The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that employees could not pursue claims against their former employer for fraudulently inducing them to terminate their employment with the employer and to accept employment with a wholly owned subsidiary. Sawyer v. E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., No. 11-40454 (April 20, 2012), available at http://www.ca5.uscourts.gov/opinions/pub/11/11-40454-CV0.wpd.pdf.
The Court noted that at-will employees in Texas are precluded from bringing fraud claims against their employers for loss of employment. The Court then examined whether the employees who were employed pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement were at-will employees. It concluded they were because, even though the collective bargaining agreement limited the employer’s ability to terminate employees, it also allowed the employer to terminate the agreement with notice. The Court next examined whether employees who were not covered by the collective bargaining agreement were also employed at-will. It held they were; no evidence existed as to any specific language of any oral agreements between the employees and the employer to the contrary. Because all the employees were at-will employees, they could not pursue fraud claims against their former employer.
To speak to Keith Clouse, a Dallas, Texas employment lawyer, or to the other Dallas employment lawyers at his firm, contact Clouse Dunn LLP via email at [email protected] or telephone at 214 220 3888.
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KEITH A. CLOUSE
Clouse Dunn LLP
214.220.3833 ( fax)