the law that resulted in public harm
    • Exercising a statutory or constitutional right
    • Serving on a jury
  • Depending on the conditions, you may be entitled to back pay, front pay, recovery of unpaid commissions and bonuses, and/or compensation for emotional, punitive and other damages. Documentation and proof of your employer’s actions are critical to a successful wrongful termination suit.

    Answers to your questions about wrongful termination

    I was recently fired from my job. I have never received any warnings and I have good performance reviews. Was this a wrongful termination?

    Texas has an "at will" employment policy.  That means either you or your employer can terminate employment without notice. Your employer is not legally required to give you warnings. For more information about the Texas Workforce Commission and at will employment, click here.

    My employer has denied my unemployment benefits. Can he do that?

    The Texas Unemployment Office determines whether you receive benefits. Your employer may protest giving you unemployment benefits but cannot deny them. So, you have every right to appeal and so does your employer. But, you would also have to look at the reasons for your dismissal.  In general, you are eligible for unemployment benefits if your employer dismissed you for any other reason besides misconduct.

    A worthy wrongful termination case deserves aggressive, ethical representation

    Contact me at 915-543-3234 or through my convenient online form. One quick contact is all it takes to know whether you have a case that needs arbitration, mediation, or litigation.

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