employment discrimination Tag

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EEOC employment lawyers busy this month on employment discrimination (2017)

EEOC lawyers have had a busy September starting and settling employment discrimination lawsuits. The EEOC accepts charges of employment discrimination in Fort Worth and Dallas at the Dallas, Texas office. Employment lawyers in Texas represent employees in these types of employment discrimination lawsuits. The following is just the listing of the EEOC activity reported in the last ten days. This is a large number of cases for the employment discrimination agency. Although these are not all Texas employment discrimination cases, they reflect the larger activities of the EEOC. A review of these employment discrimination lawsuits by the EEOC shows a large...

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Differences between racial discrimination claims under Title VII and Section 1981: Dallas racial discrimination lawyer explains

Employment discrimination claims under Texas and federal law often require sorting through a web of statutory and administrative requirements. Many employment laws overlap. A set of facts of a Dallas or Fort Worth employee may provide several claims for employment discrimination due to the overlap. Maneuvering the overlap and setting up an employee for the best employment discrimination claims is an important part of a Fort Worth and Dallas Texas employment lawyer's work. One type of employment discrimination with a high degree of overlap is racial discrimination. Race-based discrimination is prohibited under both federal and Texas law. (Sometimes local law as...

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Are EEOC complaints confidential in Texas? Dallas employment lawyer explains

Employees suffering employment discrimination often worry about the effects of reporting employment discrimination to the EEOC. This is especially true for employees who still work at the job where discrimination occurs. Retaliation for complaining about employment discrimination is a real and serious concern. This concern may lead workers to not contact the EEOC or an employment lawyer in Dallas or Fort Worth who can investigate and take action to protect the employee from employment discrimination and retaliation. Today's post discusses how information shared with the EEOC (or the Texas Workforce Commission) is protected and what is shared with the employer. Initial...

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Texas Overtime Pay Laws: When To Contact an Employment Lawyer in Dallas and Fort Worth

Texas employees are generally fall within the overtime pay law under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) employees in Texas must receive 1.5 times the regular rate of pay for each hour of work in a workweek over forty hours, unless they qualify for a salary exemption or exception under the FLSA. Employees in Texas who do not receive proper overtime pay are entitled to recover the owed overtime pay. They may also recover attorney's fees, costs, interest and in some cases liquidated damages (double the amount of unpaid overtime pay). This post and this...

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EEOC hits Dunkin Donuts franchise for $330k in sexual harassment suit

Last week the EEOC settled  a Title VII sexual harassment and retaliation suit against multiple Dunkin Donuts franchises. The $330,000 settlement, which covers multiple employees, includes a multi-year training and oversight provision to avoid similar events in the future. The EEOC press release describes the events alleged in the lawsuit as follows: Hillcrest Marshall violated federal law by subjecting female employees, some of whom were in their teens at the time, to sexual harassment by a store manager at one of its Dunkin' Donuts locations. For example, EEOC said, the store manager talked about his genitals, tried to kiss a female worker who was...

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Texas Supreme Court to hear TCHRA preemption case

The Texas Supreme Court has accepted a case out of the Dallas Court of Appeals that will give the state's highest court the opportunity to expand or narrow its preemption doctrine on employment discrimination claims brought under Texas law. In 2009 the Texas Supreme Court rendered its opinion in Waffle House v. Williams that held claims of sexual harassment in employment could only be brought under Chapter 21 of the Texas Labor Code, commonly referred to as the statute's original name Texas Commission on Human Rights Act. Under Waffle House a plaintiff cannot bring common law claims, such as assault, that...

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Can you be discriminated against for having a history of disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act?

Although the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted 1991, as an employment discrimination attorney I continue to see employees suffer discrimination on the basis of a disability. Sometimes discrimination is based upon a disability cured or treated and no longer presents an issue for the employee. Under the ADA and the Texas Labor Code's prohibition on disability discrimination, an employee may not suffer discrimination because he or she has a record of a disability. Employers discriminate against workers with a history of a disability. Let's explore the ADA and Texas Labor Code provisions that prohibit this form of disability discrimination and...

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Can I take FMLA leave and leave under the ADA at the same time?

Sometimes an employee has a medical condition or disability that qualifies for FMLA leave and leave under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as a reasonable accommodation. The issue how to protect the employee's job through protected leave under the ADA and FMLA is complicated. Each law provides a different set of rights to leave and overlap. Employers often get this issue wrong because they are unaware of ADA reasonable accommodation rules or do not understand that the ADA may apply to FMLA leave requests. HR departments may not be staffed with employees who thoroughly understand FMLA and ADA rights. They...

