In abruptly firing their P.R. director, the Texans acquired a major P.R. problem. The Texans also acquired a potential legal problem.
Via Ben Fischer of Sports Business Daily, Amy Palcic has hired Houston lawyer Joseph Ahmad.
“The only thing I can say is I’ve been retained by Amy, and other than that, at this time, I don’t really have anything to say,” Ahmad told Fischer.
That pretty much says it all. Fired employees usually hire lawyers to evaluate the facts in light of the applicable law in order to identify potential causes of action. A negotiated settlement agreement also is possible, with the threat of litigation providing leverage for it.
Palcic reportedly was told that she’s no longer “cultural fit,” which could be a pretext for one or more motivations protected by state or federal law. She also possibly has a contract that may have been breached, and she may have engaged in protected activity by for example raising concerns raised over specific employment policies, practices, or comments made in the workplace by management.
Whatever the legal theory, if Ahmad identifies one, the case ultimately could turn on whether and to what extent he can blow holes in the “cultural fit” explanation. As the argument would go, if the employer’s stated reason can be shown to be bogus or illogical, it’s possible that the stated reason was cover for a reason that violates the law.