Dallas County is a Texas county located in north Texas officially part of the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan statistical area. Informally it is part of the North Texas region (sometimes called North Central Texas), one half of the Dallas/Fort Worth or DFW area and a significant portion of the region referred to as the metroplex. Dallas County is the second largest county in Texas by population and the ninth largest county by population in the nation.
Dallas, Texas is the county seat with the majority of the county’s population and land mass. Dallas is the third largest city in Texas by population and ninth largest by population in the nation. The county government primarily resides in downtown where it operates courts, administrative buildings and other administrative operations.
The county government operates exclusively within the confines of the county which is adjacent to Tarrant County, Denton County, Collin County, Ellis County, Rockwall County and Kaufman County. The county government is the county judge elected by county-wide vote. The primary governing body for the county is the commissioners court which includes the county judge plus four commissioners who are elected by their respective precinct. The commissioners court does not hear lawsuits like most courts. Their responsibilities are administrative with judicial authority to hear cases transferred to the Dallas County Courts at Law.
The commissioners court primarily deals with oversight and budgetary responsibilities within the county. They set budgets for the county governance agencies and districts ran by the county including Road and Bridge districts and the hospital district which oversees county-level public works.
Dallas County government also includes agencies subordinate to the commissioners court. Some agencies are ran by elected officials while others are administratively appointed by the court. These county agencies include the district attorney, district clerk, county clerk, sheriff, constables, tax assessor-collector and treasurer.
Within the county are also governments and government offices that do not report to the county, including city and town governments, state representatives and senators, judges and U.S. representatives. Some of the representative and senator districts within Dallas County include areas outside of Dallas County.
In addition to Dallas, Texas there are a number of cities within the county. Many of these cities are only partially within Dallas County with the remainder in one or more adjacent counties. These include Balch Springs, Cedar Hill, Carrollton, Cockrell Hill, Combine, Coppell, DeSoto, Duncanville, Farmers Branch, Ferris, Garland, Glenn Heights, Grand Prairie, Grapevine, Hutchins, Irving, Lancaster, Lewisville, Mesquite, Ovilla, Richardson, Rowlett, Sachse, Seagoville, University Park, Wilmer and Wylie. Dallas County also includes the towns of Addison, Highland Park and Sunnyvale and one unincorporated community of Sand Branch.
Dallas County also includes some or all of a number of independent school districts including Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD, Cedar Hill ISD, Coppell ISD, Dallas ISD, DeSoto ISD, Duncanville ISD, Ferris ISD, Garland ISD, Grand Prairie ISD, Grapevine-Colleyville ISD, Highland Park ISD, Irving ISD, Lancaster ISD, Mesquite ISD, Richardson ISD and Sunnyvale ISD.
Although these cities, towns and school districts are government entities within the county they are not subordinate to the county government. They are independent governments with their own authority under state law. There is often coordination between local and county government due to the overlap of responsibilities and resources.
Dallas County includes several overlapping judicial systems of local, county, state and federal courts. County level courts in Dallas County include the civil and criminal County Courts at Law, statutory probate courts and justice of the peace courts. The county is also home to the Dallas County District Courts that hear both civil and criminal cases. Dallas is also home to the Fifth Court of Appeals of Texas. The appellate court hears appeals from county and district courts within the county (and some surrounding counties). The individual cities operate their own municipal courts that hear certain misdemeanors and city ordinance violations within the city limits. The county is also within the U.S. Northern District of Texas and has its own division of federal district courts with jurisdiction over most civil and criminal cases under federal law.
Dallas, Texas is the largest city in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and North Texas region. It is the county seat for Dallas County but also extends into Collin County, Denton County, Kaufman County and Rockwall County. It is the third largest city in Texas and one of the largest cities in the United States. Key industries in Dallas include banking, commerce, telecommunications, technology, energy, healthcare and medical research. Major national employers have local office including AT&T, Dean Foods, Texas Instruments, Southwest Airlines, Tenet Healthcare, Affiliated Computer Services, Atmos Energy and Comerica Bank.
The history is closely tied to its economic development as a railroad hub. In 1841 John Neely Bryan from Arkansas attempted to set up a settlement in what is now downtown. His first attempt was not successful but after peace was brokered with nearby Native American tribes settlers begin coming to Dallas and surrounding areas. Bryan enticed settlers from Bird’s Fort, in present-day Arlington, and other areas to come to Dallas. The city incorporated in 1856. In 1855 French utopian settlers founded a colony on the other side of the Trinity named La Reunion. This colony sat in the area of Oak Cliff immediately south of present-day downtown. It failed in 1857 and the skilled tradesmen from the colony came to Dallas. The town grew slowly until the arrival of railroads in North Texas and it connected in 1873.
The railroads provided an important role for Dallas in the south. It allowed the town to become a transportation hub and centerpoint to the Texas cotton market because Dallas is one of the few major economic centers in the nation without access to waterways. In the late nineteenth century it became the largest inland cotton market in the world. At one point Dallas provided one-third of all the cotton in the country. During this time period it annexed neighboring Oak Cliff and East Dallas.
The twentieth century sees changes in commercial and employment opportunities. Cotton remained an important industry into the middle of the century. In the 1930s oil was discovered around Texas and the city became the center of the petroleum market in the state. World War 2 brought aerospace manufacturing and telecommunications. Telecommunications has remained an important part of the local economy since. The 1970s saw an economic boom in the DFW area and the real estate boom of the late 1970s and early 1980s arrived in full effect. However, the 1980s recession hit hard and continued to depress the local economy through the 1990s. The economy improved through the 2000s and 2010s with support of the telecommunications and technology industries. Today it is once again growing employment opportunities and citizens.
The city receives services from its city government and the numerous counties in which is lies. Students primarily attend Dallas ISD but parts of the city fall into other school districts including Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD, Duncanville ISD, Garland ISD, Highland Park ISD, Mesquite ISD, Plano ISD and Richardson ISD. It is also home to several private schools.
Dallas 401k lawyers help clients resolve 401k problems in Dallas, Texas and surrounding areas. 401k plans are among the most common retirement plans in Texas. When employers violate laws governing 401k plans they mess with the employee’s retirement savings. That in turn can affect the employee’s career, retirement plans and even affect divorce proceedings.
401k plans are defined contribution plans governed by federal law. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 is that federal law. ERISA sets out duties for 401k plan administrators that require them to act as fiduciaries to the plan and to establish uniform plan rules. Employers who fail to follow the plan rules can be liable to employees for losses attributed to those breaches.
401k plans are expensive to manage and involve a lot of money. There is a lot of opportunity and reason for employers to try to cut corners. ERISA compliance is expensive and involves a large, complex regulatory system. However, if an employer offers a 401k plan it must comply with the legal duties under ERISA. Some common ways employers violate ERISA:
If your employer violates ERISA or its plan rules then it may be liable to you for losses attributed to its bad acts. Contact Dallas 401k lawyers to discuss your remedies.
Dallas 401k lawyers help clients obtain remedies for 401k plan and ERISA violations. Remedies available depend upon the employer’s bad acts. Remedies range from working out the conflict with the employer to filing suit and recovering on a judgment. These remedies for a 401k include recovering financial losses, punitive damages, attorney’s fees and court costs. 401k plans require employees to follow an administrative process before filing a lawsuit. The administrative process creates an opportunity to resolve conflicts before filing a lawsuit. This can be a quick and easy solution to complicated problems. However, if the employer fails to cure its bad acts then it may be necessary to move forward to a lawsuit.
Dallas arbitration lawyers represent clients in Dallas, Texas and surrounding areas in arbitration and other alternative dispute resolution proceedings. Arbitration is a non-judicial proceeding that is similar to litigation but takes place before a private arbitrator or arbitration panel. Arbitration takes place when parties agree to have claims against each other heard in arbitration instead of filing a lawsuit. It is typically a less complex and quicker process than litigation in Texas. Although employment arbitration is generally a streamlined process it is still a complex process and often rigged in favor of the employer and the employer’s lawyers.
Some Texas employers prefer to include arbitration agreements as a condition of employment. Employers often require employees to agree to an arbitration agreement as part of the hiring process. The arbitration agreement usually requires any employment-related claims to go into the arbitration process rather than filing a lawsuit. If the employee files a lawsuit in Texas or federal court then the employer has the power to stop the lawsuit and move the proceedings into the arbitration process. The Federal Arbitration Act and Texas Arbitration Act give preference to arbitration agreements and entitle parties to remove claims covered by an arbitration agreement into arbitration.
Once the employment law claims move into arbitration they become governed by the arbitration rules and the arbitration agreement because it is a private forum. The arbitration agreement can dictate almost any rules the parties agree to because it is a contractual relationship. The FAA and TAA only require minimal due process protections in arbitration as a condition of losing access to federal and Texas courts.
Employers often set up arbitration proceedings to use minimal discovery practices but all the motion practice they use in litigation to defeat employee claims. Discovery is expensive for employers but importantly, it is a critical process for employees to obtain the information to prove their claims. Employers exclusively control employment files, emails, disciplinary records and other important documents. Minimizing access to these documents makes it harder for employees to prove their claims. Dallas arbitration lawyers understand how to work efficiently within this process to present the best case for the employee’s claims.
Additionally, many of the same procedural rules and techniques apply in arbitration. A Texas arbitration may still include motions for summary judgment, motions to dismiss, motions to strike, evidentiary rules apply in trials and hearings and arbitration decisions can be appealed back to court. Although employers frame arbitration as a do-it-yourself system for employees, it definitely is not. Employers never go into arbitration without their in-house counsel or other attorney representation. You shouldn’t either.
Dallas benefits lawyers help clients resolve problems with employee benefits in Dallas, Texas and surrounding cities. In Texas employee benefits may be protected by federal law, Texas law or not protected at all as a voluntary benefit. When employee benefits are protected by federal or Texas employment law the employer must operate the benefit plan within the law. Employee benefit lawyers in Dallas, Texas help clients recover for losses when employers fail to follow the law.
Employee benefit plans are expensive to operate so employers have a financial incentive to evade following employee benefits law to reduce their costs. Texas employers do not have to offer any benefits except minimum pay requirements and health insurance under the ACA. Some benefits are completely voluntary and employers are free to change or eliminate benefits at will unless an employment contract says otherwise. These include vacation pay, paid sick leave and equipment reimbursements.
