Category: Wrongful Termination

Texas Supreme Court Nixes Employee’s Defamation Claim, Reinforces At-Will Employment Doctrine

Last week, the Texas Supreme Court declined to recognize a theory of compelled self-defamation, and, in rejecting it, joined an emerging majority of state courts that have considered the issue, including those in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Tennessee, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and New York.

How to Fire Employees Without Being Sued

In the spirit of an old proverb that advises that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” this article provides a list of best practices that can help avoid wrongful-termination types of lawsuits and the business interruption that comes with such litigation.

Staffing Agency Could be on the Hook for Termination of an 83-Year Old Receptionist at Client’s Request

The Fifth Circuit recently addressed an interesting issue – when a staffing agency’s client asks to replace an employee, does the staffing agency have a duty to investigate the reasons for the request?  For example, if a staffing agency’s client calls and says we…

At-Will Employment in Texas – What Does it Mean?

In Texas, employment is presumed to be at-will. This means that, absent a specific agreement to the contrary, employment may be terminated by the employer or the employee for any reason at any time. An employer may modify at-will employment but only if it…

Steve Sarkisian Files Wrongful Termination Lawsuit Against USC Trojans; Claims Discrimination Based on Alcoholism

In early October, the University of Southern California fired Steve Sarkisian, its head football coach after an incident where he appeared drunk during a speech at a USC event. Copies of hotel and bar receipts allegedly showing Sarkisian’s alcohol consumption far exceeding the norm spread…

Negotiating Employment Agreements or the Real Reason Jennifer Lawrence Got Paid Less Than Bradley Cooper

Somebody recently went through Sony’s hacked e-mails and found some that show Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams were paid less than the male leads in American Hustle. This prompted Jennifer Lawrence to write an essay titled “Why Do I make Less Than My Male Co-Starts?” She…

Is Sales Commission Part of an Employment Agreement? Make it Clear and Put it in Writing. This Goes for Employers and Employees.

A recent case from the Houston Court of Appeals demonstrates how failing to document the exact terms of a sales commission arrangement can result in a loss of such commission for an employee and a costly legal dispute for an employer. In Colter v. Amkin Technologies, the…

Lunch Invitations Are Not Sexual Harassment – Says the Texas Supreme Court

Last week, the Texas Supreme Court reversed a $1 million award to a former San Antonio Water System (SAWS) employee, who claimed that she was terminated because she confronted a male vice president about his repeated lunch invitations to two female employees outside his department. The…

Religious Discrimination – What Every Business Owner Needs to Know

Under the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, an employer may not discriminate against an employee on the basis of his or her religion. Employer must make reasonable accommodations for the religious observances of its employees unless it creates undue hardship on the…

An Employee Claiming Unlawful Discharge Based on Religious Beliefs Must Show That the Management and not Coworkers Knew About Such Beliefs – Explains the Fifth Circuit

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals is notorious for being pro-business and pro-employer, and its last week’s ruling in Nobach v. Woodland Village Nursing Center, Inc., et al. does little to change that reputation. In this case, Kelsey Nobach, a nursing home activities aide…