Category Archives: Workplace Retaliation

Workplace retaliation is illegal and usually consists of employers “punishing” employees for taking part in legally protected activities.

Is a Liquidated Damages Clause Enforceable in an Employment Agreement?

Is a liquidated damages clause of $500,000, entered against a person terminated under an employment agreement, enforceable at law in Texas? This was the issue in the recent case Bunker v. Strandhagen, No. 03-14-00510-CV (Texas Court of Appeals, March 3, 2017). In this situation, the plaintiff, a doctor, was terminated for cause under her employment agreement with 60 other physicians. The employment contract had called for a liquidated damages clause whereby Strandhagen had to pay $500,000 if she was terminated for cause before the conclusion of the seven-year contract. Do Texas Courts Uphold Liquidated Damages Causes in Employment Contracts? Liquidated damage clauses are generally subject to scrutiny by courts, but that does not mean they are unenforceable. Texas courts will enforce liquidated damage clauses if the court finds (1) the harm caused by the breach is difficult to estimate when the contract was entered into, and (2) if the amount…
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Does this Prestigious University Have a Racial Discrimination Problem?

An Indian-American PhD candidate at the University of Chicago was allegedly fired for a reporting racial discrimination problem in the workplace.  Sameena Azhar worked in the university’s Center for HIV Elimination while she was pursuing her graduate studies. She observed that her white colleagues were getting preferential treatment in the workplace. For example, she noticed that the white employees had all received business cards, but when she requested one she was denied. She also claims that the nonwhite students were frequently physically separated from the white students on the job, and that the white students were given more flexible work schedules. Azhar filed a formal complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Illinois Department of Human Rights, and began the process of taking legal action. According to the lawsuit, Azhar stopped receiving the usual assistance from her dissertation advisors after she filed the complaint. One faculty member even told her…
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This Texas Worker Accused His CEO of Assault in the Workplace

A Houston worker is accusing his CEO of assault in the workplace. The man worked at a plant that produces eggrolls for grocery store chains. He claims that he was working when the CEO became upset and slapped him across the face in front of other employees. He refused to do anything about it at the time, because he says he was recently married and was concerned about providing for his new family. The boss was violent again multiple times later that month. The worker says that he was assaulted two days in a row one week. Allegedly, the CEO grabbed him by the shirt and threw him to the ground. Finally, the worker could no longer handle the treatment. He filed a racial discrimination claim, since the boss also called him and other employees by racial slurs. The boss’s attorney attempted mediation, but the man refused to agree to…
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