Wrongful Termination Lawyers serving Bryan, San Antonio, Edinburg, Monterrey and surrounding areas
We fight on behalf of you and your loved ones to receive just compensation for your damages.
Wrongful Termination Attorney
Texas has a strong policy of “employment-at-will.” Employment "at-will" means that either the employer or the employee may rightfully end the employment relationship without giving the other party either a notice or a reason. However, it is illegal for employers to terminate an employee for specific illegal reasons. When this happens, it is known as "wrongful termination" which means that the termination was in violation of public policy. A resulting wrongful termination case is a claim that an employer has fired an employee for an illegal reason. Wrongful termination does not include cases where an employer may have been unfair, unreasonable or even made a false accusation.
Examples of wrongful termination include:
- Racial Discrimination
- Age Discrimination
- Pregnancy Discrimination
- Gender Discrimination
- Worker’s Compensation claim retaliation
- Wage and Hour disputes
Other examples include:
- Termination for refusing to participate in illegal actions in the workplace
- Termination due to performing a public duty such as jury duty
- Termination due to exercising a legal right such as taking leave such as for medical or disability reasons
Employment law refers to an area of the law that protects employees and workers. Employment laws are intended to ensure that various rights and benefits are provided to employees. Among these are protections from:
- Wrongful Termination
- Fair Wages
- Overtime Compensation
How Do Know If You Have a Valid Texas Wrongful Termination Case?
If you are an employee who believes that you have a wrongful termination claim, there are a number of elements that must be proven. These elements differ depending on the employee’s status whether that be as an employee under contract, at-will, or as a labor union employee.
Breach of Contract Wrongful Termination
Even though most employees in Texas are considered to be “at-will” as mentioned previously, it is possible to have an employment contract which may limit the employer’s right to terminate an employee.
In cases where an employment contract exists, an employee may have a case if the employee is terminated for any reason prohibited under the terms of the contract. This would be considered a breach of contract claim.
To determine whether you were wrongfully terminated through the breach of an employment contract you must:
- Establish that an employment contract existed that limited the employer’s right to terminate
- Establish that an employee was in compliance with the employment contract
- Establish that the employee was fired under circumstances that breached the employment contract
- Establish that the employee suffered damages due to the breach of the employment contract
Wrongful Termination Based on Discrimination
Federal and Texas state law prohibits employers from firing employees on the basis of age, citizenship status, race, disability, national origin, pregnancy, religion, or sex. To prove that discriminatory wrongful termination occurred, employees must establish the following elements:
- The employee is a member of a protected class
- The employee was qualified for the position
- The employee was terminated from their position
There are a number of other factors that weigh into whether you have a valid discrimination based wrongful termination case in Texas. Call an experienced attorney today to discuss the details of your case.
Wrongful Termination Based on Retaliation
Anytime an employer terminates an employee for exercising a legal right, it may be considered retaliation. This may occur due to the employee taking some rightful action against the employer, including a harassment complaint, filing a workman’s compensation claim, or “whistleblowing” illegal conduct on behalf of the business.
To pursue a case based on wrongful termination retaliation an employee must establish:
- The employee's action was legal and protected
- The employee was terminated due to this action
- The employee suffered damages as a result of the termination
Wrongful Termination Based on Harassment
Employer harassment may include:
- Physical harassment
- Threats or assault to person or property
- Personal harassment
- Bullying through offensive remarks or derogatory statements
- Discriminatory harassment
- Directed at age, race, disability, sex
- Psychological harassment
- Negative remarks or intimidation
- Online threats or remarks
- Sexual harassment
- Sexual advances or requests
- Third Party harassment
- Vendors, suppliers, customers
When an employer is aware that any of these forms of harassment are taking place, but fails to take action to prevent it from happening, it may be viewed as “constructive termination” even though an employee may have quit their position due to the harassment.
Why Hire an Attorney?
Wrongful Termination suits can be complex matters that require a great deal of investigation and understanding of legal concepts.
At Hernandez Law Firm, we protect the rights of employees that have been wrongfully terminated by their employer. Because the terms of a wrongful termination vary so greatly, contact our office as soon as possible for a free case evaluation. We can help you determine if your termination was wrongful and discuss the strength of your case.
How We Handle Your Case
Gather All The Evidence. We start every case by gathering all the available evidence, including witnesses, documents and all other available evidence. We also speak directly to any other potential victims and bring in experts if necessary, to understand the details of the termination.
We also gather evidence about your damages. We are experts at gathering the evidence required to build a powerful case and preparing it to present in trial so that a jury can understand and make a fair determination if the case goes to trial.
Calculate Damages. In order to receive just compensation for your damages, we must be able to prove those damages. Damages include lost pay, lost benefits, emotional distress, punitive damages and attorney fees.
We thoroughly review your case to determine the full extent of damages that may be available to you and we seek the maximum damages that you should be entitled. Our trial attorneys know how to present your damages to a jury in trial, if necessary.
Negotiate With The Defense. After we have gathered all the evidence and facts and calculated your damages, we will begin negotiating with the defense. Negotiating with the defense can be a very difficult and frustrating experience if you do not have experience with this process. Our firm generally files a lawsuit on our client's behalf and begins preparing for trial as soon as we begin a case. Filing a lawsuit right away sends a signal to the employer that they need to take this matter seriously. We do the best we can to negotiate, but at some point, negotiations cease and we move towards trial.
Go To Trial. Most of the time, wrongful termination cases settle, sometimes on the courthouse steps, so to speak, other times once evidence is presented. However, not every case can be settled with fair compensation because the employer and their counsel do not believe wrongful termination occurred, or that the case is as valuable as you do.
This is why it is extremely important to have a lawyer that has experience trying cases and is willing, ready, and able to do so on your behalf. Employers are well aware of who they are up against and they treat any settlement offers accordingly. If your lawyer is not experienced at trying cases, the insurance company will not take your case as seriously as they would if you hire an experienced trial attorney from the start.
We Take Wrongful Termination Seriously
Our lawyers take wrongful termination very seriously. Our firm is dedicated to getting you just compensation for your damages and will aggressively pursue your case from beginning to end, even if that requires a trial to verdict.
We recognize that wrongful termination cases often have significant consequences that affect victims and their families and loved ones in many ways. Loss of income, loss of benefits and emotional distress all have serious consequences.
When appropriate, we will hire experts and consultants to help evaluate the evidence to determine damages. We will take witness depositions and retain any experts to establish that wrongful termination occurred.
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The Hernandez Law Firm provides practical solutions for our clients legal problems. The law firm has built its success by being responsive to client concerns and applying hard work with integrity to find creative legal solutions.