Public agency employees, both federal and Texas, receive protection for benefits under federal and Texas laws specific to those benefits. For federal employees these include military benefits, postal service employee plans and other federal retirement plans. Texas employees receive medical and retirement plan benefits protected under Texas state law.
Texas employees of private employers receive protection for certain benefit plans under ERISA and related federal laws. ERISA protects most employee benefit plans including:
Employers do not have to offer ERISA plans except when the ACA applies; however, if an employer offers an ERISA-protected benefit plan then it must comply with ERISA.
ERISA sets a high standard for plan administration. The high standard increases costs to ensure the benefit plans operate fairly, prudently and in the best interests of the Texas employer’s employees. Common ways employers try to cut corners and violate ERISA include:
If your employer violates ERISA then you should contact Dallas benefit lawyers right away. ERISA allows employees to recover lost benefits, attorney fees and other remedies. ERISA also requires employees and retirees to follow specific procedures to pursue a claim.
Dallas pension lawyers help clients with pension and other retirement plan issues in Dallas, Fort Worth and other parts of Texas. Pensions and other retirement plans are important parts of employee retirement savings. When employers violate employee rights to pensions or other employee benefits the employee should contact an employment lawyer in Dallas, Texas. Employee pension plans are protected under federal and Texas law.
Pensions and other retirement plans fall under federal and Texas law. Private employer plans are generally protected under ERISA. ERISA is the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. Texas public agency plans are governed by Texas state law. Federal employers fall under other federal laws than ERISA. Generally these laws require the employer to administer the plan in the benefit of the employees. ERISA sets a high standard for plan administrators to be fiduciaries to the plan. These laws also require employers to follow the plan rules and administer the plan equally. When employers violate these laws they may become liable to the employees. In this case you should contact a pension lawyer in Dallas, Texas.
Texas employees can recover for violations of pension law depending upon the violation. Many times employers who violate pension laws are liable for losses to benefits owed to the employees. The employer may be liable to the employee for losses attributable to wrongful denial of benefits. Plans, particularly under ERISA, may be liable to Dallas, Texas employees for breaches of fiduciary duties about administration of pension assets. Employees can also often recover attorney’s fees and court costs for pursuing remedies.
Typically employer pension plans have specific administrative processes that you must follow to pursue a claim. Failure to follow the administrative process can bar further efforts by the Dallas, Texas employee to recover from the plan. This is why Dallas, Texas employees should work with Dallas pension lawyers right away if they believe they have a pension claim.
Dallas pension lawyers help employees resolve problems with their pensions. This may include reviewing the plan rules and helping the employee navigate requesting benefits from the plan. Or it may involve informal negotiations with the plan administrator to resolve a dispute. Or it may involve pursuing the plan’s administrative process through a lawsuit.
Dallas noncompete agreement lawyers help clients interpret, negotiate and litigate noncompete agreements. Noncompete agreements are contracts between employer and employee that affect the employee’s employment opportunities after employment. These agreements can have a powerful effect on a future job search. Treat them seriously. The employer may also call them covenants not to compete or restrictive covenants.
The primary purpose of a non-compete agreement is to protect the employer’s business or trade secrets from employees leaving employment. Many employers spend significant time and money developing proprietary systems, processes, products, services and customer information that allow them to compete within the market. This proprietary intellectual property would also carry value for other businesses in the Dallas, Texas area or businesses within the same industry. Employees inevitably gain access to this information through their employment. Once information is received, it cannot be removed from the employee so the employee becomes a way for one employer to obtain information about a competitor’s practices. Non-compete agreements protect the employer by limiting the employee’s future means of using trade secrets by limiting where they can work immediately after departing and how they use the employer’s trade secrets.
A secondary purpose is to prevent employees from developing relationships with customers or clients and then taking those relationships to a future employer. This is common in trade professions such as doctors, dentists, contractors, engineers, financial advisers and so forth. Often the customer or client’s real relationship is with an employee rather than the business. When the employee departs for a better job opportunity those customers or clients often want to follow. A non-compete agreement can act as a poison pill on the departing employee’s ability to take the employer’s consumers to another local business. The non-compete agreement can do this by prohibiting the employee from working in the same profession in the same geographic area or from soliciting consumers in the same manner.
Yes, often non-compete agreements are enforceable under Texas law. Texas recognizes many terms in non-compete agreements as enforceable covenants between employee and employer. However, not all non-compete agreements are enforceable or completely enforceable. Texas law places limits on the power of an employer to control a departing employee’s destiny. Just as Texas law recognizes an employer’s need to maintain its competitiveness, Texas law also recognizes an employee’s need to earn a living and build a career.
Challenging noncompete agreements is not always an easy task. Employers hold real value in those covenants and employees may find a job search difficult with a non-compete agreement hanging around their necks. Employers will fight to protect their agreements so employees should work with non-compete lawyers in Dallas, Texas to assess opportunities to attack the non-compete agreement. Even when the agreement is not completely unenforceable, provisions may be unenforceable that allow the employee greater employment opportunities.
Dallas expunction lawyers help clients in Dallas, Texas and surrounding areas with expunctions and nondisclosure orders in Texas. Expunctions and nondisclosure orders are ways to remove certain types of criminal records from an employment background check or other background check. Employers frequently check employees’ and applicants’ background to find criminal records, financial information and other records that may raise questions about the person’s fitness for employment. The expunction and nondisclosure processes can be tricky to work out in Texas. For this reason you may want to consider hiring employment lawyers to help resolve issues in your employment background checks.
Employment lawyers in Dallas, Texas help clients remove eligible criminal records through an expunction or nondisclosure order. Not all criminal records may be expunged or sealed but those that are eligible may benefit from taking these legal steps in Dallas, Texas. Employers perform background checks to identify possible concerns with employees for many reasons. Some jobs and industries require background checks to exclude certain convictions. These include lawyers, teachers, bankers, security guards and people who provide in-home services. Other jobs do not require exclusion of convictions but the employers may have a legitimate business reason to prefer people without certain convictions.
Additionally, Dallas, Texas employers also review background checks to find other risk concerns such as prior bankruptcies, high levels of credit card debts, a history of inconsistent debt payments and so forth. Typically these types of background checks are not mandatory for jobs but employers may still be on the lookout for problematic behaviors.
Expunctions are court orders that completely remove all records of a criminal event, from an arrest through any conviction. An expunction is only available in almost all cases if no conviction ocurred. For most people this includes arrests dismissed without any trial or plea deal. If you pled guilty or no-contest to a criminal charge then you likely cannot receive an expunction.
Nondisclosure orders seal records of a criminal event but do not destroy them. Nondisclosure orders are also court orders. To receive a nondisclosure order from a Texas court you must satisfy several requirements. The most important requirements include the court placing you on deferred adjudication for the crime and completing deferred adjudication. If the court dismisses the charge after deferred adjudication then you may be eligible.
Juvenile records are sealed similar in effect to nondisclosure orders but under a different process. These include minor alcohol crimes.
Dallas expunction lawyers are familiar with the courts and laws in Dallas, Texas that affect expunctions, background checks and related issues. Although you can do your own expunction without an employment lawyer in Dallas, you should know that the party on the other side is the Dallas DA who has lawyers that specifically deal with these issues. In simple cases you may be able to maneuver the Dallas, Texas courts. However, in more difficult cases you are likely deeply outmatched by the Dallas lawyers that represent the state.
Dallas labor lawyers represent clients in Dallas County in labor law claims. Labor law describes laws dealing with unions and the collective relationship of employees with the employer. Employment laws, by contrast, often deal with the relationship between an individual employee and the employer. Most labor law claims involve one of two issues. First, the employee participated in a union or union organizing. Then the employer retaliated against the employee for the participation. Second, the employee cooperated with coworkers to improve work conditions and the employer retaliated. In these cases a Dallas labor lawyer can fight back against the employer and help the employee.
The labor law applying to most Texas workers is the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The NLRA protects the right to assemble and cooperate to improve work conditions like pay, hours and benefits. These include rights to join a union and assist in efforts to vote a union as the bargaining representative of the employees. An employee who works under a collective bargaining agreement has additional rights and benefits that an at-will employee does not. The NLRA also protects the right of workers to cooperate without the presence of a formal union entity for the same purpose.
Retaliation is a common problem in labor law in and around Dallas, Texas. Retaliation may occur from participating in efforts to unionize a workplace; however, employees may suffer retaliation for organizing informally to deal with workplace problems. Employees do not need to join a union to invoke their rights to cooperate to improve work conditions. The act of cooperating is enough to invoke labor law protections. If you suffer retaliation by your employer for cooperating with coworkers on workplace problems or for working to unionize the workplace then you should contact Dallas labor lawyers right away.
Dallas labor lawyers represent clients in a wide range of labor and employment law problems. Labor law claims often deal with other employment laws so you may need representation from a labor attorney who can effectively represent you in multiple claims. Each of these labor and employment law claims may have specific individual processes to follow before a lawsuit may be filed. Additionally, you may have a grievance or claim against your employer to pursue through arbitration.
Dallas FMLA lawyers represent employees in FMLA retaliation and interference lawsuits in Dallas and surrounding parts of Texas. The Family Medical Leave Act protects an employee’s right to unpaid medical leave. An employer who violates an employee’s FMLA rights is liable to the employee for lost wages, attorney’s fees and other damages. If you believe your employer violated your FMLA rights then you should contact FMLA lawyers in Dallas, Texas to schedule a consultation and discuss your potential claim. Employment lawyers in Dallas, Texas represent employees in FMLA negotiations, settlements and lawsuits.
The Family Medical Leave Act protects the right of eligible employees of covered employers to up to twelve weeks of unpaid medical leave for a serious medical condition of the employee or a family member, childbirth, care of a servicemember injured in duty, or for bonding with a newborn or recently adopted child. To receive FMLA protection the employee’s medical leave request must satisfy each element:
An eligible employee is one who worked for a covered employer for at least 1000 hours and one year. A covered employer is an employer with at least fifty employees within a seventy-five mile radius of the eligible employee’s worksite. A serious medical condition is an illness, injury, impairment or physical or mental condition that involves inpatient care (defined as an overnight stay in a hospital, hospice or residential medical care facility; any overnight admission to such facilities is an automatic trigger for FMLA eligibility) or continuing treatment by a health care provider.
