Fifth Circuit Rules on Texas Discrimination Law

06/14/2015 // Dallas, Texas, United States // Attorney Keith Clouse // Keith Clouse // (press release)

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled in a discrimination claim brought under Texas law. Peterson v. Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc., No. 14-10249 (June 4, 2015, available at http://www.ca5.uscourts.gov/opinions/pub/14/14-10249-CV0.pdf).

The plaintiff was laid off during a reduction in force. He claimed his employer targeted him because of his age. The jury concluded that the employer was motivated to make its termination decision based on the employee’s age, but that he would have been terminated anyway. After losing the jury trial, the employee moved for an injunction preventing his employer from discriminating against other employees. The trial court granted the injunction and awarded the employee attorneys’ fees because he had prevailed on the injunction issue.

The Fifth Circuit reversed. It concluded that the employee waived his right to seek injunctive relief because he waited until after trial to raise the issue and the employer therefore had no opportunity to defend against the broad injunctive request. The Court next concluded that, without the injunctive relief wrongly granted by the trial court, the employee had not “prevailed” on a claim and thus was not entitled to attorneys’ fees.

This article is presented by the Dallas employment attorneys at Clouse Dunn LLP. To speak to an employment law attorney, send an email to [email protected] or call (214) 239-2705.

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