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2014 IRS Rules for Mandatory Gratuity: Dallas employment lawyers

Beginning January 1, 2014, the IRS began enforcing rules on restaurant mandatory gratuities that will have an impact on both the income of tipped employees and how restaurants can get themselves in hot water with the Department of Labor and/or IRS by misapplying these mandatory gratuities. Restaurants typically charge these mandatory service charges for large parties, which may be as few as six people. The added charge usually ranges from 15-20%. Under Texas and federal employment law, these mandatory gratuities belong to the restaurant; the restaurant is not required to give any portion of that mandatory charge to the employees. (Some...

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Colorado Principal Fired for Opposing Bizarre School Practice

Noelle Roni, the former principal at charter school Peak to Peak Elementary in Colorado, was allegedly terminated in November for opposing what can only be described as a bizarre school practice. According to news reports, the school fired Roni after she demanded cafeteria workers stop stamping the hands of students who received lunches but did not have enough money to pay for their lunches. Ms. Roni found the practice "disrespectful" and humiliating to the children. Surprisingly, her opposition resulted in her termination for opposing such a strange practice. (You can read Ms. Roni's public statement here and read more about the...

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Seven Things That Will Hurt the Value of Your Diminished Value Claim in Dallas-Fort Worth

Diminished value claims, which allow recovery on the lost market value of a car that has an accident in its history, do not follow a precise formula. Texas allows recovery under a diminished value claim; but whether you can recover and how much of the value you can recover depends on many factors. Among those factors are the value of your vehicle before the accident and how effectively your attorney can negotiate. Before you begin negotiating any diminished value claim you should understand how to calculate your specific claim. Today's post will deal with some key issues that will lower the...

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Child support payments not paid through the Attorney General: Fort Worth child support lawyer

A common mistake child support obligors make is paying child support payments directly to the obligee-parent rather than to the Texas Attorney General's State Disbursement Unit (SDU). This mistake can be costly for the obligor even if the obligor believes he or she can pay less by making child support payments directly to the other parent. Today's post will discuss: why child support payments must go to the SDU; how obligors end up not making payments directly to the SDU; the financial implications of not paying child support directly to the SDU; and what to do if you have been paying child...

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5 Things You Need to Know about Divorce in Your 20s: Fort Worth divorce lawyer explains

Marriages that begin before the age of 23 are most likely to end up in divorce. Of marriages beginning when the spouses were under twenty, 48% will end in divorce. For those beginning in the ages 20-23, 31% will end in divorce. Statistics also indicate that the average length of a person's first divorce is roughly eight years. The average age for men at the time of their first divorce is 32 and women at 30. So what does all this mean? A large number of those late teen/early 20s marriages end in the mid to late twenties. In Texas, many people considering in...

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5 diminished value claims mistakes that will make the claims adjuster laugh at you: Texas lawyers

Although diminished value claims are on the rise in Texas, insurance companies still feel like they are winning the war. Insurance claims adjusters know that for the majority of people the adjuster can take advantage of the claimant's inexperience in dealing with insurance claims and personal injury litigation. If you are new to diminished value claims, start by reviewing my introduction to Texas laws for diminished value claims. (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4). Insurance claims adjusters have heard everything imaginable and they know all of the tricks to frustrate, manipulate and stall claimants. They know as long as you...

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FMLA leave medical recertification: Dallas employment lawyers

You request FMLA leave. Your employer requests medical certification. You provide it. Your employer approves your FMLA leave. You take leave. Then, while you are on FMLA leave, your employer is sending you requests for new medical certification? Can your employer do that? The answer is yes, under certain circumstances, your employer can request new medical certification after you are on FMLA leave. These subsequent FMLA medical certification requests are acceptable under the Department of Labor's FMLA regulations. If you have questions about FMLA medical certifications then you should contact a Texas FMLA lawyer right away. However, the DOL's FMLA regulations do...

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Non-compete agreements and independent contractors: Fort Worth employment lawyer

Texas is no exception to companies hiring employees as "independent contractors" to skilled positions. Sometimes companies legitimately hire independent contractors to perform specific tasks that they cannot or prefer not to perform in-house. This combination of uses for independent contractors has led to an ever-growing subset of workers outside the traditional employer-employee relationship. The employer-independent contractor relationship opens different types of legal liabilities than the employer-employee relationship. The independent contractor works under a contract that is subject to all the trappings of traditional contract law. Additionally, the employer is also at risk of treating the independent contractor too much like an employee and the...

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Dividing property and uncontested divorces in Texas: Fort Worth uncontested divorce lawyer

One of the areas in which I help people in family law is with uncontested divorces. An uncontested divorce is a divorce in which the spouses have agreed on their own to divide the property and settled the child issues. The spouses are just looking for a family law attorney to take care of the judicial process. You do not pay for lawyers to hash everything out. There's nothing wrong with an uncontested divorce in Texas. If the spouses can reach an agreement on how to sever their relationship then that makes moving on much easier. Dividing property in a Dallas or...

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Employer background checks in Texas: what do they show? Dallas employment lawyer explains

A question I receive to my Bedford law firm is what shows up on an employer background check in Texas. Employers are increasingly performing background checks on job applicants in Texas. They look at both credit information and criminal backgrounds. There is considerable confusion about what employers can legally see in a background check in Texas. There is a lot of misinformation on the internet about what shows up in an employment background check. Today's post addresses the criminal background check in an employment background check in Texas. Why Texas employers conduct criminal background checks Employers have two simple reasons they conduct criminal...

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