FMLA protects the right to take leave and return to your job at the end of the leave. The reinstatement right protects your job from an employer wrongfully terminating you, demoting you, cutting your pay, cutting your benefits, or reducing work responsibilities in retaliation for taking medical leave. The right is not absolute; there are reasons why the employer could fire or demote an employee while on FMLA leave. These are narrow exceptions under FMLA. If you suffered an adverse action against your job after taking FMLA leave then you should talk to Dallas FMLA lawyers ASAP.
Employers wrongfully deny FMLA leave for many reasons including:
An employer who wrongfully denies FMLA leave is liable to the employee for the interference or retaliation. If your employment wrongfully denied your FMLA leave then you should schedule a consultation with FMLA lawyers in Dallas, Texas to discuss your options.
Dallas FMLA lawyers can help with an FMLA problem in two ways. First, your employer may have wrongfully denied FMLA leave and you need help securing FMLA leave for a looming medical situation, such as a surgery or childbirth. In these situations Dallas FMLA lawyers can negotiate with your employer to help cure the disagreement and get you approved FMLA leave and protect your job.
Second, if your employer took adverse action against your job, such as firing you or demoting you, then an FMLA lawyer in Dallas, Texas can represent you in pursuing remedies against your employer. Often this includes filing a lawsuit against the employer to recover lost wages, liquidated damages, attorneys fees and other financial relief. Depending upon the facts, it may be possible to seek an order restoring you to the job you held before leave.
Dallas pregnancy leave lawyers represent clients in pregnancy leave employment claims in Dallas and surrounding parts of Texas. Pregnancy leave can be a critical time for a woman’s career. A pregnant mother has no ability to hide the pregnancy and it sends a message to the employer that she will have a need for medical leave and will have a competing priority at home. Too often employers use the pregnancy as a time to terminate or otherwise discriminate against the female employee. Access to medical leave for childbirth and pregnancy is protected under several federal and Texas laws. If you believe your employer discriminated against you for your pregnancy or otherwise impaired your lawful right to pregnancy medical leave then you should talk to a Dallas pregnancy leave lawyer right away.
Pregnant employees suffer discrimination in the workplace when the employer treats them less favorably than other employees. Pregnancy leave can form the basis of employment discrimination when the employer refuses leave on the basis of the pregnancy or retaliates against the employee for requesting pregnancy or childbirth-related leave. Employers sometimes view pregnant employees as no longer reliable or shifting priorities away from work. This can lead to reassigning job duties, demotions, pay cuts and wrongful termination. This behavior may create claims for sex discrimination, retaliation, wrongful termination, or violation of specific laws protecting pregnancy leave.
Dallas, Texas employees enjoy protection under several pregnancy leave laws that protect the right to leave for pregnancy, pregnancy-related medical conditions, childbirth and childbirth-related conditions. Many of these laws have overlapping protections. It is important to understand how they fit together and how to invoke their protections.
The Family Medical Leave Act protects the right to medical leave for a serious medical condition, childbirth and bonding with a newborn child for up to twelve weeks in a one year period. FMLA applies to employers with fifty or more employees within a seventy-five mile radius of your work location. Employees become eligible for FMLA leave after working 1250 hours and twelve months for the employer.
FMLA applies broadly for pregnancy leave and childbirth. FMLA applies to medical leave for childbirth and bonding time after birth, what is normally thought of as maternity leave. FMLA also protects leave for serious medical conditions, which includes pregnancy and pregnancy-related medical conditions. This includes physician-ordered bed rest, incapacity due to the pregnancy or pregnancy-related medical conditions, doctor’s appointments, emergency room visits and other prenatal care.
Pregnant employees who suffer related medical conditions during the pregnancy or following birth may also receive protection for extended leave or other job accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Texas Labor Code. Long term medical complications from the pregnancy or childbirth can result in a longer need for leave than FMLA or for other types of accommodations. Pregnancy is not itself a disability under the ADA or Texas employment law but medical complications from the pregnancy or birth may be. A disability is a physical or mental impairment of a significant duration and many post-birth complications fall within the ADA definition of a disability although the pregnancy itself does not. Employers have a duty under the ADA and Texas employment law to provide reasonable accommodations to disabilities when requested. Additional leave or intermittent leave may be a reasonable accommodation.
Congress passed the Pregnancy Discrimination Act in 1978 to include pregnancy discrimination as a form of sex discrimination prohibited at work. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits employers from treating pregnant employees less favorably than other employees. This includes a provision on medical leave. An employer must extend to pregnant employees the same opportunities for short term medical leave as other employees who need short term medical leave. Under the PDA an employer is not required to offer medical leave; but if it has a medical leave policy it must provide it uniformly.
If your employer denies a request for pregnancy leave then you should contact Dallas pregnancy leave lawyers right away. Your need for pregnancy leave is likely urgent and you need to work out the leave as soon as possible. There may also be retaliation, harassment and other problems to deal with connected to your request. Getting in front of those issues is often a better strategy than waiting until you return after the birth of your child.
Dallas minimum wage lawyers represent clients in Dallas, Fort Worth and surrounding parts of Texas in unpaid minimum wage cases. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), all nonexempt employees must receive at least minimum wage for each hour worked up to forty hours in a work week. If the employee works more than forty hours than the employee must receive 1.5 times the regular rate of pay as overtime pay. Employees who do not receive owed minimum wage or overtime pay can recover unpaid wages, liquidated damages, attorney’s fees and court costs.
The federal minimum wage set by the Fair Labor Standards Act is $7.25 per hour. Non-exempt employees must receive at least $7.25 for each hour worked up to forty. Then the employee earns overtime pay. Exempt employees who meet one of the FLSA exemptions or exceptions, such as certain salaried employees, do not have to receive minimum wage or overtime pay.
Common minimum wage violations in Texas include not paying for all hours worked, misclassifying employees as exempt, misclassifying as independent contractors, failing to pay minimum wage to non-exempt commissioned employees, paying a wage rate below minimum wage and tipped employee violations.
Employees may receive less pay than minimum wage due to employers not counting all work time under the FLSA on the timesheet. This can include long distance driving time, waiting to work without payment, employers clocking out employees while they continue to work and requiring employees to perform work before or after shifts without payment.
The FLSA allows employers to pay exempt employees on pay structures other than hourly rates of pay. Sometimes these exemptions result in hourly pay below minimum wage. An employee misclassified as exempt that falls below minimum wage has a claim for unpaid minimum wages.
The FLSA does not apply to independent contractors. Independent contractors are not employees under the FLSA, therefore minimum wage does not apply. However, employers may misclassify employees as independent contractors. Misclassified employees are entitled to minimum wage and overtime pay.
Employees paid on straight commission for inside sales, such as retail, are still entitled to minimum wage. Commissioned employees who receive less commission than minimum wage must receive hourly pay to make up minimum wage. Employers can discount future commissions to make up for what they pay hourly; but ultimately the employee must receive minimum wage for each hour worked. (And overtime pay for hours over forty.)
Sometimes employers pay employees less than minimum wage because they think they can get away with it. A non-exempt employee must receive minimum wage for each hour worked.
Tipped employees usually receive minimum wage through a combination of hourly pay and tips. This combination must equal at least minimum wage for each hour worked, along with overtime pay as applicable. Employers may pay eligible employees minimum wage against a tip credit. The tip credit adjusts the hourly pay to $2.13. The employee subject to the tip credit must meet all the regulatory requirements for the tip credit to apply. If the employee does not meet the regulations then the employee must receive full minimum wage from the employer, plus tips.
Employers also underpay minimum wage by improper tip pool deductions. Employees who receive tips may be required by the employer to enter a tip pool in which some tips are pooled among eligible employees and shared among tipped employees. This is commonly called tipping out. It usually applies to bartenders and barbacks who do service work but do not receive tips on every table they help serve. Employers violate tip pooling regulations by tipping out to ineligible employees or requiring too large of a tip pool. If your employer violated tip pool regulations then you can recover for unpaid wages and tips with the help of Dallas minimum wage lawyers.
Dallas overtime lawyers help clients recover unpaid overtime pay in Dallas, Texas and surrounding cities including Arlington, Fort Worth, Bedford, Irving and Plano. Nonexempt employees are entitled to overtime pay at one and half time their regular rate of pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Unpaid overtime pay can add up to significant amounts of money for an employee. If you believe your employer has not paid you for overtime pay earned for work then you should contact an employment lawyer in Dallas, Texas right away.
In Texas, most employees receive overtime pay under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. Although the Texas Payday Law includes overtime pay protections, it only supplements the FLSA. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, nonexempt employees are entitled to overtime pay at one and a half times their regular rate of pay for each hour of work over forty in a workweek.
Often employers try to avoid overtime pay by misclassifying workers as overtime exempt. An employee is not exempt from overtime pay just because he or she receives a salary. Paying a salary is only part of the exemption for some employees. Exempt employees include high level managers, executives, administrators, professionals, IT staff and outside sales staff. Employees misclassified by employers may be owed thousands or tens of thousands in unpaid overtime pay.
Employers also fail to pay overtime by not including work hours worked by the employee. This can include tipped employee work hours, travel time due wages under the FLSA and paid on call time. Employers also sometimes shift hours from one work week to another to shift hours due overtime pay from one work week to one with less than forty hours. If your employer fails to pay overtime for your work then you should contact overtime lawyers in Dallas, Texas to discuss your options.
Dallas overtime lawyers represent employees in and around Dallas, Texas in unpaid overtime pay and unpaid wage claims. Employees who have been misclassified or otherwise have not been paid overtime pay can recover lost wages, liquidated damages (like punitive damages), interest, attorney’s fees and court costs. A claim of a few thousand dollars in unpaid overtime pay can become a settlement or verdict several times the original unpaid overtime pay amount.
Employees in Dallas, Texas and surrounding areas in north Texas may work in any job or industry where employers do not pay owed overtime pay. However, some jobs tend to suffer more unpaid overtime pay claims than others. Common jobs that suffer unpaid overtime pay include:
Employees with an unpaid overtime pay claim may come from almost any field. If you work more than forty hours in a workweek then you should contact a Dallas overtime lawyer. Allow an experienced employment lawyer review your situation and assess whether you have a claim for unpaid overtime pay.
