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Southwest sued by Harris County woman for wrongful termination

No one likes losing a job. Most people pride themselves in their careers and in the effort they put into them. Yet oftentimes circumstances interfere with an employee’s job duties. Whatever the reasons for decreased job performance, Houston employers are often placed in the unenviable position of having to balance having understanding for an individual employee’s struggles with the need to have that employee perform his or her job responsibilities. Sometimes the situation may require that the employee be terminated. If and when this happens, the employee may claim that he or she was wrongfully dismissed. 

Such has been the case with woman Harris county woman who is claiming that she was unjustly fired from her job as a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines. Her suit alleges that the airline’s decision to fire her shows an unwillingness to accommodate her medical conditions, which she maintains do not keep her from executing her job functions. The woman had initially been dismissed earlier by the airline after missing time due to health and emotional issues in 2010. She was eventually brought back, but maintained the company-imposed penalty points given after taking off time during her previous employment term. It’s Southwest’s policy that employees be terminated after accruing a pre-determined amount of points, which the woman later exceeded by showing up late to work in September of 2012. Because of this, she was terminated.

If an employee has violated company policy, an employer may choose to terminate his or her employment despite protestations that the company should be more accommodating to his or her situation. If that employee sues for wrongful termination, the employer may want to retain a law firm with experience in employment litigation. 

Source: The Southwest Texas Record “Former flight attendant takes Southwest to court for wrongful termination” John Suayan, July 29, 2012

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