Employment Litigation

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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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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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Should I talk to an attorney before I go to the EEOC in Texas?

If you believe you are the victim of employment discrimination then in most cases you need to file a complaint with the EEOC or Texas Workforce Commission Civil Rights Division. This complaint is known as a charge of discrimination. A charge of discrimination invokes the agency's power to investigate your claims. If they find probable cause the agency may assist you with asserting your rights against the employer. Should I hire a Fort Worth or Dallas employment attorney first? People considering filing a charge of discrimination often wonder whether they should talk to an employment attorney before talking to the EEOC or TWC....

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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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Can you be fired for playing fantasy football at work in Texas? Fort Worth employment lawyer explains

You may remember a few years ago there was a big kerfuffle about a Fidelity Investments employee in the North Texas who was fired for allegedly discussing fantasy football at work under an anti-gambling policy. Arguments were had whether fantasy football is gambling and whether it was fair that the employee was fired. It went nationwide and the employee received a lot of positive press in the sports media. Eventually he found employment elsewhere in the financial services industry. Employers continue to find themselves at odds with employees who play fantasy football at work and fantasy football seems to hold growing...

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Can I file an FMLA lawsuit in Texas state courts?

Yes, under section 107 of the Family Medical Leave Act, a covered employee may file suit in a federal or state court with competent jurisdiction to hear the FMLA claims. That means an employee with FMLA claims can certainly file those FMLA claims in Texas state courts. Rules governing which Texas state courts have jurisdiction to hear FMLA claims lies, generally, within the Texas Government Code. FMLA claims filed in Texas courts will go to county or district courts based on limits on damages in each type of court. In addition to the damage limitations, a plaintiff filing FMLA claims must file in a...

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EEOC lands $180,000 settlement with employer who fired an employee for eating chips

The headline sounds crazier than the facts behind this case, which involves a disability discrimination suit on a wrongful termination. The case arose in a California federal district court against the employer, Walgreens. (The case is EEOC v. Walgreens.) The case involves an employee who broke a workplace rule to avoid a diabetic shock and lost her job. Many employer-side employment lawyers thought this case would easily fall in favor of Walgreens. They were wrong. After the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission prevailed at summary judgment and won the right to take the case before a jury, Walgreens had a change of heart about...

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Fifth Circuit Deals Blow to Overtime Pay with MCA Exemption

This month the federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which hears appeals from Texas, delivered a surprising appellate decision on overtime pay for workers in long haul freight transport in Allen v. Coil Tubing Services, LLC. In this case, the appellate court held that workers could be identified by class in determining whether an exemption to overtime pay applies rather than assessing the individual job responsibilities of the employee. While this may seem like a minor point, it actually has huge implications. You can read the opinion here but I will address the court's new rule and how it affects Texas...

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5 FMLA Myths You Might Believe in Texas by Fort Worth employment attorney Adam Kielich

Employment lawyers like myself deal with my fair share of FMLA cases for clients. (Probably more than my fair share in Dallas and Fort Worth.) Among those FMLA claims I see employers violate FMLA often because the employer was ignorant of FMLA regulations or had serious misconceptions about FMLA. I also get plenty of calls from employees who believe their employer violated FMLA but the employee misunderstood his or her rights under FMLA. Today's post is a helping of debunking so people can better understand their FMLA rights. 1. My employer has to approve FMLA leave when I ask for it. Remember The...

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Does an ADA accommodation have to be the one an employee wants? Fort Worth employment lawyer explains

The Americans with Disabilities Act and the Texas Labor Code require an employer to provide a reasonable accommodation to a qualified employee to assist the employee in performing the essential functions of the employee's job and/or access the workplace. These federal and state laws require employers to engage the employee in an interactive process to determine what needs the employee has that requires accommodation and what reasonable accommodations may satisfy the employee's needs. If the employee meets the requirements to receive a reasonable accommodation under these laws then the employer must provide an appropriate and reasonable accommodation for the employee's...

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