In summary, your claim for unpaid overtime pay in Dallas, Texas and surrounding areas may arise from:
If any of these sound like your work situation then you should contact Dallas overtime lawyers to discuss your options.
Dallas unpaid wages lawyers help employees in Dallas, Texas and surrounding cities to recover unpaid wages for work. Employees in Dallas, Texas sometimes try to take advantage of employees by not paying wages for all hours worked or paying a rate below what is agreed or required by law. This may include not paying minimum wage, overtime pay, earned tips or other wages. If you believe your employer has not paid wages due for work then you should contact unpaid wage lawyers in Dallas, Texas to help you recover what you earned.
Unpaid wages lawyers understand that an employer that does not pay you for your work can leave you in a dire financial situation. You put in the work and deserve to be paid the lawful, agreed wages. Dallas, Texas employees must be paid minimum wage and overtime pay if they are nonexempt employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act. An employer who fails to pay minimum wage or overtime pay owed under the Fair Labor Standards Act is liable to the employee for unpaid wages, attorney’s fees and court costs, as possibly liquidated damages. Common ways employers violate the Fair Labor Standards Act include:
Dallas unpaid wages lawyers help clients recover unpaid minimum wage and overtime pay in Dallas, Texas.
Not all unpaid wage claims in Dallas, Texas come from minimum wage or overtime pay. Dallas unpaid wage lawyers helps clients recover wages, bonuses and other compensation beyond minimum wage and overtime pay. Many employees receive compensation through salary, bonuses, premiums and hourly rates above minimum wage. You have the right to receive pay at the agreed rate for your work as well. If your employer refuses to pay you work on the agreed compensation rate then you have the right to recover unpaid compensation under Texas law. You can recover unpaid wages and potentially attorney’s fees, liquidated damages, punitive damages and other relief. These claims may include:
Dallas unpaid wages lawyers help clients recover for these unpaid wages, bonuses and other compensation through Texas law claims including breach of contract, fraud and other common law claims.
Dallas wrongful discharge lawyers represent clients in the Dallas and Fort Worth area who lost their jobs through a wrongful discharge or wrongful termination. Wrongful discharge happens when employers fire employees in violation of a statute or common law protection. Employees wrongfully discharged can recover lost wages and other sums. A Dallas wrongful termination lawyer understands the federal and Texas employment laws that affect losing your job. Dallas employment lawyers understand how a wrongful discharge or wrongful termination can seriously harm your career and your financial security.
Some states have a wide range of wrongful discharge claims against employers; but Texas only has a small number. A claim for wrongful discharge arises when a law specifically prohibits the termination or discharge. Any termination that is unfair, unreasonable, or based on bad information is certainly harmful. However, that is not enough by itself to create a claim under Texas law for wrongful discharge. The employee may pursue unemployment benefits where the standard for a wrongful discharge is much broader.
Dallas wrongful discharge lawyers are employment lawyers who represent clients in wrongful termination lawsuits under Texas and federal law. Common wrongful discharge or wrongful termination claims come from employment discrimination, FMLA, complaining about unpaid overtime or wages, retaliation for complaining about employment discrimination, retaliation for requesting employee benefits protected by ERISA and retaliation for complaining to OSHA about unsafe work conditions.
Claims for wrongful discharge in Dallas, Texas may resolve through the courts or an administrative agency’s process. Some wrongful discharge claims in Texas must begin by filing an administrative complaint. This is particularly true for employment discrimination claims based on age, national origin, disability, race, religion and most sex discrimination claims. It is also true for employees fired for reporting unsafe work conditions to OSHA. A claim for the retaliatory discharge must also file with OSHA rather than directly to court. Some claims, like FMLA or overtime pay, may be filed with the Department of Labor but a party may choose not to file with the Department of Labor and simply begin a lawsuit in court. Other claims may go directly to court without any administrative process.
It is critical that a wrongful discharge claim is filed in the right venue. Failing to satisfy specific statutory or administrative procedures can result in barring your claim for wrongful termination from proceeding. This is a good reason to hire Dallas wrongful discharge lawyers to represent you.
Dallas wrongful termination lawyers represent clients in Fort Worth, Dallas and other parts of Texas in wrongful termination lawsuits. Wrongful termination, also called wrongful discharge, happens when an employer fires an employee in violation of a law. Not all unfair or bad terminations are wrongful terminations; however, if you are wrongfully discharged you should contact a Dallas wrongful termination lawyer right away. If you believe you were wrongfully terminated then you should talk to Dallas wrongful termination lawyers right away.
Wrongful termination in Texas is generally a creation of statutory law although there are some common law claims. A wrongful termination claim only exists when the reason for termination violates federal or Texas employment law. Otherwise an employer’s reason for termination might be bad; however, that does not create a wrongful termination claim in Texas.
Claims for wrongful termination often arise under employment laws that prohibit retaliation or discrimination. These include:
- Termination on the basis of an unlawful form of discrimination including age, race, sex, disability, national origin, religion or being a servicemember
- Discharge for complaining about an unlawful practice including refusing to pay minimum wage or overtime pay
- Termination for requesting a legally protected right such as FMLA leave or a reasonable accommodation to a disability
- Termination for complaining about unsafe work conditions that violate OSHA
- Discharge for filing an EEOC complaint or participating in an investigation of an EEOC complaint
- Discharge for supporting unionization or a union practice in the workplace
Dallas wrongful termination lawyers represent clients in these claims in Dallas, Texas and surrounding areas.
Additionally, Texas has two non-statutory wrongful termination claims. First is firing for refusing to commit a criminal act on behalf of the employer. An employer may not make you choose between your job or committing a crime. This claim includes termination for contacting a law enforcement agency to assess whether the request is criminal.
Second, a termination that violates an employment contract can be a wrongful termination claim. Most employees do not work under a contract in Texas as a result wrongful termination claims for most firings would fail. However, if an employee has a contract there may be a claim.
Claims for wrongful termination often hold the employer liable for unpaid wages, lost benefits, out of pocket expenses due to the termination, job search expenses, attorneys fees and sometimes punitive or liquidated damages. If you believe you were wrongfully terminated by your employer then you should speak with one or more Dallas wrongful termination lawyers right away. Many of these claims have brief statutes of limitations and not taking the right actions within a limited period of time may destroy the claim.
Dallas wrongful termination lawyers understand the types of claims available for wrongful termination and the necessary processes to advance those claims. Do not wait to contact a wrongful termination lawyer in Dallas, Texas. You may lose the right to pursue the claim under employment law. If you believe you were wrongfully terminated then you should contact Dallas wrongful termination lawyers right away.
Dallas age discrimination lawyers represent clients in Dallas, Texas and surrounding areas in employment discrimination on the basis of age. Federal and Texas employment law prohibit employers from discriminating against employees forty and older. If your employer discriminated on the basis of age and you are over forty then you should contact a Dallas age discrimination lawyer right away. Age-based discrimination claims are complicated because the rules for pursuing a claim are technical. Failing to follow those rules can result in losing your claim forever.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and Texas Labor Code prohibit age discrimination in employment. Age discrimination happens when an employer treats an employee or applicant less favorably on the basis of age. Under both the ADEA and Texas Labor Code an employer may not discriminate on the basis of age against workers forty and older. An employer can discriminate against employees or applicants younger than forty. This distinction exists because employers, as a whole, are more likely to discriminate against older workers.
Age discrimination occurs when an employer treats an employee or applicant who is forty or older less favorably than another employee or applicant on the basis of age. It may take place in hiring, firing, layoffs, demotions, promotions, pay or benefits decisions, or through harassment. Age discrimination often takes place in hiring and layoffs where employers often employ age stereotypes about energy, strength, or health in employment decisions. Industries where age discrimination is common include IT, manufacturing and hospitality but any Dallas, Texas employee over the age of forty may be the victim of age discrimination.
Texas age discrimination claims are complex employment law claims. They require a pre-suit process to preserve claims before a lawsuit may be filed. The standard to prove an age discrimination claim is much higher than many other types of employment discrimination lawsuits. For these and many other reasons you should hire a Dallas age discrimination attorney to assess your claims and represent you. Working with an experienced Dallas age discrimination lawyer gives you the best opportunity to recover on your claims. An age discrimination claim may recover lost wages, attorney’s fees and other damages. In limited cases a court may order reinstatement of a terminated employee.
Often age discrimination occurs in several ways including:
- Hiring younger employees to bring in employees believed to be more energetic, more in line with the company’s image as youthful, more tech savvy
- Creating a reduction in force that targets all the older workers
- Creating job postings that target younger workers or discourage older workers
- Making job decisions for hiring or promotions using age as a stereotype for lacking the ability to adapt or adopt new technology
- Hiring younger employees because they are perceived to be cheaper or physically more capable
In addition to these common forms of age discrimination, the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA) requires employers to give older workers at least forty-five days to consider a severance agreement and seven days to revoke agreement to it. If your employer fails to meet this requirement then you may have an additional claim for age discrimination.
Dallas disability discrimination lawyers represent clients in Dallas, Texas in disability discrimination claims. Under federal and Texas employment laws it is unlawful to treat an employee or applicant unfairly because of a disability. Disability discrimination claims also exist when a disabled employee requests a reasonable accommodation and is denied. Under federal law an employer may not discriminate on the basis of a family relationship with a disabled person. If you have a disability and your employer discriminated against you then you should contact a Dallas disability discrimination lawyer.
The Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act and the Texas Labor Code prohibit employers from discriminating on a disability. This includes current disabilities, past disabilities and the employer’s perception that an employee or applicant is disabled. An employer may discriminate in hiring, promotion, termination, demotion, pay cuts, pay raises, work assignments and harassment. These acts are unlawful. If you suffer any you should contact Dallas disability discrimination lawyers right away.
Disability discrimination claims are particularly complex because anti-discrimination laws use highly technical definitions for many of the key terms. The definition of a disability under the ADA and Texas Labor Code is specific and a source of disagreement in disability discrimination lawsuits. Similarly, a disability discrimination claim may be the subject of dispute over the application of “essential functions” and “reasonable accommodations” as defined by the statutes.
