Woodlands Mercedes dealership fired teen employee for performing jury duty, suit alleges

By John Suayan | Apr 1, 2019

HOUSTON – It is said that an individual called for jury duty is performing a noble service to the community. However, a fresh high school graduate asserts that a car dealership in The Woodlands terminated him for serving on a jury in Harris County.

Zachary “Zach” White brought a wrongful termination lawsuit against Dream Motors, LLC, doing business as Mercedes-Benz of The Woodlands on Mar. 29 in the Harris County 334th District Court.

In the 11-page original petition, White explains that he secured a job in the defendant’s service department following his graduation last year. Earlier this year, he received a jury summons from the Harris County District Clerk’s Office, to which the suit says he gladly complied.

The dealership purportedly instructed White to “ignore” the summons upon hearing about it from the plaintiff. He did not abide by “the poor advice from his supervisor” and proceeded to serve as an alternate juror in a commercial dispute case argued before the 133rd District Court, the complaint says.

According to court filings, White sat with the other jurors for four weeks though he was not allowed to participate in the jury deliberations. He was allegedly fired in writing on Feb. 25, 2019 at the conclusion of the proceedings.

Labeling the defendant’s letter as “false and self-serving,” the suit argues that White did not “abandon his position.” The complainant reportedly spoke to the dealership’s human resources director about his jury service, as well as keep her abreast about the trial’s schedule.

White seeks unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.

The law firm Terry & Thweatt, P.C. in Houston serves as the plaintiff’s lead counsel.

Harris County 334th District Court Case No. 2019-22707

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