Month: September 2013

DISD bans large passenger vans for children due to crash and rollover risk

In what has been a strange and alarming string of events, the Dallas ISD private busing story has reached a conclusion today. Dallas ISD prohibits the use of 12-15 passenger vans to transport school children to and from school due to the questionable legality of their use and the risk of death and serious bodily injury …

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Blackberry layoffs show why KSOPs are bad for employees

In my 2010 article about KSOPs, I discussed how KSOPs risk employees over-leveraging their employment into excessive financial risk. KSOPs blend 401k and ESOP plans in which the employer uses an ESOP with the employer’s stock as an investment as an investment option within the 401k to let employees use their retirement savings to invest in …

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When the insurance company says they don’t pay diminished value claims: Texas employment lawyer

A common statement I hear at my law firm about Texas diminished value claims is the insurance company insists they will not pay diminished value claims. In fact, this is probably the #1 statement I hear from people looking for help settling their diminished value claim. Insurance companies are experts in defending against car wreck claims. …

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How insurance companies calculate diminished value claims by Dallas labor lawyer Adam Kielich

Most insurance companies use a diminished value calculation known as “17c”. This diminished value calculation was developed by Infinity Insurance and first implemented in a court by State Farm in a Georgia lawsuit in which State Farm submitted this calculation method as a way to calculate diminished value. The court in that case (Mabry v. …

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A Facebook “Like” is protected First Amendment Speech

This week, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals published its decision in Bland v. Roberts, a First Amendment case regarding a Facebook “like”. I wrote about this case last year in my National Law Review article on social media and harassment. I contended that a “like”, “retweet” or “+1” is evidence of employee support of employment-based …

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DOL releases official guidance on ERISA and same sex marriage

In a highly important move, the Department of Labor released guidance on how ERISA-governed employee benefit plans will treat same-sex marriages following the Supreme Court’s overruling of DOMA’s definition of marriage as limited to one man and one woman. ERISA-governed benefit plans include private employer benefit plans like 401k plans, defined benefit pensions and health …

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Maternity leave rights in Texas: Fort Worth medical leave lawyer discusses

A common question for Texas employees is, “what rights do I have to maternity leave”? Under Texas law, employees have limited rights to maternity leave. Texas state law does not increase maternity leave rights beyond the rights protected under federal law. The rights to maternity leave come from the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the Family Medical …

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Disability discrimination lawyer on Morbid Obesity: An ADA Disability

When Congress passed the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) in 2008, many said it would open the floodgates. Everything could become a disability. That hasn’t proven entirely true; but the ADAAA certainly expanded the scope of disabilities covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act. One issue is whether obesity qualifies as a disability under the ADA or ADAAA. …

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Same race discrimination is prohibited under Title VII in Texas

In a federal case in New York under Title VII, a federal jury awarded a black employee $30,000 in punitive damages and $250,000 in compensatory damages for racial discrimination in the workplace perpetrated by a black supervisor. According to plaintiff, the black supervisor referred to plaintiff, also a black woman, as a “n****r” eight times. …

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FMLA and same sex marriage

Summer is normally a quiet time in the law because Texas and federal legislators take the summer off; but this summer has been particularly significant for employment law. One of the most important changes came through the Supreme Court’s holding in United States v. Windsor, Executor of the Estate of Spyer, et al. in which …

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