The Americans with Disabilities Act defines a disabled person as:
a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment
Because there is a lot to unpack in this definition, take it one piece at a time. The definition of a disabled person includes (1) a person with a disability; (2) a person with a history of a disability; and (3) a person perceived to have a disability even if that person is not actually disabled. Therefore the question becomes what is a disability.
Next, the ADA definition is, “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities…”
Parse out the definition and find several parts: (1) physical or mental impairment; (2) substantially limits; (3) one or more major life activities. Each element must be met. Therefore, any employee who does not meet all three will not prevail on a claim.
First, there must be a physical or mental impairment. It must be an actual impairment to the body. Let’s jump to the end and come back to the middle. Third, it involves one or more major life activities. Under the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, the definition of a major life activity is broad. It includes walking, thinking, sleeping, eating, reading, talking, etc. As a result, defense lawyers often argue that the definition means everybody is disabled. Second, the impairment must substantially limit a major life activity. A minor limitation will not meet the definition. The clear and significant limitation must exist.
Reasonable accommodation claims are particularly challenging without a thorough understanding of employment discrimination law. These claims carry all the challenges of proving the elements of a disability under the ADA and Texas Labor Code. However, a reasonable accommodation claim is not just a claim for inferior treatment; but a claim that the employer failed to do something to help the employee. What is reasonable and what is an accommodation are both technical, legal questions. The bar for reasonableness is high but does not require an employer to do everything or anything a disabled employee requests.
Often a problem arises in which the employee requests one specific accommodation without any flexibility. Under the ADA and Texas Labor Code an employer only has to offer a reasonable accommodation that is truly both reasonable and an accommodation. The employer does not have to offer the best accommodation or the specific accommodation requested by the employee.
Employers who discriminate are liable for lost wages, out of pocket losses, attorneys fees, mental anguish and other damages. Reinstatement is sometimes an option to cure a disability discrimination claim, especially when demotion or termination occurs. Often the employer, employee, or both do not prefer this option. Because the disabled employee did not fill the position, another employee often holds that job. Judges usually do not like to displace an innocent third party to reinstate the aggrieved employee. If your employer negatively affected your job or refused to provide a reasonable accommodation to a disability then you should contact Dallas disability discrimination attorneys right away.
Maneuvering a disability discrimination lawsuit in Texas begins with understanding employment discrimination laws and the meaning of the key terms of the statute. Disability discrimination claims often require a pre-suit process to preserve claims before an employee may file a lawsuit. Failure to understand the processes and legal structure of a disability discrimination claim can doom the claim and the employee. A successful claim for disability discrimination can result in an award of damages including lost wages, mental anguish, out of pocket losses, attorney’s fees and court costs.
Dallas national origin discrimination lawyers represent clients in the Dallas, Texas area for employment discrimination claims related to the employee’s national origin. It is a violation of federal and Texas employment law to discriminate in employment on the basis of an employee or applicant’s nation of origin. If your employer discriminated against you for your national origin then you should contact a Dallas national origin discrimination lawyer right away.
National origin discrimination is a form of employment discrimination in which an employer discriminates against an employee or applicant because that person is from a particular country or the person’s family is from a particular country. It may result in an adverse employment action, including termination, demotion, pay cuts, reduction in work assignments and failure to hire or promote. It may also occur through harassment in which employees, supervisors, customers or vendors create a hostile work environment. These forms of employment discrimination can have a significant impact on a person’s career.
Employment discrimination on the basis of national origin is unlawful under Title VII and the Texas Labor Code. These employment laws make it unlawful for an employer to take an employee or applicant’s national origin into consideration in a negative manner. An employer may have negative feelings towards people from particular nations or may hold harmful stereotypes. National origin discrimination may occur in:
- Hiring or promotion decisions
- Termination or demotion decisions
- Work assignments
- Harassment or hostile work environment
When an employer unlawfully discriminates on national origin then it is liable to the employee for lost wages, lost benefits, attorneys fees, litigation costs, mental anguish and other sums. If your employer discriminates against you then you should contact Dallas national origin discrimination lawyers right away.
Employers are permitted to discriminate in favor of national origin when there is a legitimate business need. This rarely occurs; and often only in customer service jobs. In those jobs a person’s national origin or ethnicity makes the business more authentic. Employers are not permitted to show bias against people of any national origin for other reasons. This includes:
- Setting up English-only rules that lack a legitimate business need
- Harassing employees for their national origin
- Making business decisions based on the stereotypes the employer believes its customers hold
National origin discrimination is often connected to race discrimination or ethnicity discrimination. Determining the proper type of employment discrimination claim is a job for Dallas national origin discrimination attorneys.
Dallas racial discrimination lawyers represent clients in Fort Worth and other parts of Texas in race discrimination or racial discrimination in employment. Race discrimination is an unlawful form of employment discrimination under federal and Texas law.
Racial discrimination in employment happens when an employer discriminates against an employee or applicant on the basis of the person’s race, ethnicity, or skin color. Race discrimination in employment is unlawful under federal laws including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866. Texas employment law also prohibits racial discrimination at work in the Texas Labor Code. Some municipal codes in Texas, such as those in Fort Worth and Dallas, also prohibit racial discrimination at work.
Racial discrimination happens when an employer takes an adverse employment action or harasses an employee on the basis of race or ethnicity. An adverse employment action includes termination, demotion, pay cuts, reduction of work assignments, negative changes to work conditions and failures to promote or hire. A Texas employee may suffer racial harassment by management, coworkers, customers, or outside vendors. Offensive, harassing behavior that forms a hostile work environment can be just as harmful to a career as an adverse employment action.
Racial discrimination in employment can occur because the employer favors one race over another or attacking members of a race. Promoting an employee being he is white and not promoting an employee because she is Asian is equally unlawful. Race discrimination can also occur by favoring one member of a race over another members of the same race. This happens because one employee is lighter skinned than another of the same race or seen as less stereotypical. This same-race discrimination is no different from any other form of race discrimination.
An employer engaging in employment discrimination on the basis of race is liable to the employee for damages. Damages include lost wages, mental anguish, out of pocket losses, attorneys fees, court costs, lost benefits and other damages. Dallas racial discrimination lawyers fight against this violation of employment law for clients.
If you believe you suffered discrimination on the basis of race either through an adverse employment action or harassment you should contact a Dallas racial discrimination lawyer to discuss your situation. Employment discrimination claims result in complex lawsuits with many legal and factual issues that can be harmful to a claim. There are specific procedures that must be followed in many cases to structure the strongest case possible for an employee.
Dallas religious discrimination lawyers represent employees in Fort Worth and other parts of Texas who suffer discrimination at work on the basis of their religion. Title VII and the Texas Labor Code prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of religion. If you believe your employer is engaging in religious discrimination then you should contact a Fort Worth religious discrimination lawyer right away.
Under federal and Texas law it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an employee on the basis of the employee’s religion. Employers discriminate against employees on the basis of religion in many ways including:
- Refusing to hire or promote an employee on the basis of religion
- Terminating an employee for holding religious beliefs
- Terminating an employee for not participating in a religious practice
- Creating a hostile work environment or harassing an employee due to the employee’s religion
- Cutting pay or work assignments on the basis of religion
Additionally, employers must provide reasonable accommodation for religious practices including permitting dress code deviations for religious attire and leave to attend religious ceremonies. Note that these need only be reasonable accommodations. Not all requests for religious practices fall under this protection.
Dallas religious discrimination lawyers represent clients in lawsuits and EEOC complaints on these adverse employment actions. Religious discrimination attorneys understand these types of employment law claims. If you believe your employer discriminated on the basis of religion then you should contact a Dallas religious discrimination attorney right away.
Religious discrimination at work happens in two ways. First, it may occur like any other form of employment discrimination in which an employer treats you less favorably than other workers on the basis of your religious beliefs. Second, it may occur because an employer refuses a reasonable accommodation to a religious belief.
Dallas religious discrimination attorneys help clients with religion discrimination when an employer treats an employee less favorably than other employees on the basis of the employee’s religious beliefs. Discrimination may be because the employee has religious beliefs the employer opposes or simply because the employee does not share the employer’s faith.
Religious discrimination may be as direct as the employer directly making employment decisions on the basis of the employee’s faith; it may be as indirect as making employment decisions for declining to participate in “voluntary” religious practices in the workplace. How religion ties into the employer’s adverse employment action is not as important as the employer’s decision to act adversely because of religion. Any negative act by the employer on the basis of religion is unlawful religious discrimination and you should contact Dallas religious discrimination lawyers about your situation.
Unlike other forms of employment discrimination like race, sex, or age, religion discrimination includes a specific type of discrimination which is a failure to reasonably accommodate religious practices. Under Title VII and the Texas Labor Code a covered employer must reasonably accommodate a religious practice. Common accommodations include: schedule changes to permit the employee to attend religious ceremonies; schedule changes for religious work rules; adjusting break periods to allow for prayers or other religious practices at work; and modifying dress codes to allow for religious attire.
The standard for the reasonableness of an accommodation is low. Often if an employer has an honest business reason to deny the accommodation the employer will often prove its case.
Dallas sex discrimination lawyers represent clients in Dallas, Texas and surrounding areas in sex discrimination and gender discrimination lawsuits. Sex discrimination and gender discrimination at work occurs when an employer treats an employee or applicant less favorably on the basis of the person’s sex or gender. Sex discrimination is unlawful under federal and Texas law. If you experience sex discrimination at work then you should contact a Dallas sex discrimination lawyer right away.
Sex discrimination is a form of unlawful employment discrimination on the basis of a person’s sex or gender. Discrimination on the basis of sex or gender might come in several forms including:
- Hiring or promotions
- Pay disparity
- Sexual harassment or hostile work environment
- Quid pro quo sex requests
- Termination or demotions
- Assigning work assignments on the basis of sex or gender
- Harassing employees on the basis of gender stereotypes
- Pregnancy discrimination
- Assigning employees to positions or tasks as “men’s work” or “women’s work”
Dallas sex discrimination lawyers understand these acts can occur because an employee is favorably male or female or unfavorably male or female. In other words, you can be treated less favorably because you are a woman because the employer intentionally discriminates against women or because the employer intentionally discriminates in favor of men. It is still sex discrimination.
