Texas Court Finds in Favor of Former DOT Employee in Discrimination Case
A Texas court awarded damages to a former Department of Transportation (DOT) employee who claimed he had been fired because of his race. Jeffery Daniels had been an employee with the DOT for nearly 20 years when he was fired; he said his supervisor discriminated against him because he was African-American. He filed a lawsuit claiming the DOT had violated Title VII and Americans with Disability Act. The Texas court who heard his case agreed that Daniels was wrongfully discharged from his job.
Before being fired, Daniels says he and other black DOT employees had to endure discriminatory remarks and treatment for years. When he or other employees complained of mistreatment, they were disciplined instead. Daniels and others were also forced to endure harassment, segregation from other work crews, and racially offensive or derogatory comments from coworkers and management alike. At one point, Daniels’s supervisor leveled a finger at him and said, “Boy, I’ll fire you.”
In 2013, Daniels began having health issues, and was eventually diagnosed with blocked arteries. His diagnosis meant he needed to go to several more doctor’s appointments, which led to his supervisor giving him a difficult time for needing so much time off. At one point his supervisor tried to force him to work after hours – for no other reason, Daniels claims, than to punish him for taking time to go to the doctor. Shortly after that incident, Daniels was fired.
DOT Claims Employee Was Insubordinate
According to his supervisor and the DOT, Daniels was an insubordinate employee. Not only, they claim, did he neglect to tell them that he needed time off to see the doctor, but he was rude and difficult. The DOT stated that Daniels had a history of disciplinary actions that provided more than enough evidence to terminate Daniels according to the department’s policy. The DOT filed both a Motion to Dismiss Daniels’s claims and a Motion for Summary Judgement. The court both granted part of each motion and denied part; the magistrate felt there was enough evidence for a jury to hear discriminatory claims. A jury found that Daniels would not have been terminated but for his race, and awarded $370,000 for lost wages, mental suffering, and loss of enjoyment in life. He could stand to see more damages to cover attorney’s fees, front emotional damages or front pay.
Contact an Employment Law Attorney
It can be difficult to file a lawsuit for wrongful termination, but it is not impossible, as long as you have a capable employment law attorney on your side. Garcia-Martin & Martin, P.C., a business and employment law firm in Sugar Land, Texas, does not tolerate businesses who terminate employees based on discrimination, and we are willing to fight for justice, no matter how big or powerful your former employer claims to be. If you have been discriminated against at your job, based on your race, sex, age, religion, or for any other reason, you have rights. Let us help you fight for them. Call us at 281-277-3066 to speak to one of our experienced employment law attorneys, or contact us online.