Houston, TX asked in Civil Rights, Employment Discrimination, Employment Law and Personal Injury for Texas

Q: Like file a civil suit against my Ex-employer for freedom of speech violation, which I was fired. statue of limitation?

Subject: Seeking Legal Representation for Complex Employment and Health-Related Case

I hope this letter finds you well. I am currently facing a complex legal situation that involves various issues related to my employment and health. After thorough research, I believe your expertise in [relevant legal area] aligns with the challenges I am currently navigating.

In July 2021, I was terminated from my job shortly after disclosing to the company that I had contracted COVID-19 at the workplace. Subsequently, I developed a serious lung condition due to unsafe conditions at the company. The termination led to a prolonged battle with my previous employer and the Texas Unemployment Commission, during which my name was slandered by my former manager in a hearing with the Texas Tribune.

I filed a workers' compensation claim due to the deterioration of my health, and during the hearing with the Office of Injured Employee Counsel. My my manager perjured

3 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Civil Rights Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In Texas, the statute of limitations for filing a civil lawsuit for wrongful termination, which may include claims like violation of freedom of speech, depends on the specific nature of the claim. Generally, for wrongful termination claims, the statute of limitations is typically around two years, but this can vary based on the specifics of the case.

If your case involves a violation of specific employment laws, such as discrimination or retaliation related to workers' compensation claims, different time limits might apply. For example, claims under federal employment discrimination laws require filing a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within 300 days of the incident.

Given the complexity of your situation, including issues of employment termination related to health conditions and potential defamation by a former manager, it's important to seek legal advice promptly. An attorney can provide a more precise timeline based on the details of your case and ensure that any legal action is taken within the applicable statute of limitations.

Remember, legal matters involving employment law can be intricate, and the specifics of each case significantly influence the legal approach and deadlines. Consulting with an attorney who has expertise in employment law and personal injury will be crucial in effectively addressing your situation.

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
  • Little Neck, NY

A: This could be something to discuss and coordinate with your workers' compensation attorney as well, since you mention filing a W.C. claim. If there are additional claims (your post was cut off), those could be things on which your WC attorney may need to coordinate and share evidence with other attorneys. Good luck

Neill Nwoha
Neill Nwoha pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Fort Worth, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: Just to clarify one point that I dont think any one else touched on. Freedom of Speech is a right you have that the government cannot impede on. However, there is no private right to freedom of speech. For instance, if you enter my house or my workplace, and say something offensive or something that I do not like, I can certainly get rid of you.

Furthermore, in Texas, we are an at-will state. What that means is that the employer can fire the employee, and generally, the employee can leave work, at any time they want and with no explanation. While it is nice to be given 2 weeks notice, the law does not require that.

The only thing the law requires is that you cannot be fired because of discriminatory reasons. There is a short reason of things that qualify, which include: 1) Gender, 2) Age, 3) Sexual Preference, 4) Race, 5) Ethnicity, 6) Disability, and a few others. You CANNOT be fired or be refused employed solely because of these reasons. If that happens, that is discrimination and you can bring a suit for it.

You ALSO cannot be fired because of retaliation. So if you report your employer to a regulatory body because of a violation or bad conduct, they cannot fire you in response for that. Mainly because the government wants to protect whistle blowers and encourage people to come forward and report these kinds of things.

So, the main point I am making is that, generally speaking, your employer can fire you, on the spot, for any reason, or no reason at all, so long as those reason do not include the reasons listed above.

It would appear that your firing was in response to you filing a workers compensation claim after catching COVID-19 while on the job. This, i believe, is a violation of your right. And the sole reason for your firing cannot be because you filed a workers compensation claim, because this would be considered retaliation. I would advise that you retain a personal injury attorney to further flush out your potential claims against your employer and to better advise you on the steps moving forward. The laws on this matter can be very nuanced and unforgiving, so in order to protect your claims, please seek professional assistance.

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