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Cher’s backup dancers file lawsuit citing wrongful termination

Choreographer Kevin Wilson, along with backup dancers Suzanne Easter and Jacquelyn Dowsett Ballinger, filed a wrongful termination lawsuit on September 18 against 68-year-old singer and actress Cherilyn “Cher” Sarkisian due to alleged racial and age discrimination, the Associated Press reported.

Wilson and Easter believe that race was a factor in their dismissal, while Ballinger, 42, alleged that she was fired because of her age. Wilson said while he was employed, Cher told him not to hire any more black dancers because her shows already had “too much color.”

The trio seeks $10 million in damages from the suit.

An employer doesn’t have the privilege to terminate the employment of his workers on a whim; there are rules that need to be followed for a termination to be considered legitimate. If you are working in Austin and you think your termination was unlawful or unjust, contact our attorneys at the The Melton Law Firm by calling (512) 330-0017 today, and learn about your legal options.


UT prohibits faculty/student relationships

University of Texas regents recently passed new regulations that prohibit relationships between employees and students, 18 months after two of its coaches were revealed to have engaged in sexual activity with student athletes, the Houston Chronicle reported on August 22.

According to a press release from the UT System Board of Regents, the amendments prohibit even consensual relationships between faculty or staff and students, in order to prevent any possible abuse of power situation. Relationships can be approved if a plan of action to prevent conflicts is designed and agreed upon.

In November 2012, coach Bev Kearney reported a relationship that occurred ten years previously and was forced to resign. Coach Major Applewhite, however, revealed a one-time sexual encounter with a student and received a reprimand. Kearney has filed a gender discrimination and wrongful termination suit against the school.

The attorneys at the The Melton Law Firm know that in many cases, employers do wrong by their employees, through discrimination, wrongful termination, sexual harassment, or something else. Our Austin legal team is dedicated to holding employers responsible when they act unlawfully. Contact our offices at (512) 330-0017 today to discuss your case.


Permian employee fired for refusing to commit a crime

Donald Austin filed a lawsuit for wrongful termination against Texas-based oil and gas drilling manufacturer Permian Tank & Manufacturing, Permian Holdings, Lide Industries, and Lide employee Dennis Pusser on August 6 for allegedly firing him after he refused to join in the company’s pollution violations and cover-up, Courthouse News Service reported on August 7.

PermianLide apparently contaminated ground and water with pollutants, and Austin refused to participate in covering this up; he claimed he would have violated the Clean Water Act. Austin also asserted that Pusser, his superior, assaulted him during their confrontation, and that the company refuses to return several power tools Austin owns.

Under state and federal law, Texas employees have protection under labor and employment laws. If you are working in Texas and you believe your rights as an employee are being undermined, call the Austin-based attorneys of The Melton Law Firm at (512) 330-0017, and learn how we can help you pursue legal action.


Hagemeyer ex-salesman sues company for alleged age discrimination

Harris County resident Odell Hyden sued Hagemeyer North America, Inc., an electrical materials and industrial products distributor, over claims that he was terminated from his position as salesman because of his age, the Southeast Texas Record reported on June 9.

The civil lawsuit, citing age discrimination, was filed in the Southern District Court of Texas Houston Division on May 30. Hyden said in his complaint that he was a salesman at Hagemeyer for over 50 years, but in recent years, he was subjected to negative remarks regarding his age from his supervisors until he was fired from his job on April 3, 2013. His employer fired him for supposed poor performance.

Wrongful termination, which can be characterized by unlawful discrimination, retaliation, or constructive discharge, is punishable by law. Talk to our lawyers at the Austin-based The The Melton Law Firm if you are experiencing a similar situation by dialing (512) 330-0017, and learn how we may advocate for you.


Man who sued Microsoft for wrongful termination awarded $11.6M

A civil jury in Austin, Texas found software giant and Fortune 100 company Microsoft liable for employment discrimination based on wrongful discharge and ordered the company to pay $11.6 million to senior sales executive Michael Merceica, who was found to have been the victim of a vindictive ex-girlfriend who was also his boss.

The three-year court battle focused on the defamation lawsuit lodged by Merceica against marketing consultant Tracy Rummel and the wrongful discharge suit filed against Microsoft in 2011.

The court discovered that Rummel, along with Merceica’s former girlfriend, his direct manager and the regional sales director, Lori Aulds, had spread a rumor that Merceica had sexually assaulted Rummel. However, rather than charging Merceica with sexual harassment, his managers instead created a hostile working environment for him.

If you have been the victim of injustice in your workplace, whether through discrimination, wrongful termination, or the creation of a hostile work environment in Austin, the experienced legal team at the John Melton Law Firm is ready to help. Call us today at (512) 330-0017 to learn more about what we can do for you.

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