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Employee rights

Severance and Texas unemployment benefits: Can I take both?

Dallas and Fort Worth employees often question the relationship between severance pay and unemployment benefits through the Texas Workforce Commission. Workers often think if they accept severance pay they are automatically ineligible for unemployment benefits in Texas. That is incorrect. The terms of the severance agreement determine whether you can receive severance and unemployment pay in Texas. When in doubt, talk to Dallas or Fort Worth employment lawyer Adam Kielich about your situation. Basic rules for Texas Workforce Commission unemployment benefits and severance pay Unemployment benefits from the Texas Workforce Commission are available to Dallas and Fort Worth employees who lost their job...

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Hiring a Dallas employment attorney for FMLA claims

FMLA, the Family Medical Leave Act, is an important piece of legislation to protect an employee's right to medical leave at many employers. FMLA contains a range of technical requirements to ensure employers comply with the protected medical leave. When an employer fails to meet these technical requirements and abuses the employee for invoking FMLA the employee can run into problems. Employers retaliate and interfere with FMLA rights. This can result in demotions, pay cuts, loss of benefits, wrongful termination and other employment consequences. When this occurs, you should contact a Dallas employment attorney like Adam Kielich to help you...

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Can I be fired for discussing politics at work? Dallas Employment Attorney Adam Kielich Explains

Dallas and Fort Worth employees have good reason to worry about how the polarized political climate may affect their jobs. Certainly changes in employment laws could have a meaningful change to employment in Texas. These could occur in changes to: civil rights protections for gay and transgender employees; minimum wage and overtime pay regulations; investment adviser fiduciary duties to retirement plans; protections against retaliation for social media activity under labor laws; reduced OSHA oversight; and changes to the ACA health care laws. Beyond these changes, Dallas and Fort Worth employees may face job problems merely for discussing political issues at work. If...

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Can my employer fire me for doing what my manager told me to do?

Here's a tricky situation: you follow a specific instruction from your manager or a company policy. Then your employer fires you. Can this happen for following orders? Unfortunately, in most cases the answer: yes. Seems bizarre--and it is--but this is the nature of the at-will employment relationship. In an at-will employment relationship the employer can discipline an employee, up to termination, for a bad reason--even no reason at all. The employer can fire you for doing exactly what it instructed you to do. This is among the most glaring proof that the at-will employment relationship is a legal fiction. Texas law treats the at-will employment relationship...

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Just been fired? Apply for unemployment benefits in Texas

If you are fired (aka discharged, terminated) from your job then one of your first acts in almost all cases should be to apply for unemployment benefits. Applying for unemployment benefits through the Texas Workforce Commission is free so even if denied benefits you have only lost the time applying. This is true even if your employer believes it had a legitimate reason to fire you. The TWC has specific standards for awarding unemployment benefits. The employer's reason for terminating your employment may not meet those standards. Sometimes employers do not defend against an unemployment benefit application. You can receive benefits...

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Dallas Employment Attorney’s 10 Signs You Should Not Take That Job

In a tough job market it's always difficult to turn down a job but sometimes the company culture is so toxic or the boss is so insufferable that it's more harmful to your health and career than the benefit of the paycheck. Of course, that's an easy thing to say when you have a paycheck. Many people go into bad jobs only to quickly find themselves wrongfully terminated or find the job insufferable. It's far better to identify those bad employment opportunities before you commit and forego other job opportunities. I worked a number of jobs before becoming an employment attorney and...

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Employees must engage interactive process in good faith for ADA failure to accommodate claims

ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and the Texas Labor Code require employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with qualified disabilities. A reasonable accommodation allows a disabled employees equal access to the workplace and allow them to perform the essential functions of their jobs. Many employers refuse to provide any reasonable accommodation. This results in a failure to accommodate claim under the ADA and Texas Labor Code. Under both federal and Texas law, employers are required to engage employees requesting a disability accommodation in good faith. Employers are also required to engage in an interactive process to determine the need for accommodation. Failing...

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Is Pokemon Go Putting Your Texas Job at Risk?

Over the weekend I was grocery shopping at my local Kroger. As I was loading my car I saw an employee wandering around the parking lot. I thought he was rounding up shopping carts. He got closer and I realized he was playing Pokemon Go. He was walking around face down in a parking lot in the dark, possibly on company time. This is not just teenagers. Adults make up a significant portion of the playing population. They engage in just as many risky behaviors while playing. I don't have kids and I'm a little too old to have gotten...

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Why is there a 10% early withdrawal penalty to cash out a 401k?

Before becoming an employment attorney I worked for one of the largest (maybe the largest) provider of 401k services. We provided various investment, customer service and recordkeeping services for 401k plans. Most people who call for information about their 401k plans will end up talking to my former employer or one of their competitors. Most 401k plan administration responsibilities outsourced to financial institutions that provide the infrastructure and staffing with expertise in plan issues. A large number of calls about 401k plans are for withdrawals from the 401k plan. Many people were dismayed to find out that a 10% early withdrawal penalty may...

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Could Laremy Tunsil’s draft disaster happen to you at work in Texas?

Three months ago the nation stopped what it was doing for three weeks while the NFL draft chugged along. Laremy Tunsil from Ole Miss felt confident draft rumors were true that he was a lock for the first round. Rumor has it that the Ravens were primed to pick him up early in the round. Minutes before the beginning of the draft a bomb dropped on Tunsil. His Twitter and Instagram accounts were hacked and new content appeared. His Twitter account posted a picture allegedly of Tunsil wearing a gas mask attached to a bong. Tunsil's Instagram posted a picture of...

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