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Houston Employment Law Blog


Woman alleges wrongful termination for taking approved FMLA leave

When in need, Texas employees know that they can turn to the Family Medical Leave Act to take time away from work. Making use of this benefit should never subject workers to mistreatment or losing their jobs. A woman from another state has filed a wrongful termination claim because she believes that she was unjustly fired for taking leave under FMLA.

The woman worked for Centre Lifelink Emergency Medical Services of State College in another state. In June 2013, the plaintiff was on vacation, but she was badly injured in an accident. She had dislocated her hip and suffered a severe brain injury. The plaintiff requested leave under the FMLA to recover, and it was approved from June 12- July 29.

Transgender professor accuses school of workplace discrimination

Achieving tenure in Texas and across the country is an achievement that leads to job security for teachers and professors. Denying people tenure who have worked hard for that right based on workplace discrimination is illegal and unethical. A transgender professor in another state claims that she was denied tenure and made to endure a hostile work environment after she changed her gender identity.

The professor was a male when initially hired by the university in 2004. In 2007, she had changed her identity to female and began presenting herself as such. According to the Department of Justice, she had positive reviews from the department chair and other established faculty members, but she was still denied tenure for the 2009-2010 academic year. Furthermore, when the plaintiff filed a complaint about her rejection, she was met with retaliation and not allowed to apply again. She allegedly was also not able to reapply, even though university policy states that faculty can do so.

Ex SWAT leader files an age discrimination claim after resigning

According to the old adage, age is just a number, but when it comes to the workplace, not everyone agrees. Workers in Texas and across the United States can be judged unfairly by their age and not by the work that they do. A 58-year-old former SWAT team leader from another state alleges that he was the victim of age discrimination after feeling pressured to leave his position.

The plaintiff had been in law enforcement for 26 years, and he was part of the SWAT team for 21 of those years. Because of his strong qualifications, he was apparently encouraged to participate in anti-terrorist missions. For his outstanding performance in 2013, he was given an award for what he had done during SWAT operations.

Age discrimination: Can employment ads show age restrictions?

It is not uncommon for workers in Texas to experience discrimination of some kind during their years of employment. It is concerning that people above the age of 40 -- who may be the most experienced -- are often overlooked when appointments are made. Fortunately, there are remedies for age discrimination. Under the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) and the Texas Labor Code, discrimination against individuals who are 40 years of age and older is forbidden. This applies to all governmental entities -- state and local -- regardless of employment levels; private companies that have more than 14 employees are also governed by these laws.

Further restrictions under the mentioned laws include those related to the advertising of job vacancies. Advertisements and notices to invite applications for positions may not include age limitations or requirements. However, certain positions may be advertised with age requirements when such requirements can be justified. For example, applicants for bartending jobs cannot be too young because they will not be allowed to serve alcohol, and those applying for positions with the police and fire department may have to be young and agile enough to effectively perform the required duties.

Woman accusing company of firing her after applying for FMLA

Many workers are blessed to be healthy and have healthy families, but others are not quite as lucky. The law provides leave for those difficult circumstances that are covered under the FMLA. Texas employers should alert their workers to their benefits under this leave and not retaliate against them for taking advantage of the benefits. A registered nurse claims she was not informed of her rights and has taken her case to court.

The plaintiff claims she worked for a nursing and rehabilitation facility in another state for almost five years. She alleges her daughter suffers from a major health issue, and the plaintiff had asked for time away from work to care for her. Each time she needed to take time off, she would alert management to her situation. She maintains that she was never told about her rights to time off under the FMLA until a nursing director finally told her.

7 workers claim age discrimination at McDonald's

A person's age may easily make him or her a target in Texas when it comes to an employer's decision to terminate employees, even though this is illegal. Unfortunately, several people in a recent out-of-state case said they were victims of age discrimination simply because they were over the age of 40. The situation involved McDonald's Restaurants, which has been sued in light of the alleged discrimination.

One man and six women decided to sue McDonald's, claiming that the restaurant at which they worked had come up with a plan to get rid of older employees. The establishment reportedly hired a new manager, who cut older workers' hours and did not give them the opportunity to take their normal rest breaks in a timely manner. Then, the manager allegedly chose to transfer younger workers to other restaurants during a remodeling of their own establishment and said that the workers who were not chosen for the transfers, namely the older workers, could apply again to work at the remodeled restaurant later.

Al Jazeera America faces a second workplace discrimination claim

People across the United States tune into Al Jazeera America to get -- what they believe to be --unbiased news. Viewers in Texas and across the country may be disturbed by some of the comments that are allegedly being made by the network's CEO. This most recent workplace discrimination claim against the news station will now be the second claim in the last six weeks.

The former senior vice president of Al Jazeera alleges that the company did not hold true to its unbiased stance when it came to the news and how it treated its employees. According to her complaint, the company showed disparate treatment to any workers who were not Arabic men. The plaintiff claims that women were not part of company meetings, and men were sent in their places. She further alleges that there were occasions on which she was given assignments that were then taken from her and reassigned to male co-workers.

Woman awarded close to $140K for her sexual harassment claim

Every day, too many employees head to work with pits in their stomachs, worrying about what they will be forced to endure in the workplace. Workers in Texas and elsewhere should never be forced to feel uncomfortable or tolerate sexual harassment. It can take a lot of courage for someone to stand up against the treatment, but doing so can help to bring the offending parties to justice.

A woman who was assigned a temporary job as a janitor at a sugar plant claims she was the victim of retaliation because she rebuffed sexual advances from her supervisor. The plaintiff was assigned to work for the company after the plant workers went on strike. While doing her duties there, she was still under the supervision of the agency that hired her.

Racial slurs allegedly prompt a workplace discrimination claim

All employees should be mindful of what they say in the workplace. Using language that could be found offensive to others could cause some Texas workers to feel uncomfortable. If these workers complain and nothing is done to right the situation, they may feel that they are the victims of workplace discrimination.

An African-American woman was hired by a federal job corps company in 2010 as a resident adviser. She claims that she was laughed at when she complained about words said by her co-workers that offended her. In 2011, she alleges that she began hearing derogatory racial remarks. These epithets made her feel uncomfortable and upset her, so she reported the situation.

Woman's firing was allegedly retaliation for removing an app

As the world becomes more high tech, people are beginning to feel as if they have less privacy than they did even a few years ago. Monitoring technology is now becoming more prevalent in the workplace, and smartphones are now commonplace. With all of these advances, there may be a conflict between what a Texas company needs to know and what it wants to know about its employees. If workers do not comply with what they believe to be an unnecessary invasion of privacy, employers may act in retaliation and fire them instead.

A woman who worked a for a money transfer service in another state claims that she lost her job because she did not agree with a mandatory phone app. As part of her job, the plaintiff was given a company phone on which she was required to have the Xora app installed and open at all times. This app performed various functions, such as keeping time records, managing paperwork and logging trip information. This app could also track where the employees went because of its GPS capability.

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