Oil and Gas Regulators Suing for Wrongful Termination
Two inspectors who were working for the Texas Railroad Commission in 2013 are now filing wrongful termination suits. Both were known to strictly follow the regulations and not approve wells that were not up to safety standards. In 2013, both were fired after repeatedly citing well operators for not following regulations.
Up until that point, both had received strong feedback for their work and had consistently been given promotions. At the same time, both felt pressure to approve wells that were not in compliance and were often criticized by supervisors for not having good relationships with industry operators.
One of the inspectors saw repeated examples of sludge affecting local wildlife, and when he discovered dead wildlife trapped in sludge, he reported the violation to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He was taken off that assignment and fired a few months later.
Wrongful Termination and Retaliation
If you believe that an employer has terminated you or retaliated against you for following the law or reporting abuse, you might be able to file a retaliation lawsuit. Wrongful termination attorneys at Bandas Law Firm can evaluate your case and let you know if you qualify. There are several types of actions that are protected by law, and if you believe your termination was due to one of these actions you should contact a lawyer immediately.
Termination after Discrimination
Protected actions regarding discrimination include:
- Filing a Charge of Discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
- Filing a Charge with the Texas Workforce Commission
- Participating in a Discrimination Investigation by the EEOC or TWC
- Reporting Harassment or Discrimination to Your Employer
- Requesting an Accommodation Due to Disability
Federal and state law protects workers who have been discriminated against and are trying to alert authorities or are participating in an investigation. Contact wrongful termination attorneys if you believe you have been fired for one of these reasons.
Terminations after Overtime Complaints
You cannot be legally terminated in retaliation for:
- Making an Overtime Pay Complaint with the Department of Labor
- Reporting Missing Overtime Pay to an Employer
U.S. Workers’ rights to overtime pay are protected, and if you believe you have been fired after not receiving overtime and making a complaint, you should contact wrongful termination attorneys to help you evaluate your legal options.
Terminations after Workers’ Compensation
Employees on workers’ compensation cannot be fired because they were injured and applied to the program. Protected actions include:
- Becoming Injured at Work in a Way that is Covered by Workers’ Compensation
- Applying for or Receiving Workers’ Compensation Benefits
You cannot be fired for being on workers’ compensation, but you can still be fired. For example, if your employer is laying off a large number of people, your termination may not be protected. Wrongful termination attorneys can help you make that determination.
Terminations after Protected Leave
Certain types of leave from work are protected by law. You cannot be fired for:
- Taking Leave or Planning to Take Leave for Maternity
- Taking Leave or Planning to Take Leave Under FMLA
If you believe you were fired for taking leave provided by federal law, you may have been wrongfully terminated, and you should contact an attorney.
Terminations after Whistleblower Activities
Like the terminations of the two inspectors, your employer cannot legally fire you for:
- Declining to Perform an Illegal Act
- Reporting Accounting Abuses or Illegal Activity of Your Company
If you believe your termination was in retaliation of any of these activities, you may have cause for a wrongful termination lawsuit. You should contact one of our wrongful termination attorneys at Bandas Law Firm, and we will begin working with you right away.