“[Direct Supervisor’s] testimony rebutted [employer’s] reason that [employee] improperly documented her hours on the time sheets. [Direct Supervisor’s] testimony also rebutted [employer’s] reason that [employee] taking patient files home constituted a privacy violation.” … “As for [employer’s] allegation that [employee] failed to attend a particular conference and notify her supervisors, [direct-supervisor] testified [that employee] did
We asked Carmen Artaza, an experienced Trial Attorney in the Dallas office of Rob Wiley, P.C., to provide her sincere answers to a range of questions. After reading, you will have a better understanding about the knowledge and sophistication that Ms. Artaza shares.
1. Why did you decide to become a lawyer?
I decided I wanted to become a lawyer because I wanted to work in an intellectually challenging environment where I could help people that have been wronged.
2. If you weren't practicing labor and employment law, what would you be?
I honestly cannot imagine doing anything but practicing labor and employment law. However, if I was not practicing labor and employment law, I could see myself as a high school teacher or adolescent psychologist. I would love the opportunity to influence and help teenagers.
3. What is a mistake employees make in dealing with problem employers?
Resigning from employment when they experience discrimination, harassment, or retaliation.
4. What do you think is the most important part of a good case?
I think the most important part of a good case is how a client comes across, and the client’s ability to tell their story in a way that allows others to relate.
5. What characteristics make you relate to employees?
I have worked since I was fourteen years old, and I have worked in a variety of jobs from housekeeping to retail to cocktail waitressing.
6. What personality trait do you like most about yourself?
I am extremely hardworking and dedicated to any task that I undertake.
7. Who is your role model?
My parents will always be role models. My mom because she attended medical school when, quite frankly, women weren’t doctors and later, became an accomplished physician that managed her professional and home life in such a manner that both thrived. My dad because he is the “American Dream.” My dad refused to compromise his political beliefs, risked his life in doing so, and ultimately, came to the United States. Although he lacked a high school diploma, he worked hard and worked his way up from a factory-line job to an executive management position. My parents’ incredible drive and determination inspires me each day.
8. Where do you like to travel?
My favorite place in the world is Northern Michigan in the summertime.
9. What is your favorite food?
A good steak.
10. What’s the best part of living in Dallas?
Mexican food. (I’m from Michigan.)
Carmen Artaza is a Trial Attorney in the Dallas office of Rob Wiley, P.C. She graduated magna cum laude from The University of Colorado-Boulder. Ms. Artaza received her law degree from the University of Miami School of Law in 2006.
An employee can demonstrate pretext where an employer terminates a non-party employee that participated in the investigation and the testimony as to reasons given for the employee’s termination differ between the non-party employee and decisionmaker.
“[T]he evidence shows a conflict regarding [decision-maker’s] stated reasons for not renewing [non-party witness’s] contract. (‘A court may infer pretext where a defendant has provided inconsistent or conflicting explanations for its conduct.’).” “According to [non-party witness’s] testimony, when [decision-maker] notified her that that her contract was not being renewed, he said “due to the…
An employee can demonstrate pretext by producing evidence that the employer’s stated reason for termination was based, in part, on allegations contained within an employee’s complaint that forms the basis of the employee’s protected activity.
“During his deposition, [decision-maker] testified that he made the decision not to renew [employee’s] contract because ‘it came down to issues of trust.’ When explaining what issues of trust he had with [employee], [decision-maker] referenced, among other things, [employee’s] report in which she claimed he bumped into her. . . [a]ccordingly, when asked to explain…
An employee can demonstrate pretext where other individuals that assisted with her complaint also experience an adverse employment action.
“[I]n her response to [employer’s] motion for summary judgment, [employee] also pointed out that [employer] did not renew the contract of other female employees who had supported [employee’s] complaint during the investigation. . . [a]s such, the district court’s analysis overlooks [employee’s] reliance on the termination of two other female employees who supported [her] complaint…
When arguing pretext, an employee should emphasize that their employer refused to give a reason for termination, but subsequently manufactured a laundry list of reasons for their termination.
“We think it significant that, although [decision-maker] refused to give [employee] any reason when he notified her that her contract was not being renewed, during the instant litigation [decision-maker] was able to supply a laundry list of reasons.”
Hague v. Univ. of Tx. Health & Sci. Ctr. at San Antonio, 560 Fed. Appx. 328,…
Reassignment from a DEA task force to the jail even without a decrease in pay is a sufficient adverse action to defeat motion to dismiss.
“This Court has previously held that transfers to jail duty, even without a decrease in pay, can be adverse employment decisions because jobs in the jail are not as interesting or prestigious as jobs in the law enforcement section. We made that finding only after reviewing the evidence presented at trial, and thus we can…
An employer is not entitled to the Ellerth/Faragher affirmative defense as a matter of law where other supervisors were aware of the conduct and failed to report it in accordance with employer’s policies and procedure or where the employee is not provided any assurances as to how “no contact” with the harasser will be enforced.
“Plaintiff testified that because she was provided no assurances about how no contact with [the harasser] was going to be enforced and [the harasser] was not disciplined in any manner, she had no choice but to accept the transfer. A genuine issue of material fact exists as to whether the employer exercised reasonable care to…
Under the requisite totality of the circumstances, a material fact issue exists on whether the comments and actions of an employer were severe or pervasive.
“A fact issue exists as to whether conduct is severe or pervasive where an employee provides evidence that the harasser ‘sought her out, gave her hugs, invited her to drinks, took a photo of her and showed it to his subordinate, used her cell phone and added him to her Facebook ‘friends,’ and showed her…
An employee does not have to identify the specific instances of sexual harassment or retaliation in the charge of discrimination to exhaust administrative remedies.
“Plaintiff provided notice to the TWC that Dr. Decherd was sexually harassing her and that she complained to her supervisor of the alleged conduct. Plaintiff was not required to specifically detail each and every instance of sexually harassing conduct allegedly engaged in by Dr. Decherd.”
Sanders v. Christus Santa Rosa PASC, 13-CV-250, 2014 WL…
To defeat a motion to dismiss, an employee is not required to show that their supervisor employed or terminated the employee; rather, evidence that the supervisor otherwise retaliated against the employee is sufficient.
“Section 301 of the Texas Occupations Code provided: ‘[A] person may not suspend or terminate the employment of, or otherwise discipline or discriminate against, a person who reports, without malice, under this section.’ Thus, wrongful termination is not a necessary element for Plaintiffs to assert a claim under section 301. Plaintiffs have alleged that in…