Sex discrimination often occurs on the basis of harassment or hostile work environment. This may include sexual comments or gestures to an employee, making sexual advances, commenting offensively about one’s body or appearance in a sexual manner and other offensive conduct. Sexual harassment has a meaningful impact on its victims and Dallas sex discrimination attorneys sue employers for allowing this to occur.
Quid pro quo sex discrimination occurs when a supervisor or business owner demands sex, sexual acts, dates or other romantic affairs in exchange for continued work, promotion, pay raises, to prevent termination, demotion, or a pay cut. Basically any sex for work request or demand is quid pro quo sex discrimination.
Dallas sex discrimination lawyers fight for clients who suffer sex discrimination at work. Usually once this behavior starts in a Dallas, Texas workplace it does not go away on its own. You will need the help of a sex discrimination lawyer in Dallas, Texas. Do not delay contacting employment lawyers about this issue. Sex discrimination claims often have short statutes of limitations periods to act. If you believe you have a sex discrimination claim then you should contact Dallas sex discrimination lawyers right away.
Dallas transgender lawyers represent clients in sex and gender discrimination claims in Texas regarding transgender rights in employment. Transgender employment discrimination is prohibited under federal and Texas employment law. If your employer discriminates on the basis of your transgender identity in Dallas, Texas or surrounding areas then you should contact a Dallas transgender rights lawyer.
Transgender employees deserve equal employment opportunities as everybody else but often face discrimination in hiring and promotions as well as harassment in the workplace. Fortunately transgender employees receive protections from employment discrimination under Title VII, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex or gender. Title VII has been used by transgender rights lawyers in Dallas, Texas and other areas to assert transgender-based discrimination is discrimination on the basis of sex or gender stereotypes.
Transgender discrimination claims may also involve discrimination unique to transgender employees. Some transgender discrimination claims implicate questions of sexual orientation-based discrimination. When restroom access is impaired by transgender discrimination OSHA may be implicated. OSHA requires employers to give employees meaningful access to restrooms.
The Texas Labor Code provides the same protections against sex and gender discrimination. The Texas Labor Code prohibits employment discrimination along the same lines as federal employment law.
Additionally, local laws sometimes prohibit employment discrimination. These often include prohibitions on sex discrimination. They may also include prohibitions on sexual orientation or transgender discrimination. Local laws typically do not create claims an employee can bring to court against private employers; however, they may allow a city employee who suffers discrimination a path for resolution with the city. The city may have powers to pursue private entities but rarely do. Cities with these ordinances include Fort Worth and Dallas, Texas.
Employees in Fort Worth, Texas pursuing transgender employment discrimination claims may file in federal or state courts. There may be tactical advantages to choose one or the other. Employees must file an administrative complaint with the EEOC or Texas Workforce Commission before pursuing a lawsuit on an employment discrimination claim for sex discrimination. (Except a claim brought under the Equal Pay Act.) Lawsuits in Texas for transgender employment discrimination may result in recovery of lost wages, out of pocket losses, mental anguish and attorney’s fees. Sex discrimination lawsuits for transgender discrimination can be complex cases. Before moving forward with a lawsuit, consider consultations with Dallas employment lawyers.
Dallas retaliation lawyers help clients who have suffered retaliation at work for complaints of unlawful activity or exercising legal rights. Federal and Texas employment laws protect employees from retaliation for these acts. If your employer unlawfully retaliated against you in Fort Worth, Dallas, or other parts of Texas then you should contact a Dallas retaliation lawyer. Employment lawyers represent clients in retaliation claims.
Retaliation claims arise when employers take adverse action against employees for exercising a legal right at work, complaining about unlawful employment acts or participating in an investigation of unlawful employment acts. Dallas retaliation lawyers represent employees in lawsuits and other forums to pursue employers who punish employees in retaliation.
Not all acts of retaliation are unlawful under federal or Texas employment law; but several forms of retaliation are unlawful. These include:
An employer’s retaliation can have a significant impact on your career even if not fired or demoted. Retaliation can affect future employers because it puts a black mark on your resume. Future employers will contact prior employers to verify employment and likely will find that you were fired from the job. As a result, the retaliation can carry with you for years. If your employer retaliates unlawfully then you should contact Dallas retaliation lawyers right away. Retaliation claims often follow the same procedure for employment discrimination claims because they arise from the same statutes. Employment discrimination claims typically must begin with a complaint filed with the EEOC. Many retaliation claims under employment law have short statutes of limitations and specific procedures that must be followed to initiate a claim.
An employer may retaliate against an employee in several ways including:
Dallas retaliation lawyers are employment lawyers who protect their clients from unlawful employment acts. If you do not stand up for your rights in the workplace then your employer will feel emboldened to continue retaliating. Protect your career and your financial well-being by asserting your retaliation claim. Dallas retaliation attorneys know how to identify and pursue these claims for clients across Texas.
Dallas retaliation lawyers help clients in Dallas and surrounding parts of Texas in employment retaliation lawsuits. Retaliation occurs in employment when an employer unlawfully retaliates against an employee by terminating, demoting, cutting pay, or otherwise harming the employee as a result of:
An employee who suffers an unlawful form of retaliation at work is entitled to recover lost wages, attorneys fees and other damages. If you believe you suffered an unlawful form of retaliation then you should contact retaliation lawyers in Dallas, Texas. Retaliation claims are not uniform. Many have special procedures that must be followed.
Retaliation lawyers help employees recover for losses caused by unlawful forms of workplace retaliation. Employer retaliation can have a substantial harm to an employee’s career, financial stability, retirement plans and mental health. Workplace retaliation can occur across a wide range of behaviors including:
Employees in Dallas, Texas may suffer these forms of workplace retaliation individually, such as wrongful termination, or several forms together, such as harassment and a transfer to a less favorable workplace. When assessing a workplace retaliation claim in Dallas, Texas, retaliation lawyers can review the types of retaliation suffered and what relief may be available. In addition to considering the type of retaliation, your retaliation attorney will assess the particular statute in which a retaliation might arise. Remedies for workplace retaliation differ across employment law statutes under federal and Texas law.
Dallas harassment lawyers represent clients in Fort Worth, Dallas and other parts of Texas in employment-related harassment claims. It is unlawful for your employer to harass you or allow a hostile work environment to exist on the basis of a protected trait or the exercise of a legal right. If your employer violates these employment laws then you should contact a Dallas harassment lawyer.
Most people think of workplace harassment as sexual harassment but harassment at work may occur for many other reasons. Harassment may arise from age, disability, race, national origin, religion. It may also occur for exercising an employment right like FMLA or complaining about unlawful behavior. Harassment must be offensive, unwelcome behavior. A claim for harassment against an employer requires in most cases for the harassment to reach a point where it has an actual negative effect on your job or is so bad it is impossible to remain in the job. When harassment becomes this bad it can create a claim for constructive discharge. Perpetrators of harassment can include supervisors, owners, coworkers, customers, clients, or outside vendors.
Often employees work under managers or supervisors who are not good people and enjoy harassing employees for no particular reason or for no unlawful reason. Harassment only leads to a lawsuit when an employer creates a hostile work environment on an unlawful basis. When in doubt it is better to talk to a Dallas harassment lawyer to assess the situation.
Unlawful harassment, often called hostile work environment, in employment occurs when an employer makes work conditions intolerable on the basis of a protected trait or protected right. The protected traits include race, age, disability, national origin, sex, gender, military service, religion and possibly sexual orientation. The protected rights include requesting FMLA leave, requesting an accommodation to a disability or religious practice, complaining about improper pay conditions, complaining about safety conditions to OSHA, participating in union activity and participating in an investigation of an EEOC complaint. (There are many others.)
The act of harassing employees often occurs in two ways. First, the employee is subjected to comments, images and behavior targeting the protected trait or protected right. Second, management takes action to affect work conditions to make the employee feel uncomfortable and quit. This might include changing schedules or work assignments, pay cuts, demotions and moving the employee to an unusual work location. If you suffer harassment of this type at work then you should contact Dallas harassment lawyers right away.
Sexual harassment is a unique form of employment harassment because it also opens the door to quid pro quo harassment. Quid pro quo harassment occurs when the employer demands the employee engage in a romantic or sexual act with a supervisor as a condition of work. This might be in exchange for a promotion, to avoid termination or demotion, for a pay raise, to stop a pay cut, or merely to continue working.
Texas harassment claims can be difficult to prove. Not all harassment is motivated by an unlawful purpose. Nor is all harassment so bad that it meets the legal standard for a lawsuit. Additionally, many harassment claims require specific pre-lawsuit procedures. If you believe your workplace is becoming a hostile work environment you should contact a Dallas harassment attorney right away to discuss the situation and what steps you should take. Often in the early stages of a harassing situation your employer can take steps to eliminate the problem and keep your job on the right path. If not then you need to know the right steps to take to protect and assert your claim. A lawsuit for workplace harassment in Texas can offer remedies including reinstatement, lost wages, lost benefits, mental anguish, punitive or liquidated damages, attorney’s fees and court costs.
Dallas uncontested divorce lawyers represent clients in Dallas and surrounding areas in flat fee uncontested divorces. Uncontested divorces are divorces in which the parties agree on the issues in the divorce. An uncontested divorce avoids the costs, time and frustration of litigating a divorce in Dallas. Although uncontested divorces in Dallas are often easier than contested divorces, it is still vital that the parties receive a clear, well drafted divorce decree that properly deals with the property and custody issues. A poorly drafted divorce decree can create problems for years. Do it right the first time.
The result of an uncontested divorce is the same as any divorce in Dallas: an end to the marriage based on the terms of the divorce decree. The divorce decree includes terms for child custody including possession schedules and parental rights. It also includes child support obligations for child support payments and medical care. The divorce decree also divides the marital estate, which assigns property to each spouse and addresses liability for debts. Although a divorce cannot alter a creditor’s rights in Texas, it can order spouses to indemnify each other, for one to make cash payments to the other to pay debts, or require a party to refinance a debt to remove the other from the debt.
