Blog

Employer won’t pay your last paycheck in Texas?

I get a LOT of calls and emails to my Fort Worth area law office from people who left their employer and the employer refuses to pay the former employee's final paycheck. It's inexcusable for employers to think that just because they no longer have to rely on the employee for continued work that they don't have to pay for work that was already performed but it seems to be a very popular attitude these days. Although Texas law provides authority for the government to pursue civil and criminal penalties against employers who try to stiff their employees, it is rare...

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The Texas sized myth of terminating rights to avoid child support

In a recent post I discussed why parents sometimes want to terminate the parental rights of another parent in Bedford, Fort Worth, or Dallas and why that is often not a financially advantageous move. Today's post takes the other side: whether a parent can terminate his or her own rights to avoid child support. I'll tell you up front that the answer is almost always no. Like 99.99999999999999999999999999% of the time no. You don't have to take my word for it; but as a Fort Worth divorce lawyer I have seen more of these situations than most people. Are a parent contemplating...

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Uncontested divorce and waiver of service in Tarrant County and Dallas County, Texas

In an uncontested divorce in Fort Worth or Dallas it makes very little sense to spend the $80 to serve the respondent in a divorce suit where the respondent knows the divorce is coming and is not going to contest the terms of the divorce. The Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, however, require a petitioner (or plaintiff) to a lawsuit, such as a divorce suit, to serve process on a respondent (or defendant). That allows the respondent/defendant to learn about the suit and respond to the allegations in the petition. In the alternative, the rules permit the responding party to file...

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Military retirement and Texas divorces

Military pensions, or military retirement, is a complex and tedious part of a Texas divorce. Generally, dividing retirement plans in divorces can be complex legal and financial undertakings; but military pensions carry unique functions that affect how they fit into a divorce in Dallas and Fort Worth. What works in one divorce may not be remotely close to the right course of action in the next. The flexibility of military retirement can be extremely useful to both parties in a Texas divorce. It allows the parties to craft a unique division that works in the overall property division. (Private employer plans,...

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The Hidden Danger of Child Support Income Withholding in Texas

In Tarrant County divorces with children, child support is almost always awarded. Along with the support comes an income withholding order (IWO) to garnish child support from the paying parent's paycheck. The paying parent, the obligor, will have payments deducted and paid through the Attorney General or a domestic relations office. The income withholding order is often a good deal. It helps ensure child support goes to the receiving parent, the obligee, and avoids the obligor having to prove payments went to the obligee. There is a hidden trap when obligors are least capable of freeing themselves from a child support enforcement.  This post could potentially...

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Can I file an FMLA lawsuit in Texas state courts?

Yes, under section 107 of the Family Medical Leave Act, a covered employee may file suit in a federal or state court with competent jurisdiction to hear the FMLA claims. That means an employee with FMLA claims can certainly file those FMLA claims in Texas state courts. Rules governing which Texas state courts have jurisdiction to hear FMLA claims lies, generally, within the Texas Government Code. FMLA claims filed in Texas courts will go to county or district courts based on limits on damages in each type of court. In addition to the damage limitations, a plaintiff filing FMLA claims must file in a...

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Nurse fired for not praying the Rosary with patient and loses religious discrimination suit

That's right. The federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently decided in Nobach v. Woodland Village Nursing Center, Inc. that a Jehovah's Witness who refused to pray the Rosary with a Catholic patient and was fired for her refusal failed to prove her religious discrimination claim. Nursing home activities aide Nobach was asked to pray the Rosary with a Catholic patient. Nobach declined to pray with the patient, saying she was not Catholic and it was against her religion. Management learned about the refusal and  after an investigation terminated Nobach for insubordination. Nobach, who follows the Jehovah's Witness faith, believed her...

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Frequent urinarion at work and disability discrimination in Texas

Frequent urination can be caused by a number of medical conditions. Frequent restroom breaks can cause problems with the employer who wants the employee to be at his or her work station during the work day. In addition to the physical discomfort, it can be emotionally uncomfortable as co-workers or managers make comments about the situation. One of job where this is often an issue is call center employees. The employer ties them to their phones each minute of their schedule. There have been many lawsuits by call center employees under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family Medical Leave Act and...

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Terminating a parent’s rights in Texas: The Financial Risks

One question I receive at my Bedford law office is how to terminate parental rights when a parent refuses involvement in a child's life. The typical scenario is that after a divorce or a suit affecting the parent-child relationship (SAPCR) that established some visitation rights and child support obligations, the parent with visitation rights shortly after stopped involvement in the child's life so the parent with custody of the child wants to terminate the other parent's rights. Sometimes the parent has reasonable reasons for wanting to pursue this course of action, such as ensuring the uninvolved parent does not end up with custody. I'm not...

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Employee confidentiality agreements may violate the National Labor Relations Act in Texas

If you grew up in the 1980s or the first half of the 1990s you remember awesome Saturday morning cartoons. I'm pretty sure there's still Saturday morning cartoons; but when I was a kid during this time period there was wall-to-wall cartoons from 6am until 11am. A few years they even ran until noon. It was glorious. The cartoons were stacked with commercials for McDonald's, Nerf products and breakfast cereals. Among those commercials were the NBC, "The More You Know" campaign spots with the shooting star. (I am pretty sure these still air but it's not the same without the awesome cartoons.)...

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