A case we covered last month—see “Consistently apply progressive discipline” in the January 2017 issue of Texas Employment Law—has now gone to trial. The employer lost.
Recent case: Jeffrey, who is black, had a series of workplace infractions on his record. His employer used asystem. After Jeffrey became involved in an argument, he was terminated.
When Jeffrey sued, his employer said it fired him because of his long history of discipline, including prior incidents of arguing and not doing as instructed. But Jeffrey argued that a white co-worker with a similar disciplinary history was not terminated.
A jury concluded that Jeffrey had proved he would not have been fired but for his race, awarding him about $117,000 for more than two years of wages and benefits, as well as $252,000 for mental suffering. (Daniels v. Texas DOT, No. 4:14-CV-00702, ED TX, 2016)