Recent Blog Posts

EEOC’s Joint Employer Claim Against Valero Fails

In EEOC v. Valero Refining-Texas, L.P., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42776 (S.D. Tex. March 13, 2013), Judge Costa considered the application of the “joint employer” doctrine to a disability discrimination claim brought by the EEOC. The facts of the case are simple and in fact fairly commonplace.  Valero operates a refinery in Texas City.  Valero hired… Read More »

EEOC Claims Against Bass Pro Outdoor World Survive Motion to Dismiss

In 2011, the EEOC commenced a proceeding against Bass Pro Outdoor World for racial discrimination.  The EEOC has alleged a wide range of racial remarks and slurs, but the cornerstone of the lawsuit is a comment by the owner of BPOW (Johnny Morris) in 2004 or 2005 at a meeting of Store General Managers.  When asked… Read More »

Austin Court of Appeals: The Date Listed on a Charge of Discrimination Limits the Scope of the Claim

The Austin Court of Appeals considered claims of race discrimination and sex discrimination by a probationary Austin firefighter in Booker v. City of Austin (March 13, 2013).  The specific discussion of the merits of the case is mundane.  If the facts recited by the court are accurate, then the plaintiff was doomed to lose. The potentially… Read More »

El Paso Court of Appeals Affirms Age Discrimination Verdict

The El Paso Court of Appeals considered an age discrimination claim in Williams-Pyro, Inc. v. Barbour (March 20, 2013).  A jury had found that the employer terminated the plaintiff because of her age, and the court affirmed. The plaintiff (Rhonda Barbour) worked for the company for 18 years.  In 2005, a new supervisor (Montalvo) began making age-related… Read More »

What Are the Rights of an At-Will Employee in Texas?

The vast majority of workers in Texas are at-will employees, which means that they can be fired for a good reason, a bad reason, or no reason at all.  For a general discussion of at-will employment, click here. So what are the rights of at-will employees in Texas?  This article provides a general discussion of the… Read More »

Beaumont Court of Appeals: Age Discrimination Claim Accrued When Layoffs Were Announced, Not When They Occurred

The Beaumont Court of Appeals considered an age discrimination claim in Floersheim v. Motiva Enterprises, LLC, which was decided on March 28, 2013. The employer laid off the plaintiff from his job at a factory.  The plaintiff later filed a charge of discrimination based on age with the Texas Workforce Commission.  The employer moved for… Read More »

Fifth Circuit: No Attorneys’ Fees in a Mixed-Motive Retaliation Case If the Employer Proves That the Employee Would Have Been Fired Anyway

In Carter v. Luminant Power Services Co., No. 12-10642 (5th Cir. April 3, 2013), the Fifth Circuit addressed an unusual question of statutory construction relating to Title VII.  The plaintiff had complained to his employer about race discrimination.  His employer subsequently disciplined him.  The plaintiff brought a Title VII action, claiming that the discipline constituted… Read More »

Fifth Circuit Grants Rehearing En Banc in a Same-Sex Harassment Case

The Fifth Circuit has announced that it will rehear a same-sex harassment case en banc.  The case is EEOC v. Boh Brothers Construction Co., No. 11-30770.  The issue is whether a plaintiff can establish gender discrimination based solely on sexual stereotyping. The panel decision described the facts as follows: Kerry Woods began working as an… Read More »

First Court of Appeals Rejects “Continuation” Theory of Successor Liability Under Title VII

What happens when an employment discrimination plantiff obtains a judgment against a corporate defendant, but the owner of the company puts the corporation into bankruptcy and continues the business with a new corporation?  The First Court of Appeals addressed this issue in E-Quest Management, LLC v. Shaw, No. 01-11-00296-CV (Tex. App. — Houston [1st Dist.] March… Read More »

What Are the Retaliation Laws in Texas?

A retaliation claim is similar to, but different from, a discrimination claim.  The discrimination statutes protect various employees with various characteristics, from race to sex to disability status to immigration status.  The discrimination statutes also protect people who engage in certain activities, from claiming family or medical leave to serving on a jury to joining a… Read More »