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January 2013 Archives

Texas county employees fired after reporting sexual harassment

Two Texas women were fired from their jobs after they reported that they were being sexually harassed by a county judge, according to an ongoing legal dispute between the former employees and the county.

Texas Supreme Court could alter employment law landscape

When an employee is fired under suspicious circumstance, it could be something blatant (such as discrimination, or a retaliatory act) or the victim could just have a feeling that something was not right about the firing. In either case, though, the employer is unlikely to simply admit to their illegal tactics. They will attempt to hide or cover up their motives for the firing; and even if the evidence is blatant, they are going to rigorously defend any legal action against them.

Wage gap still exists 50 years after Equal Pay Act

Even though this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, mandating that women be paid as much as men, statistics show that women are still earning less on average. According to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women in Texas and the rest of the United States earned a little over 82.2 cents for every dollar earned by men in 2011.

Defunct restaurant must pay former employees for lack of notice

Many Houston residents likely have not heard of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (the WARN Act), but it is a crucial piece of legislation that protects certain employees who work for certain companies that employ at least 100 people.

Flu epidemic shows it's time for federal sick-leave standard

As many of our readers in San Antonio have likely heard, our country is being hit hard by a flu epidemic. Hospitals are running out of beds and several people have died as the flu continues to spread. As we see this happening, it may raise some questions in our minds. Perhaps foremost is how can we prevent the spread of serious illness?

Wage theft: an illegal and all too common tactic by employers

One of the most common ways people get stolen from is not necessarily from a man in a black ski mask, asking for their wallet or purse. No, it's actually from the smiling faces that represent the company they work for, skimming money off the top of their paycheck, or simply misclassifying their employee status to financial benefit the business.

Texas whistleblower case continues over altered records

A Texas woman who was previously employed as a county clerk is suing her former employer for whistleblower retaliation. According to a lawsuit filed in state court, the clerk was fired after she reported alteration of government records, death certificates specifically. Based on the information now available, it is unclear why the death certificates were altered.

Retaliation, overwork claims made by nursing union

As we have discussed recently on this blog, employer retaliation creates a very difficult situation for the victim. Let alone the fact that it is illegal, the very insinuation that an employee may be fired or punished in some sort of way simply because they want to speak up about an inefficiency or a problem at work can ruin a person's perception of their workplace forever.

Burger King settles long-running harassment lawsuit

In 1998, a Burger King worker filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, saying she had been sexually harassed on the job. After conducting an investigation, the EEOC determined that the behavior was widespread and filed a lawsuit against Carrols Restaurant Group Inc, the largest franchisee of Burger King restaurants in the United States.

Deputies fired for supporting their sheriff's primary opponent

It is hard to fully describe how damaging a firing can be; especially one that comes out of nowhere and, seemingly, was done with a retaliatory motive. The fired individual suffers permanent damage to their personal and professional reputations. People they know outside of work will look at them a bit differently; potential employers will scrutinize their work ethic; and they can struggle to earn the wages that they deserve in future positions.

Pregnant employees still face workplace discrimination

It wasn't so long ago that employers were able to blatantly fire someone simply because they became pregnant. Before the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 become law, it was perfectly lawful to refuse to hire someone, or not provide them with promotional opportunities, or to fire them if they became pregnant and there was no job security for women who took maternity leave.

Pregnant women face difficult reality in the workplace

In 1978, Congress passed a key piece of legislation called the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which granted pregnant women equal rights to everyone else in the workplace. Prior to the law, pregnant women would be fired just for trying to start a family. However, the legacy of the law is actually problematic: because it does not require employers to make accommodations for pregnant employees, it can still create an unfair workplace.

Refusing to hire because of Sabbath observance still illegal

The EEOC has reaffirmed what many Texas readers already know - it is illegal to refuse to hire someone because of their religious observances. Employers have an obligation to make reasonable accommodations for current or potential employee's religious observances, including scheduling flexibility for employees that observe a part of the week during which they cannot work. For people of many different faiths, this day is called the Sabbath, and it generally lasts from sundown to sundown one day per week.

Teens are a target for sexual harassment in certain jobs

No matter your age, you expect to be treated fairly in the workplace. It should not matter what your age, race, religious belief or gender is; nor should it matter if you are disabled or you are about to go on maternity leave. All employees should be treated fairly and equally, and any deviation from this norm can and should be punished.

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