More than half of retaliation cases consist mostly of Texas wrongful termination verdicts. A total of 63 percent of retaliation cases were filed by employees who alleged they were fired for filing workers compensation claims after being injured on the job. This has forced legislature changes. Therefore, bills are currently pending in both Senate and Assembly that could change Texas laws about wrongful termination.
Concerns of the unpredictable nature of wrongful termination claims and their increasing numbers will affect the state’s economy. The new bills intend to limit the amount of damages. They will also eliminate the cause of action for breach of contract to have it based on written employment policy in hopes of substantially reducing the volume of wrongful termination lawsuits.
However, discrimination cases will be affected if plaintiffs are required to sue under existing statutes when there is an available statutory remedy. It would force plaintiffs to sue under existing civil rights statutes, rather than the common law of wrongful termination.
Of course, termination should not be based on age, race, sex, religion, disability, pregnancy and national origin and should not use these characteristics with regard to promotions, assignments, termination and wages. It is also illegal to fire an employee for refusing to break a law, for filing worker’s compensation or discrimination claims, for following the company’s own stated policy, or in cases where it a contract states that the employer will implicitly not fire without cause.
Employers have been exposed to wrongful termination litigation from employees who have been with their company for some time. The median length of an employee’s employment when filing discrimination or retaliation cases is about seven years. Liability is lower with new employees.
It is important to note that there are things that employees can do to cover themselves in case of retaliation or wrongful termination. Documenting everything and keeping good records will help. Also, employees should take the proper channels and follow their chains of command to report incidents. They should also visit their local U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission office. However, keep in mind that the EEOC and Human Resources is not the end all, be all, so contacting a qualified and experienced attorney would be the best bet to help one get the relief and compensation due for wrongful termination.