“[T]he evidence shows a conflict regarding [decision-maker’s] stated reasons for not renewing [non-party witness’s] contract. (‘A court may infer pretext where a defendant has provided inconsistent or conflicting explanations for its conduct.’).”  “According to [non-party witness’s] testimony, when [decision-maker] notified her that that her contract was not being renewed, he said “due to the budget cuts, we’re going to have to let you go.” However, during his deposition, [decision-maker] testified he did not renew [non-party witness’s] contract because he ‘needed a staff position of a higher category according to the HR for the school and that higher category would include a higher level of experience or education background.’”

Hague v. Univ. of Tx. Health & Sci. Ctr. at San Antonio, 560 Fed. Appx. 328, 336–37 (5th. Cir. March 28, 2014) (Benavides, J.).

Photo of Carmen Artaza Carmen Artaza

We asked Carmen Artaza, an experienced Trial Attorney in the Dallas office of Rob Wiley, P.C., to provide her sincere answers to a range of questions.  After reading, you will have a better understanding about the knowledge and sophistication that Ms. Artaza

We asked Carmen Artaza, an experienced Trial Attorney in the Dallas office of Rob Wiley, P.C., to provide her sincere answers to a range of questions.  After reading, you will have a better understanding about the knowledge and sophistication that Ms. Artaza shares.

1. Why did you decide to become a lawyer?

I decided I wanted to become a lawyer because I wanted to work in an intellectually challenging environment where I could help people that have been wronged.

2. If you weren’t practicing labor and employment law, what would you be?

I honestly cannot imagine doing anything but practicing labor and employment law.  However, if I was not practicing labor and employment law, I could see myself as a high school teacher or adolescent psychologist.  I would love the opportunity to influence and help teenagers.

3. What is a mistake employees make in dealing with problem employers?

Resigning from employment when they experience discrimination, harassment, or retaliation.

4. What do you think is the most important part of a good case?

I think the most important part of a good case is how a client comes across, and the client’s ability to tell their story in a way that allows others to relate.

5. What characteristics make you relate to employees?

I have worked since I was fourteen years old, and I have worked in a variety of jobs from housekeeping to retail to cocktail waitressing.

6. What personality trait do you like most about yourself?

I am extremely hardworking and dedicated to any task that I undertake.

7. Who is your role model?

My parents will always be role models.  My mom because she attended medical school when, quite frankly, women weren’t doctors and later, became an accomplished physician that managed her professional and home life in such a manner that both thrived.  My dad because he is the “American Dream.”  My dad refused to compromise his political beliefs, risked his life in doing so, and ultimately, came to the United States.  Although he lacked a high school diploma, he worked hard and worked his way up from a factory-line job to an executive management position.  My parents’ incredible drive and determination inspires me each day.

8. Where do you like to travel?

My favorite place in the world is Northern Michigan in the summertime.

9. What is your favorite food?

A good steak.

10. What’s the best part of living in Dallas?

Mexican food. (I’m from Michigan.)

Carmen Artaza is a Trial Attorney in the Dallas office of Rob Wiley, P.C.  She graduated magna cum laude from The University of Colorado-Boulder.  Ms. Artaza received her law degree from the University of Miami School of Law in 2006.