Blog

What is the difference between a 401k plan and a deferred compensation plan? Dallas employee benefits lawyer explains

Generally, both plan formats defer compensation because the employee has elected to defer taking cash in hand to obtain some additional benefit, such as deferring taxes on the money or investing on a tax deferred basis. Under more specific legal definitions, there is a distinction between how these different plans work. Today's post will discuss some of the key differences between these types of employer-sponsored retirement plans through the eyes of an employment law attorney. 401k plans and ERISA 401k plans are governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) along with other defined contributions plans like ESOPs. They must be available to...

Continue reading

What is a living will in Texas?

A living will, formally called an advanced health care directive, is a document that states what medical treatment you should receive in the event of an injury or illness that renders you unable to make health care decisions for yourself. Often these directives include a medical power of attorney. That power of attorney gives a particular person the power to make decisions consistent with the living will. (A power of attorney can also give the holder of the power decision making authority with no specific directives.) Living will in Texas Without a living will you may receive health care in opposition of what you would desire....

Continue reading

For what reasons can I be fired during my first 90 days in Texas?

It is extremely common for employers to establish the first thirty, sixty, or ninety days as a probationary period. Employers do this to set the expectation that they are “test driving” an employee. Although employers can terminate employees (at least non-union employees or those who do not work under an employment contract) any time, companies have concerns about paying unemployment benefits and discrimination claims. By setting the expectation they can terminate you upfront for any reason (or no reason at all) during that “probationary” period it makes it difficult to receive unemployment benefits or prove that an employee was terminated illegally. If your employer fires...

Continue reading

How does the 10% penalty on IRA and 401k distributions work?

Many people, especially after leaving a job, make the decision to cash out their 401k accounts. Sometimes people end up in a financial hardship where they need to liquidate retirement savings early. These distributions are almost always taxable (qualified Roth and after-tax money is not); but for most people under age of fifty-nine and a half, there is an additional 10% penalty. Taking a taxable distribution from a 401k, IRA, or pension When you take a taxable distribution from a 401k, pension, or IRA account, that is ordinary income and computed as part of your taxable income for the year. Not only...

Continue reading

I work for a religious organization, can my employer discriminate against me? Dallas Employment Attorney Responds

This is probably one of the most contentious and biggest question marks in employment law in this country. In 2012 there was a fight over religious organizations and health insurance plans over whether they must offer contraceptive coverage. (Remember, Georgetown law student Sarah Fluke testified before Congress and Rush Limbaugh called her a slut?) A less reported story was the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC held that a church-owned school could discriminate against a school teacher on the basis of her physiological condition (narcolepsy). The court found that the teacher was a minister because...

Continue reading

Ramsay, Masterchef, Tipped Employees, Sexual Harassment…What’s Going On? Dallas sexual harassment attorney explains

This year's Masterchef season is plagued with allegations of sexual harassment by a few female contestants, including one actress and former Playboy model. We don't know much about the details of the allegations. All contestants are under contract with Fox not to discuss what happens behind the scenes. I suspect these allegations will turn into a lawsuit against the show's produces and the three judges: Gordon Ramsay; Graham Elliott and Joe Bastianich. However, these three judges are no stranger to litigation, especially when it comes to their own tipped employees. Owners taking tips from servers Back in May, I wrote about an episode...

Continue reading

Can my Fort Worth or Dallas employer make me take vacation paid time off on certain days?

Unless you work under an employment contract or a collective bargaining agreement that says otherwise, in Fort Worth or Dallas your employer is free to limit the days you can take vacation or other paid time off. They can even require you to take days off using your paid time off. It is common for Texas employers to limit employees from vacation during certain times of the year due to business needs or high levels of competition for vacation days. It is less common to see employers requiring employees to take paid time off. Nevertheless, employers can require taking vacation or other...

Continue reading

Does my employer have to pay me for full two weeks if I give notice but they fire me immediately? Dallas employment lawyer explains

In Texas, any notice from an employee to an employer resigning does not obligate the employer to anything. (Unless there is an employment contract that says otherwise.) The employer does not have to continue employment for those additional two weeks. If the employer terminates the employee immediately, it does not have to pay for any time the employee not worked. (Again, unless an employment contract says otherwise.) Aside from the salary issue, there are some reasons why you might want to give notice anyway. Why you may want to give your Dallas or Fort Worth, Texas employer two weeks notice The biggest reason...

Continue reading

What is a KSOP? Explained by a Dallas Employment Attorney

KSOP is jargon used within the financial and employee benefit industries as shorthand to explain the arrangement where a 401k plan houses an ESOP of the employer’s stock as an investment option. An ESOP is an Employee Stock Ownership Plan that allows employees to purchase company stock through a retirement plan. It is an ERISA plan all on its own but also an investment option within a 401k plan along with the other common 401k investment options. What is a KSOP retirement savings plan? KSOP structures became popular among employers as a way of offering company stock without having to offer employees...

Continue reading

Can I be forced to clock out but stay at my job in Dallas-Fort Worth? Texas employment lawyer explains

A question was asked whether an employer could schedule an employee for a set of hours and if there was no work to do, have the employee clock out but be required to stay in a particular area of the work premises until he or she was needed to clock back in, with the threat of termination if the employee left work premises. There are a lot of different versions of this same basic situation from requiring an employee to clock out for lunch but stay at his or her workstation or desk to take calls to requiring an employee...

Continue reading
error: Content is protected !!