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Judge gives wrongful termination case a second chance

When it comes to filing a wrongful termination claim, one of the most disappointing things that could happen is not being able to argue your case in court. Even worse still would be losing your case despite the evidence that support your claims. But this is the risk people in Indiana, and across the nation, take when filing these types of claims against their employers in the hopes of being able to present their side of the story.

This was the risk one Texas woman decided to take back in 2012 when she filed suit against her former employer on claims of retaliation and the violation of her First Amendment right to free speech. It's been nearly a year, but a court judge is allowing the woman to proceed with her case in court.

In the complaint against her former employer, the woman points to several events that eventually led to her termination in 2011. According to reports, a "fight club" had been established at the school for disabled people where the woman worked. She claims to have filed complaints about this abuse and even spoke out against it at a public hearing in 2007. It was at this time that she was transferred and given a larger work load, the woman claims. In 2009, six of the school's staff members were charged in connection to the "fight club," further solidifying the woman's complaints against the school.

It was after this time that she was placed on a one-year probation then later passed up for a promotion and finally fired in 2011. She claims that she was retaliated against and fired because she chose to speak publicaly against the school. While a judge recently dismissed her claims of retaliation, she may proceed with her claim that she was denied a promotion based on her exercise of free speech. Although exciting that she will be able to defend herself in court, the moment will be bittersweet because she will not be allowed to argue her claims of retaliation.

Source: Courthouse News, "Troubled School's Fired Critic May Have a Case," Bonnie Barron, July 3, 2013

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