Employee rights

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Sex discrimination victims not always women: Fort Worth sexual harassment lawyer explains

Last month the EEOC settled a sex discrimination lawsuit against restaurant chain Ruby Tuesday. The EEOC settled in the amount of $100,000. The suit alleged the employer discriminated against male employees by offering female employees more favorable employment opportunities. This case is a good example of gender discrimination against men. It breaks the stereotype that sex discrimination lawsuits always have female victims. Sex discrimination lawsuits and male victims In this lawsuit, the restaurant chain sent out a nine-state announcement of available temporary summer positions in the resort town of Park City, Utah which would have greater earnings and company-paid housing. The announcement declared...

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Do I have to sign that? A Dallas or Fort Worth, Texas employee’s dilemma.

From application to termination an employee often faces documents that an employer wants the employee to sign. These documents may be job applications, employee policy statements, authorizations to perform background checks, acknowledgements of receipts of policy documents, benefits paperwork disciplinary documents, acknowledgements of terminations, severance agreements, waivers of rights or claims against the employer and so on. Employee files are typically filed with documents bearing the employee's signature. Employees typically feel like they have no choice but to sign the document put in front of them. In a sense, that's true. Employers cannot force employees to sign a document. In the vast majority of...

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Can I record video and audio at my workplace in Texas? Dallas employment lawyer answers

On March 3, 1991 a Los Angeles man led California Highway Patrol and later Los Angeles police on a high speed chase that ended in the driver and his passengers trapped in a corner. The passengers surrendered and an altercation occurred between the Los Angeles police officers and the driver. The driver, Rodney King, was viciously beat with batons and kicked by the police officers until subdued and arrested. The officers were acquitted of excessive force charges by a state court which triggered the Los Angeles riots in 1992. Subsequent lawsuits brought by the Department of Justice and Rodney King followed....

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Texas law on employer’s vacation policy: Arlington employment lawyer explains

Here in Texas our labor and employment laws generally cut in favor of employers over employees. Texas law surrounding an employer's vacation policy is no exception. Employees are often surprised by employer restrictions on vacation use and issues involving whether unused vacation must be paid out when an employee leaves. Due to differences among state laws about vacation pay, confusion exists about what law applies in Dallas-Fort Worth. Today's post will discuss Texas law on vacation policies, including whether employers must offer vacation leave, what legal restrictions exist on employers approving or denying leave, whether employers can adopt use-it-or-lose-it policies, whether employers...

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The Kielich Law Firm Podcast Episode #4: Background checks, Expunctions and Nondisclosure Orders in Texas

Today's post contains episode four of my legal podcast. This episode deals with the issues of employment background checks and how expunctions and nondisclosure orders can scrub out certain criminal records from those background checks. The majority of employers conduct background checks and certain occupations and professional licenses require background checks. In today's job market employers know any job opening will bring a huge number of job applicants and any legal reason to pass on an applicant will usually result in putting an application in the trash. Not all criminal records can be sealed or destroyed. If the opportunity is...

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Transgender Employees and Restrooms in Texas: Dallas sex discrimination lawyer reviews the issues

This week the media reported on a story regarding a transgender woman and a confrontation at a Planet Fitness location. (You can read the HuffPo story or the Fox News story.) Member Yvette Cormier complained at her local Planet Fitness that a transgender individual was in the women's locker room. The company has a non-discrimination policy allowing members to use whichever locker room matches their self-identified gender. Cormier then proceeded to warn inform other women that there was a man in the locker room. Planet Fitness subsequently cancelled Cormier's membership. The transgender woman ]entered the locker room to put up her coat...

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Can you count on the EEOC to file a lawsuit for you in Texas? Fort Worth employment lawyer discusses

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released its 2014 performance report recently with some disappointing results about how charges of discrimination (the employment discrimination complaints filed with the EEOC) resolve. Of the 88,778 private sector charges filed the EEOC "resolved" 87,442 of those charges. That does not mean a favorable result occurred for the charging party. It just means the EEOC decided whether there was probable cause to say unlawful discrimination occurred. Out of the 87,442 charges resolved, the EEOC mediated 10,221 charges and resolved 7,846 by mediation. However, just 133 charges resulted in litigation filed by the EEOC with 105 of those...

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Can I use FMLA for normal sick days in Texas? Fort Worth employment lawyer explains

With cold weather setting in its time for flu, colds and other short term illnesses and sick days from work. With cold weather comes calls to my Bedford law office from employees looking to protect their jobs while on leave. Some employers do not have a sick leave policy that allows the employees to take sick leave for minor illnesses. Other people work at an employer with sick leave but the employee exhausted leave under the employer's sick leave policy. These conversations normally turn to the employee asking whether FMLA leave is available for short term leave. In most cases FMLA will...

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Can my employer disagree with my doctor’s FMLA certification in Texas?

Under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), eligible employees of covered employers can request up to twelve weeks of medical leave within a one year period for a serious medical condition of the employee or a family member as well as the birth or adoption of the employee's child. When the employee requests FMLA leave for a serious medical condition, the employer can request certification of the medical condition. Employers can request information about the medical condition, the need for leave, contact information for the physician among other facts. Employers may reject the certification or require additional information in limited circumstances and through specific procedures. When...

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Constructive Discharge and Supervisor Conduct in Texas: Fort Worth retaliation lawyer

When an employee claims an employer created a hostile work environment that resulted in a prohibited form of unlawful employment discrimination the employee must prove, among other things, that the employee suffered an adverse employment action. It is not enough that the employer was hostile towards the employee or that the employee found the workplace unpleasant. The employee must show the employer took some action that was adverse to the employee's continued employment. (The standard is somewhat different in hostile work environment claims where the employee claims co-workers harassed the employee.) Constructive discharge in hostile work environment claims in Texas Sometimes, however, the...

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