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Can my employer make me waive FMLA protection in Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas?

No, an employer cannot require you to sign a waiver of protection under FMLA for future leave or protection from discrimination on the basis of prior use of FMLA. Department of Labor regulations on FMLA prohibit employers from requiring employees to waive FMLA rights and hold any waiver invalid. Like minimum wage and overtime protections, employers cannot require employees to give up legal protections. All that said, keep in mind that this prohibition on FMLA waivers is for future protections under the law. That means an employer cannot require you to waive protections for future leave or from future adverse action for...

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EEOC lands $180,000 settlement with employer who fired an employee for eating chips

The headline sounds crazier than the facts behind this case, which involves a disability discrimination suit on a wrongful termination. The case arose in a California federal district court against the employer, Walgreens. (The case is EEOC v. Walgreens.) The case involves an employee who broke a workplace rule to avoid a diabetic shock and lost her job. Many employer-side employment lawyers thought this case would easily fall in favor of Walgreens. They were wrong. After the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission prevailed at summary judgment and won the right to take the case before a jury, Walgreens had a change of heart about...

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Fifth Circuit Deals Blow to Overtime Pay with MCA Exemption

This month the federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which hears appeals from Texas, delivered a surprising appellate decision on overtime pay for workers in long haul freight transport in Allen v. Coil Tubing Services, LLC. In this case, the appellate court held that workers could be identified by class in determining whether an exemption to overtime pay applies rather than assessing the individual job responsibilities of the employee. While this may seem like a minor point, it actually has huge implications. You can read the opinion here but I will address the court's new rule and how it affects Texas...

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5 FMLA Myths You Might Believe in Texas by Fort Worth employment attorney Adam Kielich

Employment lawyers like myself deal with my fair share of FMLA cases for clients. (Probably more than my fair share in Dallas and Fort Worth.) Among those FMLA claims I see employers violate FMLA often because the employer was ignorant of FMLA regulations or had serious misconceptions about FMLA. I also get plenty of calls from employees who believe their employer violated FMLA but the employee misunderstood his or her rights under FMLA. Today's post is a helping of debunking so people can better understand their FMLA rights. 1. My employer has to approve FMLA leave when I ask for it. Remember The...

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Divorce agreements and duress in a Bedford, Texas divorce with Bedford divorce lawyer Adam Kielich

Around the interwebs, I see a lot of people in the midst of divorce, or after the divorce has been granted by a Texas court, that they signed a divorce agreement, mediated settlement agreement, or divorce decree but that they signed it "under duress", "under pressure", or they were "forced to sign it." These statements typically come along with a question about whether the agreement or divorce decree can be overturned or set aside by a Texas divorce court. The answer is typically no but let's explain why. If you expect to divorce your spouse in the near future then...

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Five Risks in Modification Suits In Texas

Under the Texas Family Code a party can modify a divorce decree or an order following a SAPCR. The modification may include a modification of child support, child custody, spousal support or some combination of those issues. Generally, however, a property division in a Texas divorce cannot. In both child support and spousal support modification suits, the objective of the modification lawsuit is very narrow. The petitioner in a Tarrant County or Dallas County family court seeks to raise or lower the amount of support. Usually that means the income of the obligor increased or decreased. Either the obligor or the...

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What it takes to get an uncontested divorce on your own in Texas

Last Wednesday I was at the Dallas County Family Courts helping a client wrap up an uncontested divorce. The early morning court sessions are typically open to what are called "prove ups" in which parties present testimony on uncontested issues (such as name changes, uncontested divorce decree signing, etc.) and the judge grants the orders or divorce decrees. These sessions are open to both attorneys and pro se parties (people without lawyers); but Texas courts typically allow the parties with attorneys to go to the front of the line. That must be very frustrating for pro se parties who have been...

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Dress up like the KKK and sue for race discrimination

Yes, you read that correctly. Three Boeing employees transformed their work uniform into makeshift KKK uniforms and lost their jobs. Then they filed suit for race discrimination because their African American coworker did not lose his. Yes, you read that correctly, too. This is the backdrop for Barker v. The Boeing Company, filed in Pennsylvania. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to discuss one of the most bizarre employment cases I've ever seen. The case involves federal law so there's no different spin on the case under Texas law; but I thought I would present the case a little differently than other...

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Does an ADA accommodation have to be the one an employee wants? Fort Worth employment lawyer explains

The Americans with Disabilities Act and the Texas Labor Code require an employer to provide a reasonable accommodation to a qualified employee to assist the employee in performing the essential functions of the employee's job and/or access the workplace. These federal and state laws require employers to engage the employee in an interactive process to determine what needs the employee has that requires accommodation and what reasonable accommodations may satisfy the employee's needs. If the employee meets the requirements to receive a reasonable accommodation under these laws then the employer must provide an appropriate and reasonable accommodation for the employee's...

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Coworkers and Their Annoying Habits: Texas employment lawyers

An article published today by Ignites discusses the annoying habits of coworkers according to a poll of mutual fund employees. Although we're not all mutual fund employees, the habits pointed out in the survey are the annoying habits you find across all industries. The worst of the worst was loud phone conversations. A lot of these employees work in jobs where they are on the phones all day or most of the day, so loud conversations of both personal and professional discussions can really interfere with work. If your situation reaches the level of a hostile work environment then you...

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