Employee rights

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Fluctuating Work Week FLSA calculations in Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas

The fluctuating work week is perhaps the least understood subject in wage law under the Fair Labor Standards Act. It is so misunderstood that even federal judges in Texas don't understand it. The Fifth Circuit rejected the improper application of the fluctuating work week by the Northern District of Texas in Dallas in Black v. SettlePou, P.C.. In Black, the Dallas district judge misapplied the fluctuating work week in an unpaid overtime case. An employee, misclassified by her employer as exempt, was shortchanged on overtime pay. The appellate court instructed the district court to use the regular overtime pay calculation instead. Ok,...

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When can I sue for employment discrimination? Fort Worth labor lawyer explains

Texas and federal discrimination law prohibit only certain types of employment discrimination. An employee may file a charge of discrimination or lawsuit on employment discrimination only for a trait protected by law. If your employer takes action against your job or compensation then you must show the employer did so because you have a protected trait. The traits protected under federal and Texas law include race, ethnicity, national origin, disability, sex, gender, religion and age. The law also protects certain employee acts from employment discrimination. These include reporting discrimination internally or externally, participating in an investigation of discrimination, filing a wage claim for unpaid wages,...

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Maternity leave rights in Texas: Fort Worth medical leave lawyer discusses

A common question for Texas employees is, "what rights do I have to maternity leave"? Under Texas law, employees have limited rights to maternity leave. Texas state law does not increase maternity leave rights beyond the rights protected under federal law. The rights to maternity leave come from the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Under very specific situations the Americans with Disabilities Act can apply when medical complications arise. Beyond these laws, employees will only have rights based on what the employer offers under its own policies. Pregnancy Discrimination Act and Maternity Leave in Texas The Pregnancy Discrimination...

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When can you be a volunteer in the Dallas-Fort Worth area?

The rules around volunteer work under federal and Texas law are not very complicated but commonly misunderstood. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act you cannot volunteer for a for-profit employer performing work for the employer. (Aside from a few professions, such as lawyers and doctors, and exempt employees performing exempt work.) No matter how badly you might want to do the work as a “volunteer” you cannot be a volunteer. The employer must pay you minimum wage and overtime pay (if you work the requisite hours). This is true whether it is your regular employer or some other business. Non-profit volunteers Non-profit...

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My employer is offering severance in Texas. Should I sign the severance agreement?

Ultimately you will have to sign the severance agreement if you want the money or whatever benefit they offer; but that does not mean you should sign it without carefully considering the terms. There are basically three types of severance agreements with employers in Texas. I call them the “let’s just be friends” severance; the “business defense” severance; and the “shush and go away” severance. Although each has a different purpose, any severance agreement might include elements of others or might have multiple purposes. Most people will accept severance agreements because they want the money more than whatever the company wants in return;...

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What if my employer violates FMLA? Dallas FMLA lawyer explains

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) protects the rights of employees, who work at employers with fifty or more employees, to job protection for unpaid leave up to twelve weeks in a twelve month period for the birth and care of a newborn, adoption of a child, to care for the employee’s spouse, the employee’s children and parent, who has a serious condition, the employee’s own health when a serious medical condition impairs the employee’s ability to perform the essential functions of the job and a couple very specific situations involving service in the military. FMLA leave almost always requires...

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What is HIPAA and how does it affect my employment? Dallas employment lawyer

HIPAA is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. HIPAA’s most important aspect for consumers and employees is its privacy protection. HIPAA protects your medical records and other personal data from unauthorized disclosure by covered entities. Although employers may not count as covered entities the rules applying to covered entities affects them. The health information covered by HIPAA includes information that relates to you specifically and protects you from unauthorized disclosure whether it is in electronic, paper or oral format. It protects: health care claims; documentation of doctor visits and notes by doctors and their staff; health care payments;...

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Transgender employment discrimination in Texas–Dallas sex discrimination lawyer

Transgender people are part of the LGBTQI community but when discussing employment discrimination, transgendered employees are treated very differently. In Texas, sexual orientation is not protected against employment discrimination by federal or state law. Only a handful of cities in Texas have passed ordinances that prohibit sexual orientation as a motivation for employment discrimination. Transgender-based discrimination is different. It is not associated with sexual orientation but rather with the transgender employee's acceptance of traditional gender roles. Gender discrimination in employment is prohibited by federal, state and even some municipality law. Today's post will discuss the basis for gender-based employment protections and...

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What is moral turpitude under Texas state law? Dallas and Fort Worth employment lawyer answers

Moral turpitude is an old legal term that simply means depraved or immoral. It most commonly includes particular crimes, as in crimes of moral turpitude. The phrase has mostly been abandoned as we transitioned away from a moral-based legal system to a rights-based legal system. Crimes of moral turpitude are crimes of depravity. These include crimes of fraud, reckless behavior or creating an unjustified risk to the life and safety of others. Employment lawyers in Texas help clients with these issues in employment law settings. Contract issues with moral turpitude in Texas This phrase often makes its way into employment contracts as a condition...

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What is a wrongful termination or wrongful discharge in Texas employment law?

In Texas we have a very limited interpretation of wrongful termination or wrongful discharge. Texas recognizes only a handful of reasons your termination creates a wrongful discharge or wrongful termination claim. The term “wrongful termination” or “wrongful discharge” include the reasons below. Refusing to engage in a criminal act on behalf of the employer. In these cases, known as Sabine Pilot cases, the employer commands the employee to do something illegal, the employee refuses and then loses her job. It’s a bad idea to force employees to choose between their job and jail so employers cannot discharge employees for refusing to do something illegal....

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