Officials in Swisher County are embroiled in a lawsuit brought by a former employee who says she was fired in retaliation for a series of events that resulted in criminal charges against her employer. The woman claims she faced discrimination for taking family leave to cope with job-related stress and a child's illness.
This complicated case began when the woman sued the county claiming her supervisor had exposed himself in front of her. As a result, the authorities filed criminal misconduct charges against the woman's boss. The woman said other supervisors in the office retaliated against her for filing the lawsuit, and the atmosphere at work became extremely stressful. About the same time, her child became ill, so she requested, and was given, leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. While the woman was on leave, she says the county filled her position.
In addition, the complaint states the woman's co-workers told her that while she was on leave, her supervisor told others that he was looking for ways to get rid of her. At that point, the woman decided to resign due to hostile working conditions, but her boss refused to accept her resignation. Instead, the supervisor notified officials that the woman had been dishonorably discharged. The woman says that before she was told she had been discharged, she had never been accused of any wrongdoing at work, and had never been investigated for misconduct.
Workplace discrimination and retaliation is rarely an uncomplicated issue. Many situations involve provisions of multiple laws designed to protect employees from unfair practices, which is why it may be important to seek the advice of a Texas lawyer specializing in employment law.
Source: Amarillo Globe-News, "Woman accuses Swisher County sheriff of retaliation after sexual harrassment claim," Jim McBride, Dec. 25, 2013