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The McDonnell Douglas burden shifting framework: Dallas employment discrimination lawyer explains

Employment discrimination lawsuits are complex suits due to the intense focus on the facts and law involved. Many employment discrimination cases never make it trial because they fail to survive summary judgement. (Or because they settle at some point before trial.) In the journey of litigating an employment discrimination claim many reach summary judgment. Summary judgment is an analysis of the legal issues in a claim before a factfinder adjudicates the facts. In an employment discrimination suit alleging disparate treatment (different treatment on the basis of a protected trait), the plaintiff's claim of disparate treatment is typically reviewed on summary judgment under...

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Is a Texas firefighter who can’t fight fires disabled under the Americans with Disabilities Act?

Disability discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Texas Labor Code (and formerly the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act or TCHRA) is not always a well understood subject in employment law. It is an even more difficult subject following the late 2000s expansion of the federal and state disability discrimination laws to include a larger swath of mental and physical disabilities and those regarded as disabled (even if not actually disabled). Disability meaning under employment law A Supreme Court of Texas opinion from 2014 articulates the distinction between what is a disability under the meaning of federal and state...

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Texas leads in age discrimination complaints

A Time magazine article published on February 16, 2015 discussed the falling numbers of EEOC age discrimination charges. It points out Texas leads in age discrimination complaints with 9.2% of all age discrimination complaints filed with the EEOC. The article suggests the incremental reduction in age discrimination complaints each year since the economy collapsed strongly suggests economic improvement. Even if we assume that the article's premise is true, we should be careful to confuse the larger trend with any meaningful suggestion that age discrimination on an individual basis is less likely to have occurred or that individual claims of age discrimination...

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

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

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

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

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Vocal Fry makes women less hirable. Is that employment discrimination?

A round of news articles published last week regarding a study conducted by Florida Atlantic University regarding what is called "vocal fry" and how it affects the perception of women in the employment context. If you're not familiar with the term vocal fry, it's the speech pattern by some women in which they talk in a higher pitched voice and then drop into a creaky low pitch at the end of sentences. Many stories attribute this speech pattern to Kim Kardashian; but I remember this being a thing we attributed to "valley girl". I think this predates the rise of reality TV by...

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

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

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Racial harassment case recently decided by the Eleventh Circuit

Today's post discusses an interesting case brought in Alabama under a racial harassment or hostile work environment case. This case is Adams v. Austal, U.S.A., LLC and the Eleventh Circuit's appellate court's decision is available here. The appeal deals with whether an employee may rely on evidence that the workplace was objectively hostile that he or she did not personally observe. Hostile work environment in race discrimination lawsuits Among other elements, when an employee brings a claim of unlawful harassment or a hostile work environment under race, sex, or another unlawful basis, that employee must show the workplace is both subjectively and...

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Dress up like the KKK and sue for race discrimination

Yes, you read that correctly. Three Boeing employees transformed their work uniform into makeshift KKK uniforms and lost their jobs. Then they filed suit for race discrimination because their African American coworker did not lose his. Yes, you read that correctly, too. This is the backdrop for Barker v. The Boeing Company, filed in Pennsylvania. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to discuss one of the most bizarre employment cases I've ever seen. The case involves federal law so there's no different spin on the case under Texas law; but I thought I would present the case a little differently than other...

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Does an ADA accommodation have to be the one an employee wants?

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

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Coworkers and Their Annoying Habits: Texas employment lawyers

An article published today by Ignites discusses the annoying habits of coworkers according to a poll of mutual fund employees. Although we're not all mutual fund employees, the habits pointed out in the survey are the annoying habits you find across all industries. The worst of the worst was loud phone conversations. A lot of these employees work in jobs where they are on the phones all day or most of the day, so loud conversations of both personal and professional discussions can really interfere with work. If your situation reaches the level of a hostile work environment then you...

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Alcoholism and the Americans with Disabilities Act

Let's consider two workplace scenarios: Employee is an alcoholic and comes to work drunk. Employer fires employee. Legal? Employee is an alcoholic and seeks time off from work to enter a rehab program. Employer fires employee. Legal? The answers under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Texas Labor Code (which includes similar anti-disability discrimination provisions) would likely be yes to the first but no to the second. I don't think the answer to the first scenario is unsurprising on its face. However, once we explain why the termination in the second scenario is probably unlawful then we might have to...

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