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Houston Employment Law Blog

Addressing wrongful termination may help Texas residents

Job loss can seriously impact individuals in a variety of ways. Their finances may be negatively affected, and the emotional and mental stress that comes from being dismissed from a position can lead to other difficulties. When a dismissal is considered a case of wrongful termination, the situation can seem even more disheartening, and the fired individual may wish to have the incident legally addressed. 

Texas residents may be interested in one woman's case that was recently settled in another state. Reports indicated that the woman was a city employee who worked as a risk manager. At the age of 61, she was terminated from her position after reportedly being linked to an incident of theft committed by one of her subordinates. The woman claimed that she was wrongfully tied to the situation. 

Papa John's involved in workplace discrimination case

There are various laws in place that work to protect workers from unjust discrimination in their places of employment. Unfortunately, many individuals still face workplace discrimination, and their lives are often severely impacted. However, rather than accepting such actions, unfairly-treated employees have the ability to take legal action in order to address such unjust treatment. 

Texas residents may be interested in a case involving a Papa John's pizza location in another state. Reports indicated that the company had hired a worker with Down Syndrome at that location. An independently-employed job coach worked alongside the employee, and the man carried out his duties successfully for five months. However, an operating partner reportedly visited the location and told management to fire the worker. 

What Every Employer and Employee Should Know about Overtime Pay in Texas

Many hourly workers in Texas are aware that, when they work more than 40 hours in a week, they are supposed to receive overtime pay, which is 1.5 times their regular rate of pay.

Still, many workers are not sure of when their overtime rights have been violated and employers are not always sure of what constitutes a violation of the law. Here are some guidelines for employers and employees.

Multiple reports may not be enough to address sexual harassment

When a co-worker is participating in unpleasant actions while on the job, many Texas residents may feel the need to file a complaint. If the actions take the form of sexual harassment, informing a superior could help an individual stop future harassment. Unfortunately, some institutions and supervisors do not always take the necessary steps to address such actions.

One man in another state has recently decided to take legal action against his place of employment and a supervisor. Reports stated that the lawsuit is the result of inadequate attempts to address the man's claims of sexual harassment. Apparently, a co-worker made obscene sexual gestures toward the man multiple times, and as a result, the man filed multiple complaints and spoke with various superiors. 

FMLA violations in Texas may warrant legal action

It is not unusual for Texas workers to need time away from work at some point. Though many individuals may need a day or two to recover from a minor illness, other individuals may need additional time due to serious medical issues they suffer or their family members suffer. In these cases, individuals may be able to request time away under the federal Family Medical Leave Act, or FMLA.

One woman in another state believes that her rights under this law have been violated. Reports indicated that she requested time off under the FMLA due to her son's asthma and hearing loss she herself suffered and subsequently took that leave. However, while she was away from work, she was reportedly terminated from her position at a university hospital. 

Negotiations for employment contracts may prove tense in Texas

Commonly, contracts created between workers and employers are only valid for a certain period of time. Therefore, when employment contracts near their expiration dates, workers may attempt to ensure that the terms of the contracts remain agreeable. Unfortunately, some employees may face difficulties if companies and their workers do not fully agree on new contract terms. 

Texas residents may be interested in one out-of-state contract dispute currently underway. Reports stated that the dispute involves Honeywell workers, and negotiations began in Dec. 2016. Currently, 1,000 union workers are covered under the contract. The issues involve the company's desire to take away health insurance for retirees as well as remove language from the contract that indicates seniority should be taken into consideration when layoffs may take place. 

Wrongful termination is a fear of many Texas workers

The case of an out-of-state woman's struggles with unfair dismissal from her job may be of interest to Texas readers. The woman was apparently employed by an electrical cooperative that works to provide services at low costs. However, she says that she observed numerous issues with the cooperative that involved violations of federal, state and local regulations and requirements. She claims that speaking out about these issues led to her wrongful termination.

The violations apparently had financial repercussions. As a result, the woman consulted with an auditing firm in efforts to have her concerns addressed, but the audit report purportedly did not handle her concerns in a satisfactory manner. The woman alleges that she had uncovered instances of understatements for taxable benefits and believes that the general manager made decisions in order to benefit himself. 

Texas residents could take action against race discrimination

Some Texas residents may relate to a situation one out-of-state man recently faced. Reports indicated that the African-American man was employed by a major bread manufacturer, and while on the job, the man was reportedly subjected to race discrimination. Reports also stated that he attempted to take action against the company for such wrongdoing in 2014, but his claims went unheeded by the company.

Due to the inaction, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission stepped in on the man's behalf to pursue a second lawsuit. The claims of the suit indicate that he suffered demeaning remarks and generalizations from his co-workers. These remarks included telling the man that black people were lazy and insinuating that he may steal from his co-workers simply because of his race.

Noncompete agreements must be reasonable

Noncompete agreements are contracts employers can have employees sign to protect company information in the event the employee leaves the company. Through a noncompete agreement, an employer typically seeks to ensure an employee, upon resignation or termination, does not immediately go to work for a competitor, solicit the company's customers or employees, or share sensitive company information or secrets. However, under Texas law, and in other states as well, a noncompete agreement cannot unreasonably restrict an employee with regard to future employment.

To avoid potentially costly disputes, employers and employees need to know how noncompete agreements work and what they cover. 

Lawsuits may help sexual harassment victims seek justice in Texas

Any type of untoward or unseemly acts that occur in the workplace can quickly turn an environment uncomfortable or even hostile. Sexual harassment is an unfortunately common type of action that can lead to employees feeling as if their workplace is no longer safe. However, individuals who have been victims of such harassment have legal options of which they may wish to take advantage.

Texas residents may be interested in one case that was recently settled in another state. Reports indicated that a woman who had been a city employee filed a lawsuit against the city after she was subjected to sexual harassment on the job as well as other unfair treatment. She claimed that one of her supervisors had shown her a video that was pornographic in nature and that a co-worker had made numerous sexual comments toward her. In addition to the harassment, the woman stated that when she applied for a promotion to a full-time position, other workers were given answers before taking the civil service exam. 

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