Texas employment law does not provide a legal right for all unjust or unfair employer treatment. Only unlawful treatment. Under the employment at-will doctrine, an employer may terminate an employee at any time, with or without notice, with or without cause, and for any or no reason. To have a valid wrongful termination claim, an employer's conduct must either breach a written or oral agreement, or violate a federal, state, or local law.Discrimination Law Basics
Federal and Texas anti-discrimination law affords employees protection from several main types of discrimination:
- Age discrimination (40 or older)
- Sex discrimination
- Gender discrimination
- Pregnancy discrimination
- Race discrimination
- Color discrimination
- National origin discrimination
- Religious discrimination
- Disability discrimination
- Discrimination against membership in the Armed Services; and
- Sexual orientation discrimination (Fort Worth and Dallas only)
In order to have a valid discrimination claim, an employer generally must take some tangible adverse employment action against an employee. This may include a termination, layoff, demotion, reduction in compensation or benefits, reassignment to lesser duties, or a failure to promote. Generally, a negative performance review or unreceptive treatment, without more, is insufficient. Moreover, an employer's adverse employment action must be motivated by an employee's protected class status (e.g. sex, age, race, national origin, etc).
A strong wrongful termination discrimination case generally includes evidence that the employer did not discharge an employee who is not a member of the plaintiff's protected class under substantially similar circumstances, derogatory comments directed at the discharged employee's protected class status, and the employer replacing the discharged employee with someone outside the discharged employee's protected class.What to Do If You Are Wrongfully Terminated
Dallas employment lawyer Barry Hersh became Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization while representing some of the nation's largest employers in discrimination cases and understands employers' litigation tactics, settlement strategies, and the leverage they employ against employees in these kinds of lawsuits. Hersh Law Firm dedicates significant time helping employees who are subject to age, sex, pregnancy, and other forms of illegal discrimination. If you believe that you are the victim of any form of unlawful discrimination, complete the law firm's online inquiry form.
Practical Considerations relating to Discrimination
- Make a complaint to your manager and Human Resources that you believe that you're the subject of unlawful discrimination.
- Submit your complaint in writing. If your complaint was verbal, follow it up with an e-mail.
- Make sure that your complaint shows that the discrimination is as a result of your protected class membership.
- Don't quit!
- If the discrimination continues, contact the EEOC or Texas Workforce Commission. Time permitting, seek legal advice from a Dallas employment lawyer before you file an administrative complaint with the EEOC or Texas Workforce Commission.