Month: August 2013

More Big Brother racism: from the perpetrator’s mouth

At the beginning of August I wrote about the ejection of a black member of the Big Brother house this season. A season full of offensive racism perpetrated by some of this season’s white contestants. Finally, the season’s biggest racist left and confronted about her racist comments in a post-ejection interview with CBS. In the interview, Aaryn …

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Employment criminal background checks, expunged records and deferred adjudication in Texas

Criminal background checks for employment raise several legal issues. For people filling out job applications, the only issue that matters is whether they will get the job. Employers are increasing reliance on criminal background checks and other background checks, such as education verification and credit reports. Criminal background checks, when you have a criminal history, …

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Duress, spousal threats and divorce in Texas

A common concern from divorce clients and people looking for information about divorce comes in the form of, “my husband is threatening to…” or “my wife is threatening to…” with something about taking away the kids or all the property. 99.9% of the time those threats have zero basis in the law and are never going …

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What employment records should I keep in Texas?

The number one mistake that almost all employees make is not keeping their employment records. If you find yourself contemplating suing your employer over wages or discrimination, having records of your employment can be useful. Even though some records may be available from your employer, some information may never reach your employment file. For example, …

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Is there a benefit to having a divorce attorney of the opposite sex or same sex?

There are a lot of misconceptions about how divorce works and how divorce attorneys work. Most of these misconceptions are thanks to television shows and movies that depict divorces wrongly in almost every way imaginable. One of the biggest misconceptions people have about divorce and divorce attorneys is that there is some super secret edge …

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My employer is offering severance in Texas. Should I sign the severance agreement?

Ultimately you will have to sign the severance agreement if you want the money or whatever benefit they offer; but that does not mean you should sign it without carefully considering the terms. There are basically three types of severance agreements with employers in Texas. I call them the “let’s just be friends” severance; the “business …

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What is the statute of limitations in Texas and what happens if the statute of limitations runs out?

There is no actual “statute of limitations” passed by the Texas legislature that gives the limitations period for all suits. The phrase refers to the limited period of time to bring a suit to court, whether it is a divorce, personal injury, employment, or even criminal suit. Different types of suits have different limitations periods …

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Can my employer stop contributing to my 401k?

Generally yes. Employers are not required to offer retirement benefits; nor are they required to make matching contributions, profit sharing, or any other contribution. (With the exception of certain safe harbor plan designs that require safe harbor contributions.) If your employer has a 401k, ESOP, or other defined contribution plan and makes contributions for you, …

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What is the importance of the attorney-client privilege?

The attorney-client privilege protects communications between lawyers and clients when those communications are part of the lawyer providing legal services. The privilege allows the client to speak honestly with the attorney so the attorney can provide the best legal services. Without the privilege, clients may be unwilling to share critical information with their attorneys. Although the importance is obvious …

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Naughty or Nice: Don’t Lose Your Job at the Holiday Party

Russell Cawyer, an attorney in Fort Worth, maintains an excellent employment law blog focusing on employer issues. Each winter he reposts a link to his list of key topics for employers to avoid creating bad situations at holiday parties. In light of his highly informative wish list for employers I wanted to write a complementary …

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Can you sue if your child is injured at a Texas public school?

Public schools and their employees in Texas enjoy protection under Texas law from most injuries to the children they supervise. This means that even though schools are responsible for caring for your children during the school day they are generally immune if something happens to your children causing them injury. Several reasons exist why Texas provides …

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Can you sue if you are injured at beauty salon or spa in Texas?

Many people would not believe the frequency of injuries caused by beauty procedures and treatments at beauty salons and spas. Salons frequently use acids and other harsh chemicals on the scalp, face and other parts of the skin. Salons and spas are increasingly offering more aggressive treatments such as botox, dermabrasion, laser hair removal and other …

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What is HIPAA and how does it affect my employment? (Updated 2022)

HIPAA is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. HIPAA’s most important aspect for consumers and employees is its privacy protection. HIPAA protects your medical records and other personal data from unauthorized disclosure by covered entities. Although employers may not count as covered entities the rules applying to covered entities affects them. The …

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I was sued, my insurance company did not settle and the jury awarded more than my policy covers. I can’t afford to pay. What can I do?

When you own liability insurance, whether it is home insurance or auto insurance, your policy undoubtedly possesses a clause that allows you to turn the claim over to the insurer when the claim is covered under the policy. The insurance company then has a duty to defend you from lawsuits for those claims. Typically insurers …

I was sued, my insurance company did not settle and the jury awarded more than my policy covers. I can’t afford to pay. What can I do? Read More »

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