A lot can go wrong with the divorce decree because it is a court order that creates obligations and assignments on the parties. A poorly drafted possession schedule can result in confusion and ultimately require expensive litigation to modify the custody orders. Incorrect child support orders can result in underpayment of child support or unintentionally large payments that cause financial troubles for the parent paying support. Modifying and enforcing child support orders can be a headache at best and jail time at worst. A lot rides on the line with the language of the divorce decree. Take care of your uncontested divorce the easy way and hire a Dallas uncontested divorce attorney to do the hard work for you.
Poorly drafted property division schedules can result in assigning property to the wrong party, creating problems with financial account ownership, clouding the title to property and countless other problems. Failing to properly deal with debts in the divorce decree can create its own set of problems. These issues may result in years of problems and not all of them can be resolved by returning to court. These are good reasons to hire a Dallas uncontested divorce lawyer to take care of your uncontested divorce and ensure the divorce decree accurately describes the agreement of the spouses and creates a clear, enforceable order.
Under the Texas Family Code a divorce may not be granted in less than sixty days after the date the petitioner files the petition. The Texas Family Code has an exception if domestic violence is involved in the divorce. Generally domestic violence allegations do not exist in uncontested divorces so generally an uncontested divorce can occur in no less than sixty-one days. An uncontested divorce in Dallas can occur within that period if the parties complete their agreement in time to draft a divorce decree for the parties to sign. Often the parties are ready to appear in court shortly after the end of the sixty day waiting period.
Irving, Texas is a mid-size city near Dallas, Texas. The town resides entirely within Dallas County. It is part of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and the larger North Texas region. It resides between DFW Airport and Dallas but shares borders with Farmers Branch, Coppell, Grand Prairie, Carrollton and Dallas. The town is home to two distinct city regions: Las Colinas and Valley Ranch. It is home to University of Dallas and a wide array of businesses including Exxon-Mobil, Kimberly-Clark, Fluor Corporation, Citigroup, Verizon, Aegis Communications, Allstate, YRC Worldwide, Nokia, JPMorgan Chase and Microsoft.
The area that is now Irving was once home to many smaller settlements that reach back to the early days of Anglo-American settlement in the DFW area. Anglo settlers began arriving in the 1840s and 1850s. Separate settlements dotted present-day Irving through the nineteenth century, including Gorbit and Kit. As rail lines were laid throughout North Texas there were several lines running from Dallas to Fort Worth. Two men working for the railroads realized a line would cause the area to grow.
They acquired a parcel of land in the area and platted a town they called Irving. The name arose from author Washington Irving, favorite author of one of the men. The town began in 1903 and grew rapidly, overtaking and then absorbing local settlements. Irving incorporated in 1914 and grew at a moderate pace through the early and mid twentieth century. Through this time the town was a popular location for businesses like most of western Dallas County.
Things began changing in the 1970s. In 1974 DFW Airport opened, making the town a convenient location for businesses looking for close proximity to the airport. In the 1970s Las Colinas developed in the middle area of the city. Las Colinas was one of the first private, master planned communities in the country with the goal to bring in business and residents. Although Las Colinas is still a work in progress it is home to many Fortune 500 companies and growing its residential base.
The northern parts of the town developed as Valley Ranch, another planned development. Valley Ranch is largely residential and companies serving residents with shopping and dining but there is commerce as well. Today Irving is a diverse city with a wide range of commercial interests.
Irving is served by its city government, Dallas County and DFW Airport. Students primarily attend Irving ISD schools; but some parts of the city are within the Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD, Coppell ISD and Carrollton ISD.
Grand Prairie, Texas is a mid-sized city that spans Tarrant County, Dallas County and Ellis County. The long city is part of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and the larger North Texas region. It is part of the mid-cities region between Dallas and Fort Worth. Grand Prairie’s neighbors are Arlington, Irving, Dallas and Cedar Hill.
In the mid-nineteenth century Dallas County sought development by selling large plots of land cheaply. Dechman, a citizen of Birdville in Tarrant County, bought land in what is now Grand Prairie in 1863 for $200 of Confederate money, a wagon and a team of ox. He filed a town plat with Dallas County in 1867. In 1876 he traded half the land to the T&P railroad to ensure a railroad came to the fledgling town. In 1877 he submitted paperwork to the U.S. Postal Service to build a post office. The postal workers were unable to read the form and named the post office Deckman. Confusion arose about the correct name causing T&P to rename their depot Grand Prairie. The postal service followed suit and Grand Prairie became the permanent name.
Grand Prairie began developing more rapidly in the late nineteenth century into the twentieth century. Growth outpaced available services and residents voted to incorporate in 1909 to ensure city services were available and regulate house construction to ensure safe construction. The area near Grand Prairie and west Dallas County became a popular location for manufacturing firms particularly in defense and aviation. In 1940 Dallas gave a boost to the local industry by constructing Hensley Field in the area and cemented the close relationship between aviation, defense and the western side of Dallas County.
The town fought rapidly to develop city resources for the growing population. To the west was a small but more modern town of Dalworth Park (not to be confused with Dalworthington Gardens) was attracting business so the town annexed the town in 1942. Dallas had similar thoughts and annexed Hensley Field and surrounded areas including prized industrial areas. The town followed suit and annexed land over time with development accelerating in the 1960s and beyond. Grand Prairie developed a taste for aggressive annexation. In the 1980s Grand Prairie annexed several local smaller towns, ensuring Grand Prairie’s dominance in west Dallas County. Today Grand Prairie is a mixture of industrial and residential. It is one of the larger cities in Dallas and Tarrant Counties.
Grand Prairie receives services through its city government as well as Tarrant County, Dallas County and Ellis County respectively. Students in the town mostly attend Grand Prairie ISD schools but students in parts of the city attend schools in Arlington ISD, Mansfield ISD, Cedar Hill ISD, Irving ISD and Midlothian ISD. A variety of private schools are available within the area as well.
Cedar Hill, Texas is a city southwest of Dallas, Texas that mostly lies in Dallas County with a small portion in Ellis County. Cedar Hill is part of the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex and on the southern side of the North Texas region. The town is also part of the Best Southwest region. Cities surrounding the town include Grand Prairie, Dallas, Duncanville, DeSoto, Glenn Heights, Ovilla and Midlothian. Cedar Hill sits near Joe Pool Lake and Cedar Hill State Park. The town is a high elevation area. It boasts the highest elevation between the Red River and gulf coast. It is a popular site for TV, radio and weather antennas due to its elevation.
Native Americans populated the area near Cedar Hill before European settlers from the United States appeared. They named the first Anglo-American community in 1846 first known as Cedar Brakes. Part of the Chisholm Trail ran through town which attracted business and trade to the town in the Nineteenth Century. It became the county seat for Dallas County and remained as the county seat until an 1856 tornado tore apart the town.
A railroad was built through the town in 1880. This continued Cedar Hill’s role as a seat of trade and business for the local area; although at the time the area was primarily a farming and ranching community. Cotton was the prominent product until the 1930s when dairy and cattle displaced it. Today the city is a diverse and growing community enjoying the growth of the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
DeSoto, Texas is a city in Dallas County, Texas and a southern suburb of Dallas, Texas. It is part of the Best Southwest region with Cedar Hill, Duncanville and Lancaster. DeSoto is part of the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex and the larger North Texas region. If you are looking for the best employment attorney in Dallas or Dallas divorce attorney you should contact my office to schedule a consultation.
DeSoto, Texas began as a community in 1847 as a small farming community south of Dallas. It received its name for a doctor who lived in the area. It incorporated in 1949 due to a desire to develop an improved water distribution system for the community. At the time of incorporation the city was a mere one square mile. In the early 1950s the town annexed additional land and in 1974 accepted the merger of nearby community Woodland Hills. DeSoto, like most cities in the Dallas and Fort Worth area, saw growth after World War II. Then continued growth as DFW Airport continued to bring business to the region. The town is diversely zoned with residential communities that range from typical working class communities to spacious affluent neighborhoods. It also contains an industrial base as part of the south Dallas industrialization.
Today it is the most diverse city in southwest Dallas County and one of the most diverse cities in the DFW area. DeSoto is known as a significantly African American community with a significant portion of African American-owned businesses. It is also becoming a destination for affluent African Americans.
Rockwall, Texas is the county seat of Rockwall County, Texas. It is part of the easternmost part of the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex and part of the larger North Texas region. The area was first settled by Anglo-American settlers in 1851. When settlers arrived they began digging wells and discovered large underground rock formations that resembled walls. Three years later a town formed and named itself after the rock wall. Originally the town was part of Kaufman County; but residents complained the town was too far from the county seat and requested a separate county. The state government approved the division and created Rockwall County. It is the smallest county in Texas. Today it is a largely residential city with recreational business due to its proximity to Lake Ray Hubbard.
An employment lawyer can be a great ally when your Rockwall, Texas employer violates your employee rights. If you believe your employer violated your rights at work then you should contact employment lawyers right away to discuss your case. This may include:
Employees may find their rights violated in these and other ways. The cost of an employer’s abuse may be more than an immediate financial impact. It may have a significant and long term impacts on your career, financial stability and emotional well-being.
Duncanville, Texas is a suburb of Dallas in Dallas County, Texas. It is part of the DFW metro area and the greater North Texas region. The Town is part of the Best Southwest group with Cedar Hill, DeSoto and Lancaster. It is surrounded entirely by Dallas and Cedar Hill. Duncanville is just eleven square miles.
Dallas employment attorney Adam Kielich helps people solve employment and labor law issues in and around Duncanville, Texas. Employees with labor and employment law claims may have to follow their claims through the EEOC, Texas Workforce Commission, or file a lawsuit directly in federal or Texas courts. These venues are not designed to help the employee win their case. That is why you need an experienced employment lawyer on your side.
Settlers arrived in the area in the early to mid 1840s from various parts of the United States. Settlers in the area came together as a community when a rail switch came to the area called Duncan’s switch. The local postmaster later changed the name of the town to Duncanville. The city incorporated in 1947. During World War II the Army Corp of Engineers built a training landing strip. After World War II the strip incorporated into Duncanville Air Force Base and housed missiles that protected the Dallas/Fort Worth area from a Soviet bomber attack. The air force base was closed in 1964 and by 1969 all military operations were abandoned at the site. The city eventually demolished the site. The town saw growth as the Dallas/Fort Worth economy grew through the 1970s and 1980s. Today it is a diverse, middle class community.
