Haggar Clothing Company v. Hernandez
Haggar Clothing Company v. Hernandez was an important case that went as far as the Texas Supreme Court and ultimately upheld Texas state laws concerning employment lay-offs and workers’ compensation claims.
For more information about your legal rights concerning employment when you are on workers’ compensation, contact the Austin employment lawyers of The Melton Law Firm, by calling 512-330-0017 today.
Altagracia Hernandez was working as a seamstress for Haggar Clothing Company’s Weslaco factory in the early 1990s when an injury caused her to go on workers’ compensation. While on Haggar’s workers’ compensation package, she received medical treatment covered by the company’s insurance carrier. However, after a year on workers’ comp, the plant manager fired her, citing company policy that no employee could be absent for longer than a year. Hernandez had five days during which to protest her dismissal, although she took no action to do so.
The Court Case
Two years after her dismissal, Hernandez brought a case against the Haggar Clothing Company asserting that she was fired as a result of her workers’ compensation claim. A jury found in favor of her, and awarded compensatory and punitive damages totaling $1.6 million.
However, the case eventually went to the Texas Supreme Court, which ruled differently. They found that a company which releases an employee due to a uniformly enforced company policy has not committed a retaliatory firing, which was what Hernandez was asserting. In the end, Hernandez lost her claim and Haggar was found to be in the right.
The case of Haggar v. Hernandez attests to the complexity of employment law. If you or someone you love has been discharged for retaliatory reasons, contact the Austin employment lawyers of The Melton Law Firm, by calling 512-330-0017.