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New case illustrates risk of ESOP mismanagement: Dallas employee benefits lawyer

I am a skeptic of Employee Stock Ownership Plans because they create unique financial risks to employees. The ESOP industry, unsurprisingly, takes issue with my position; but it's hard to take their position seriously in light of cases like today's appellate decision from the Seventh Circuit. Certainly I would agree that some ESOP plans are well-managed and financially benefit employees; but the risk of mismanagement is substantial. If you believe you have a claim for ESOP mismanagement then you should talk to a Dallas, Texas employment lawyer right away. Today's case Fish v. GreatBanc Trust Co., from the Seventh Circuit, illustrates just how...

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When the insurance company low balls your diminished value claim: Texas employment attorneys

Insurance companies have responded to the growing number of claims for diminished value by low balling rather than outright rejecting the claims. Although there is still a lot of outright rejection going on. A lot of people tell me that regardless of the appraisal reflects they receive a flat $500 settlement offer. It's curious that multiple insurance companies are all offering the exact same number. Somewhere along the way the insurance companies decided that $500 represents an effective settlement offer to combat diminished value claims. Insurance companies are very good at using settlement offers to avoid litigation. They are very good at managing...

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Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas unpaid wage claims and attorney fees

If the calls and emails coming into my office are any indication then there is a growing problem with unpaid wages, minimum wage violations, minimum wage tip violations and unpaid overtime pay here in Texas. I am getting a lot of contacts from people with unpaid wages. The Fair Labor Standards Act and the Texas Payday Law regulate payment of wage in Texas. These laws have duplicate requirements; but the Texas Payday Law adds some additional rules that help ensure employees are paid what they are due. These additional rules include provisions setting out how and when employees must receive paychecks....

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Alcoholism and the Americans with Disabilities Act: Dallas employment lawyer discusses

Let's consider two workplace scenarios: Employee is an alcoholic and comes to work drunk. Employer fires employee. Legal? Employee is an alcoholic and seeks time off from work to enter a rehab program. Employer fires employee. Legal? The answers under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Texas Labor Code (which includes similar anti-disability discrimination provisions) would likely be yes to the first but no to the second. I don't think the answer to the first scenario is unsurprising on its face. However, once we explain why the termination in the second scenario is probably unlawful then we might have to...

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Dismissal Notice and Notice of Right to File a Civil Action: Fort Worth employment lawyers

If you filed a charge of discrimination with the Texas Workforce Commission related to employment discrimination then at some point you are likely to receive a Dismissal Notice and Notice of Right to File a Civil Action. Often the reason selected in the notice will be: "The TWCCRD issues the following determination: Based upon its investigation, the TWCCRD is unable to conclude that the information obtained establishes any violations of the statutes. This does not certify that the respondent is in compliance with the statutes. No finding is made as to any other issues that might be construed as having been...

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A peek into employment background checks from the employer’s perspective: Dallas employment lawyers

I've written in the past about employee background checks and the laws that pertain to them here in Texas, particularly with regard to criminal background checks. Employment background checks in Fort Worth and Dallas are a big issue because right now it's an employer's labor market and even the slightest issue in a background check can mean the difference between getting the call back or going into the shredder. I know background checks are a big issue. My posts on background checks are among the most viewed content on my website. I found a post on another employment law blog discussing...

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5 Problems with 50/50 Custody in Dallas-Fort Worth Divorces

50/50 custody refers to custody arrangements outside of the standard possession order that split time evenly between the parents. This arrangement might work as alternating weeks or an alternating group of days. Although these arrangements are not the norm, they can be approved by a family court and sometimes work very well. If you believe you will have a divorce or custody suit with 50/50 custody then you should contact a divorce lawyer to discuss your situation. However, sometimes these arrangements can start off as a good idea and turn into a real mess. Here's some common reasons why: 1. A...

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Is it better to keep divorce uncontested or fight for what you deserve? Bedford divorce lawyer explains

Uncontested divorce participants comment after the fact that they liked the idea of an uncontested divorce; but along the way there were some tense discussions that made them feel like because they chose an uncontested divorce they were stuck giving in to whatever demands their spouse wanted to prevent the divorce from becoming contested. Often the basis for the fear of a contested divorce came from myths or misunderstandings of the divorce process. Let's break down some of these misconceptions and discuss what they mean: Once you file a Texas uncontested divorce you have to start over for a contested divorce: This is...

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Why insurance companies don’t care about your diminished value claim: Texas lawyer explains

I receive many calls and emails each week regarding diminished value claims. Almost every time, the story is the same. Although the other driver caused the wreck, the insurance company refuses any discussion of a diminished value claim. The person might pursue a few hundred dollars all the way up to tens of thousands of dollars. Regardless of the amount, the insurance companies usually pitch the same handful of responses like, "we don't pay on diminished value" or "Texas law doesn't entitle you to diminished value." Insurance companies and diminished value claims in Texas Insurance companies hate diminished value claims. They consider these claims dubious...

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Do I have to have a standard possession order in my Texas divorce? Fort Worth divorce lawyer explains

In a Texas divorce with kids the divorce decree must contain a possession order for custody (conservatorship, visitation/access and possession) or the possession information must be included in a mediated settlement agreement incorporated into the divorce decree. The order must also include medical support for the children and may include additional child support. The typical possession order known as the "standard possession order" is the possession order in the Texas Family Code. In any divorce you should strongly consider consulting with a Fort Worth divorce lawyer about your rights and how to protect your relationship with your children. The standard possession...

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