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Houston Employment Law Blog

Companies call for an end to sexual orientation discrimination

Employment laws in the U.S. change more often than other areas of law. Courts and lawmakers are frequently reviewing, changing and expanding laws in an effort to adapt to and reflect modern workplaces and attitudes.

That being said, many people argue that these efforts still move too slowly or not at all. For instance, recently, 76 companies joined in on efforts urging the U.S. Supreme Court to make a ruling on discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Hollywood scandal highlights common harassment methods

Recently, a report revealed that well-known film producer and executive Harvey Weinstein has engaged in numerous acts of sexual harassment. Dozens of women have since spoken out about being mistreated by the high-powered movie mogul. 

As allegations continue to come out and women share more stories, we can see some of the common methods that people in power -- like Weinstein -- use to harass and intimidate employees and colleagues. Below, we examine some of these methods.

Starbucks under fire for parental leave disparity

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Baristas are the face of Starbucks. When you stroll into a Starbucks coffee shop for a jolt of Joe, they are the people who make your coffee -- one person, one cup at a time. If it weren't for them, those who work in the corporate offices wouldn't have jobs.

A female barista at Starbucks is provided six weeks of parental leave with partial pay after the birth of a child. Partners and husbands who are employed as baristas by Starbucks get no parental leave when their children are born.

The far-reaching impact of a wrongful termination

No one likes getting fired. It can make people feel angry, embarrassed and scared about their future. Some people assume that all you can do is to just dust yourself and start looking for a new job. 

But the truth is that termination can have a considerable impact on a worker that makes it very difficult to recover, especially if the firing was illegal, or wrongful. A wrongful termination is something to take seriously, as it can have a profound effect on a person's livelihood, future and well-being.

3 ways an employer might justify overtime violations

Unpaid overtime is a serious wage violation that can result in legal action. Employees who are eligible for time-and-a-half pay can be robbed of income they deserve through the actions of their employer. Whether the violation is intentional or not, employers should be accountable for the violations.

Below are a few ways employers may try to justify overtime violations, as well as information on what you can do if you feel you are owed overtime pay.

Am I in a hostile work environment?

Plenty of people don’t like going to work. They might hate their boss or hate their job; some people would simply rather do anything but work.

However, for Texas employees who have their rights violated at work, the workplace can be especially upsetting. In fact, even the idea of going to work can cause extensive anxiety, apprehension and fear. If you feel this way about going to your place of work, then you may want to consider if you are the victim of a hostile work environment.

Employees who evacuated for hurricane: know your rights

While specific employment decisions generally don't make national news, there are times when an employer's decisions seem so unwise or controversial that they become a topic of national interest.

For instance, recently a Pizza Hut made headlines after the location's manager threatened to discipline any employee who didn't show up to work in the days surrounding the recent hurricane. 

Alfonso Kennard, Jr., honored for his representation of workers

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Employment law attorney Alfonso Kennard, Jr., of Houston, Texas, has been honored for his work representing wronged workers. The Million Dollar Advocates Forum recently announced that Mr. Kennard is now a lifetime member in both the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

Demonstrating a track record of success for Texas employees

One drawback of a gig economy: misclassification

In recent years, the so-called gig economy has expanded considerably. Instead of seeking full-time work as an employee, people across Texas are instead choosing to be self-employed or independent contractors.

However, this shift has exacerbated problems with worker classification. The line between employee and gig worker, or independent contractor, is fuzzier than ever and this puts workers' rights and compensation in jeopardy. Below, we explain why this happens and what you as a worker can do to protect yourself.

I need an accommodation at work: how do I know what's reasonable?

In accordance with Texas and federal laws, employers with at least 15 employees are required to provide reasonable accommodations to workers with disabilities. Failure to do so could lead to discrimination claims against the employer.

However, it is important to understand the specification that employers must provide only reasonable accommodations. This can be difficult to interpret, especially when employers and employees don't agree on what "reasonable" looks like. Below, we examine what a reasonable accommodation might be as well as what you can do if you feel like your employee has violated your rights under disability and discrimination laws.

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