Thank you for your question.
Texas is an "at will
" employment state, meaning unless you had an employment contract
or a union agreement, which may
have given you more rights on the job, an employer may terminate you at any time, for any reason, with or without cause
. You can be an excellent, beloved employee, and still be terminated just because they feel like it, or because the sky is blue, or because the Cowboys haven't won a superbowl in years -the reason doesn't matter, in other words. No one can tell you why your employer would do this to you, of course - only that legally speaking, they don't even need a reason or even have to give you a reason, unforunately.
That said, an employer cannot terminate an employee for an unlawful reason -their age (over 40), race, religion, sex, disability or national origin. You have suspicions that they may have terminated you for unlawful reasons -you even say that you believe that your employer was hiding things from you - but suspicions alone are not going to be enough to have a successful claim. Granted, they terminated you and hired a minority, but that in itself is not evidence of discrimination
. It certainly could be, don't get me wrong - but it would be easy for the employer to come up with some reason for hiring them that doesn't sound discriminatory as well.
Did anything ever happen at your job to suggest you were being discriminated against? For example, were you harassed at work due to your race or national origin? Were you given different assignments, or denied promotions
or other benefits that your co-workers received even though you were equally qualified, etc?
If you believe you were terminated unlawfully, the first thing you must do is file a complaint with the Texas Workforce Commission
, which will dual file it with the Equal Employment Opportunity
When you file a complaint, you will be offered the opportunity to try to resolve any dispute
through mediation/dispute resolution. If you decline, then the matter will be turned over to an investigator. If the investigation does not turn up any evidence of discrimination (note that the time to complete an investigation from the time you file can take months, given the amount of complaints filed), you will still be issued a "Right to Sue" letter, after which you will have 90 days from the date of the letter to file a lawsuit, should you desire to do so.