What is a wrongful termination?
If you have been fired by an employer you may wonder if you have a potential claim. A claim can turn on the real reason for the termination. Usually at a termination, you are given some reason or explanation, such as performance issues, company needs, restructuring, and downsizing. As you may be able to tell, just because a reason is stated may not mean it is actually true. If the real reason was motivated by or against a protected class, a claim may exist. Some protected classes may include race, sex, disability, FMLA use, and age.
If you were terminated and would like to discuss with an attorney, call (832) 871-5031.
What does the process involve?
First, the claim you may have can be assessed with a lot of questions. What are the relevant facts surrounding the termination? What was stated by the employer? What other employees received more favorable treatment? What are the available documents? What could the damages be? How much lost income is expected?
If liability and damages appear present, the following step can follow: filing a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or with the Texas Workforce Commission. Once that charge is filed, the employer can be notified by that agency, and then the employer is requested to respond in writing.
Usually, without settlement, this process results in a right-to-sue letter to be issued. With this letter, a limited window of time is available to proceed in either State or Federal court, and in some instances by arbitration.
After suit is filed, the parties can be provided with a wide array of discovery tools to seek documents, responses to written questions, and depositions. In addition, settlement negotiations are usually required but may not result in resolution if either party disagrees. At the appropriate time, the question of liability and damages may be presented to a Judge, Jury, or Arbitrator who would then issue a decision on the legal questions.
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