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Samuel II
Samuel II, Attorney at Law
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 27009
Experience:  More than 20 years of experience practicing law.
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I was recently told that I needed to resign from a school

Customer Question

I was recently told that I needed to resign from a school district to avoid termination after being lied to, bullied, harrassed, yelled at, etc. Since then, because it's mid year, I've been unable to find a job. I've become extremely depressed. I'm basically having to depend on my family for money and have now resorted to living in an RV until this situation turns around.
My question is: Do I have grounds to sue?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Samuel II replied 11 months ago.

Hello

This is Samuel and I will discuss this and provide you information in this regard.

I suggest, if you were forced to resign - given an option to be terminated or resign, that you have in essence been forced. Being forced to resign is not considered voluntary on part of the employee. And so if you have not already done so, you should consider filing for unemployment.

Expert:  Samuel II replied 11 months ago.

You see, if you had allowed them to terminate you then there is an In House appeal process that would need to be followed and by forcing you to resign with an option, they did not afford you the rights you would have as a state school employee.

Expert:  Samuel II replied 11 months ago.

I suggest, you might have reason to sue if the forced resignation was based on discrimination such as your race, religion, age, gender, disability or national origin. Otherwise, unfortunately, you have no lawsuit.

Expert:  Samuel II replied 11 months ago.

Under Texas law

A work separation is involuntary if initiated by the employer. An employer initiates a work separation by taking some kind of action that makes it clear to the employee that continued employment will not be an option past a certain date. In such a situation, the employer has more control than the employee over the fact and the timing of leaving the work. There are many ways in which a work separation can be involuntary:

  1. Layoff, reduction in force, or downsizing - work separation due to economic inability to keep the employee on the payroll.

  2. Temporary job comes to an end - work separation due to work no longer being available because the job is simply finished. This includes successful completion of PRN or on-call, as-needed assignments, if no further work is available the next workday.

  3. Discharge or termination for misconduct or "cause" - work separation that the employer views as somehow being the claimant's fault.

  4. Resignation in lieu of discharge - same as discharge, but the employer gives the employee the option of resigning as a face-saving option.

  5. Forced retirement - may be akin to an economic layoff or a discharge for cause, but in this situation, the employee is allowed to qualify under a retirement plan.

  6. "Mutual agreement" - in most cases, this form of work separation is viewed as involuntary, since it is usually initiated or encouraged by the employer.

  7. Unpaid suspension of four days or longer - see "Unpaid Suspensions" in the article "Unemployment Insurance Law - Qualification Issues" for details.

Expert:  Samuel II replied 11 months ago.

Please let me know, if you have other questions in this regard, or need more information or clarification. Otherwise, thanking you in advance for a positive rating.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
The reason they suggested I resign is that I fell asleep for about 1-2 minutes while a video was on. I am on medicine for depression and my depression was exacerbated as a result of the working conditions. My psychiatrist changed medications which had the side effect of drowsiness. What that constitute forcing resignation because of a disability?
Expert:  Samuel II replied 11 months ago.

Thank you.

If they knew you were on medication, and you can have your medical professional write a letter in that regard and the medication has since been changed, then I suggest you could file with the EEOC and file a complaint based on the discrimination. However, they would have to had knowledge that you are on medication.

Now, in the meantime, you should consider also filing for the Unemployment. Arguably you have both an involuntary termination as well as a discrimination matter.

Expert:  Samuel II replied 11 months ago.

Also, if you want to consult with a local discrimination attorney, I suggest you use the Texas Bar Association for a legal referral service.

Expert:  Samuel II replied 11 months ago.

(###) ###-####(Toll Free), Monday - Friday, CST, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m

Expert:  Samuel II replied 11 months ago.

You can ask for a local attorney who will consult on a wrongful termination base on discrimination. Any attorney who takes your case would do so on a contingency.

Expert:  Samuel II replied 11 months ago.

That means, there is no money up front from you. If the attorney feels, after full review, you have a case, they will take it on a percentage based fee from any settlement you get from the employer

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