What is it?
A claim for wrongful termination usually depends on the real reason for an employment termination and whether it violates any federal or state law.
Usually at the time of termination, an employer provides some reason or explanation, such as performance issues, company needs, restructuring, and downsizing. However, 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.
What does the process involve?
First, a claim for wrongful termination is 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, 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. Litigation then involves preparing the case through extensive document exchanges and depositions, filing and responding to motions, and trying the case. The entire process can take years, and the outcome can be unpredictable at times. It is important to contact an attorney experienced in these types of matters for the best representation possible.
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