Mesquite, Texas is a large surburb on the east side of Dallas that sits primarily in Dallas County with a small portion in Kaufman County. It neighbors Dallas, Forney, Balch Springs and Garland. It is part of the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex and the larger North Texas region. Mesquite, Texas is the twentieth most populous city in Texas. The town is also known as the home of the Pro Rodeo.
The town began in the 1870s along the T&P railroad line that ran from Dallas to Shreveport. At the time the community was primarily a farming community that relied on the railway to sell its goods. In 1887 it incorporated as a city. The town remained an agrarian community until the early 1950s when the post-World War II economic boom brought about surburb sprawl. That sprawl quickly engulfed the town and turned it into a popular surburb community. The ProRodeo was established in 1958 and in 1959 Big Town Mall was built. Big Town Mall was the first air conditioned mall in the United States. (Demolished in 2006.) In 1970 LBJ Freeway, also known as 635, came out to the town, further expanding access to the town and increasing its popularity. Today Mesquite access comes from 635 and Interstates 20 and 30. It maintained a small population until the post-World War II suburban sprawl began growing out the population. Today the population is almost 150,000.
Farmers Branch, Texas is a suburb of Dallas located in Dallas County, Texas. It is part of the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex and the larger North Texas region. The town’s history is unsurprisingly tied to its farming history. The area now Farmers Branch first settled by Anglo-American settlers in the 1840s. The community in the region received its name from Mustang Branch for the mustang grapes found in the area. This changed a year later, in 1843, to Farmers Branch due to the rich soil and farmland. The town grew slowly through its history as a farming community, finally incorporating in 1946. The population grew as suburban sprawl reached Farmers Branch, reaching a peak in 1970. The population began declining slowly afterwards while the town began shifting more to commercial development due to its proximity to several key highways. Today it has a wide range of manufacturing and commercial businesses. Farmers Branch made news in the late 2000s when it enacted a municipal ordinance prohibiting renting property to undocumented immigrants. The ordinance was struck down by a federal judge in Dallas. The Fifth Circuit upheld the decision and the Supreme Court declined to hear the case.
and the larger North Texas region. The town is surrounded by Lewisville, Irving, Grapevine, Flower Mound, Carrollton, Farmers Branch and Dallas. Coppell’s history dates back to the mid-nineteenth century with incorporation in 1955. Anglo-American settlers arrived in the 1840s and began communities in the present day area of the city. Among those settlements was Grapevine Springs that became the common name in the area. In the 1870s Gibbs Station became the common name and remained that way until 1892 when the town obtained its permanent name. This final name is attributed to George Coppell, a financier from England who helped finance railway construction. Through most of the city’s history it was a small, quiet farming community. In the 1980s and 1990s it developed rapidly as construction of DFW Airport in the 1970s brought tremendous business to the area. The town became a convenient place for upper middle class suburban development. Today Coppell remains a bedroom community although it has commercial development in parts of the city near DFW Airport.
Highland Park, Texas is a small town in Dallas County, Texas. It is part of the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex and the larger North Texas region. It neighbors Dallas on the east, west and south with University Park to the north. Together University Park and Highland Park are the Park Cities. They are sometimes misunderstood as part of Dallas, Texas but each are independent cities. The town began as largely undeveloped, unincorporated land north of Dallas through the nineteenth century. In 1889 investors from Philadelphia acquired the land that became Highland Park (and surrounding land) to create Philadelphia Place, an upscale and exclusive community designed around the parkland area of Philadelphia. Financial losses in the Panic of 1893 stalled development. In 1906 an investor in Oak Cliff’s development purchased the land that is now Highland Park. He continued developing that space under the name Highland Park. Designers from Dallas and Beverly Hills designed the community. The community slowly grew and in 1913 requested to join Dallas. Dallas refused. In 1915 the town incorporated. Dallas sought to annex the city in 1919 in a fight that continued in 1945. The town continues its legacy as an affluent, exclusive community that is almost entirely residential beyond the Highland Park Village shopping center.
Rowlett, Texas is a town on the east side of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and the larger North Texas region. It is partially in Dallas County and partially in Rockwall County. It neighbors Garland and Sachse cities as well as Lake Ray Hubbard, making it a lakefront city. Anglo-American settlers arrived in the mid-nineteenth century. The area was part of the division of Peters Colony and Mercer Colony, the two main settlements in North Texas. In 1880 a post office opened and the postmaster, Austin Morris, named the community around the post office Morris after himself. Then in 1886 rails reached the community and residents chose to rename their community Rowlett after Rowlett Creek. In 1952 residents elected to incorporate as a city. In 1971 Lake Ray Hubbard was built, turning the town into a lakefront town and spurring growth. Most of its history relates to the local cotton industry. Today it is primarily a bedroom community for Dallas and the northern suburbs.
University Park, Texas is a small town in Dallas County, Texas. It is part of the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex and the larger North Texas region. University Park neighbors Dallas and Highland Park. Together with Highland Park it forms the Park Cities enclave. University Park is home to Southern Methodist University (SMU) and its history relates to the university. University Park began with the construction of SMU in 1915. At the time a small cluster of houses were built near the university as homes for staff and teachers. SMU was built in rural, unincorporated Dallas County although it is hard to imagine the urban area was once rural and distant from Dallas. The homes received utilities primarily from the university but as the need for additional homes grew the school could no longer adequately support them. Residents first sought annexation from Highland Park but Highland Park turned its neighbor away due to the costs involved in providing services out to University Park. Dallas similarly turned down the fledgling community. In 1924 the community incorporated to raise funds to provide their own utilities. In 1945 Dallas made a push to annex the small town. The town rejected the effort narrowly in one of the highest turnout elections in University Park history. Ever since University Park has remained closely associated with SMU and remains a primarily residential community although the homes today generally do not belong to university staff.
Addison, Texas–formally “Town of Addison”–is a suburb of Dallas located in Dallas County, Texas. It is part of the DFW metroplex and North Texas regions, surrounded by Dallas, Farmers Branch and Carrollton. The town is famous for its restaurants and bars with one restaurant for every seventy-nine residents. The area that is today Addison was first occupied by European and American settlers in the 1840s. A community developed first known as Noell Junction and in 1902 renamed Addison. It incorporated as a city in 1953. In 1982 the name changed to Town of Addison. The city began to develop rapidly after a 1975 vote permitted restaurants to sell liquor by the drink. This made the town a destination for relaxing evenings and business lunches. This move plus a low property tax rate encouraged businesses to flock to the city and it saw explosive growth through the late 1970s and 1980s. Today it continues to be a prime location for businesses along with north Dallas, Plano and Frisco.
Las Colinas is a planned community within Irving, Texas. It is within the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and the larger North Texas region. The town is completely within Irving city boundaries and Dallas County. It spans highway 183, to the eastern and western boundaries of Irving with Valley Ranch to the north. Las Colinas is served by the City of Irving and Dallas County. Students in Las Colinas attend schools in Irving ISD and private schools in the area.
Las Colinas was once mostly ranchland owned by Ben Carpenter, head of Southland Life. He sought to develop the land into one of the first privately owned master planned communities in the country. Development began in 1972, at the same time DFW Airport was in the midst of its own construction. In the early 1980s Las Colinas was a popular destination for companies; but without the burdens that often follow. In the mid-1980s the real estate market crashed and hit development in Las Colinas hard. Development slowed through the remainder of the 1980s and the 1990s. In the 2000s Irving and private investors made a concerted effort to expand both business and housing in Las Colinas.
Opening new business space will only serve to increase employment opportunities in the area in addition to other businesses present such as Abbott Laboratories, AAA-Texas, AT&T, BlackBerry, The Big 12 Conference and Conference USA Headquarters, Boy Scouts of America, Citigroup, General Motors Financial, Infor, PLH Group, Microsoft, NEC America, Nokia, Nokia Siemens Networks, Oracle, TheBlaze, Accenture, Stellar, Verizon, Zale Corporation, VHA Corporation, Cortland Partners, PNM Resources, Inc., First Choice Power, Westwood One, TRT Holdings, Inc., Flowserve and TXU.
Garland, Texas is a mid-size city on the northeast side of Dallas, Texas residing primarily in Dallas County, Texas with small portions in Collin County and Rockwall County. The town is part of the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex and part of the larger North Texas region. It borders Dallas, Plano, Richardson, Mesquite and Rowlett. It is the twelfth largest city in Texas and the second largest in Dallas County behind Dallas, Texas.
Garland began as two separate communities in the 1870s: Duck Creek and Embree. These small communities had a rivalry over dominant access to the local train depot. To help settle the rivalry, a Dallas County judge requested the post office relocate between the two communities. This post office was established in an area called Garland named after the U.S. Attorney General. Eventually a community grew and the three communities agreed to merge into one city called Garland. In 1891 the town incorporated. It grew moderately until the 1930s when businesses began to locate to the city and growth accelerated. The town became an industrial base within the Dallas-Fort Worth area and continues to this day as an industrial center in the region. Today the town has over 375 manufacturers within its city limits.
Richardson, Texas is a city residing primarily within Dallas County, Texas with a small portion in Collin County. It is part of the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex and the larger North Texas region. The town is immediately north of Dallas and south of Plano. It neighbors Dallas, Plano, Garland, Lake Highlands, Murphy and Sachse. Richardson is named the “Telecom Corridor” due to the large telecom business presence. When Mike Judge created King of the Hill he modeled the fictional city of Arlen on Richardson.
The area now within the city’s borders became inhabited by American settlers in the 1840s. By 1873 it received a city charter and incorporated in 1925. The community has engulfed other settlements and would continue to annex land and cities through its history until it became landlocked by its neighbors. The population began growing at an increasingly rapid speed beginning in the 1950s when Richardson became a popular bedroom community in the Dallas area. Texas Instruments placed its headquarters in the town in 1956 and the technology and telecommunications business has remained ever since.
Through the latter half of the twentieth century the population and commerce boomed. Forty percent of all of the homes in the town were built in the 1970s while businesses continued to fill the land due to easy access to the freeways and other affluent cities like Plano and north Dallas. Today Richardson is more a commercial center in the DFW region than suburban community although it continues to be an affluent suburb in its own right.