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Houston Employment Law Blog

Race discrimination could negatively affect Texas workers

Many individuals face unfair treatment on a regular basis. There could be any number of unjustified reasons behind the mistreatment, and those individuals may feel as if they must simply bear the brunt of such actions. However, individuals who are facing race discrimination or other similar mistreatment on the job may be able to take legal steps in order to rectify the situation.

Texas residents may be interested in such a case currently taking place in another state. It was reported that several African-American employees at a fire department have filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission due to the unfair treatment to which they have been subjected while on the job. Many of those injustices pertain to being denied opportunities for promotions, as well as receiving less pay. 

Wrongful termination could affect Texas workers

Losing a job can cause many difficulties for the affected party. If the dismissal is unjustified, the employee may face even more issues pertaining to the event. When individuals face wrongful termination, they may wish to consider their legal options in order to pursue recompense for the unjust action.

Texas residents may be interested in a case relating to wrongful termination currently taking place in another state. Reports indicated that a nurse practitioner had filed a lawsuit claiming retaliation after she was fired from her job. The woman had apparently filed a report about unsafe conditions in the emergency room at the Charleston Area Medical Center. There were no specific details in the report regarding what those unsafe conditions may have been or to whom the woman may have made the report. 

Legal action may help victims of age discrimination in Texas

Many older Texas residents may struggle when it comes to finding employment. Even if individuals are hired, they may still feel as if they do not belong because they are treated unfairly due to their ages. Age discrimination can cause hardworking individuals to feel isolated in the workplace and potentially even lose their jobs due to unfair actions from employers. 

One man in another state recently filed a lawsuit against Tesla due to such discrimination. Reports stated that the 69-year-old man had begun work with the company as a contract worker four years ago and then was hired on a more permanent basis. However, he was regularly criticized for having a slow work pace, but he believes he completed his necessary tasks as timely as his younger co-workers. 

More than one sexual harassment claim filed at National Parks

Each year, many Texas residents take the opportunity to enjoy the country's national parks. They might be surprised to know that even in such beautiful surroundings, the specter of sexual harassment looms over workers. In fact, more than one sexual harassment claim has been filed against several of national parks. 

For example, more than 18 employees at Yosemite made allegations of misconduct that includes sexual harassment. The working atmosphere is described as being toxic due to the severity of the allegations. Yellowstone has also recently made news regarding claims of sexual exploitation, retaliation and intimidation.

Chipolte accused of wrongful termination by former employee

Last year, Chipolte Mexican Grill made headlines for removing food items that contain GMOs (genetically modified organisms) from its restaurants. Many people here in Texas and elsewhere applauded the fast food chain for this move. Chipolte has made the news once again, but this time there might not be applause since one of the company's former employees is accusing it of wrongful termination.

The woman began working for the company in June 2012. Since that time, she was promoted on more than one occasion. At some point last year, the woman was absent from work after having a baby. When she returned in December, things had changed.

Is age discrimination prevalent in the technology industry?

Advances are continuously being made in the technology industry, and many people assume that young minds are at the forefront of these changes. However, it might not surprise Texas readers to know that this is not always the case. Age does not necessarily have anything to do with innovation and ability, but that does not stop some companies in the tech industry from engaging in age discrimination by failing to hire qualified individuals because they are older.

Some would say that since young people grew up with computers, they are more familiar with them. Therefore, as the argument goes, they are better equipped to sell and/or fix computers and other technological devices. This perception could be driving the fact that many more young people seem to work at technology stores.

Wrongful termination suit alleges retaliation for FMLA leave

Life is unpredictable, and family obligations can interfere with a Texas resident's work from time to time. If an extended leave is necessary in order to recover from an illness or injury -- or care for a qualified family member who is doing so -- employees are entitled to certain protections under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). An out-of-state woman recently filed a lawsuit against her former employer alleging that she was the victim of wrongful termination after taking extended time off under FMLA.

The woman worked for a financial group when she began experiencing health issues in 2015 due to an unidentified disability. She exercised her rights under FMLA and took an extended leave of absence to deal with her medical issues. She claims that when she ultimately returned to work, she became the victim of harassment by her supervisor/manager.

How is sexual harassment defined by the EEOC?

Even in a time when many groups such as women and the LGBT community have successfully combated prejudice, sex discrimination continues to be a problem in the workplace here in Texas and elsewhere. Much of this discrimination takes the form of unwanted sexual advances and other inappropriate behavior. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission discusses sexual harassment as it is defined by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which applies to any company that has more than 15 employees, labor organizations and employment agencies, along with the federal government.

Physical or verbal behavior of a sexual nature, requests for sexual favors and unwelcome sexual advances all constitute sexual harassment. The conduct does not have to be aimed directly at a victim to be offensive -- it just has to be unwelcome. Harassers and victims alike can be either men or women, and it is not necessary for them to be of the opposite sex. Harassers can be supervisors, co-workers or agents of the company, along with non-employees.

New doctors should have employment contracts reviewed

Completing residency is an exciting time for many new Texas doctors. Once an offer of employment is extended, many will eagerly enter into employment contracts only to discover later that the terms are not as favorable as they might have believed. Therefore, it would be beneficial to have any employment agreement reviewed by an attorney prior to signing it.

Most employment contracts are fair enough, but will often be slanted more in favor of the Texas medical facility or practice group rather than the individual doctor. Furthermore, a new doctor who has never signed one might not know what to look for in order to ensure receiving the best terms possible. After enduring residency, some doctors might not pay close attention to the schedule in their contract since "it has to be better" than residency, but that is not always the case. The agreement should indicate what shifts (day or night) and how many shifts are expected, along with specific details on what being on call will mean.

Age discrimination case will not be dismissed

Defendants in lawsuits here in Texas and elsewhere will often attempt to have a case dismissed by claiming that it does not have merit. This happens more frequently than most would like to admit in cases alleging race, gender and/or age discrimination. Whether the case is allowed to proceed depends on numerous factors.

For example, a former university professor applied for a professorship in the university's Women's and Gender Studies program. The 63-year-old woman claims that the requirements for the position were purposely constructed to eliminate her from contention. Specifically, one of the educational requirements was a Ph.D. in a discipline that was not even available until 1995.

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