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Houston Employment Law Blog

Office holiday party liabilities – part 2

The holiday season is upon us. In many workplaces, this is a time of year when employees are given the opportunity to take a well-deserved break from their work and celebrate the season with their colleagues.

In our last post, we discussed sexual harassment concerns at an office holiday party. In today’s post we outline three other areas of potential liability at such an event.

Office holiday party liabilities – part 1

In many workplaces, the end of the year is often a time of celebration. It’s a time for a company to take stock of its annual sales, offer raises or bonuses as well as congratulate their team on a job well done. One way in which many companies express thanks to their workforce is by hosting an office holiday party.

While a holiday party can be an excellent way to give employees a break from the daily grind and build camaraderie among colleagues, it is also an event rife with opportunity for inappropriate conduct—and resulting legal action. In today’s post, we examine one area of particular concern when colleagues are off the clock:

If you fail your employer’s drug test, these excuses won’t work

For many jobs, prospective employees have to take a drug test in order to be hired. If you take such a test and fail, you’re probably feeling frustrated and may want to appeal the result. However, according to one drug screening vendor, there are a couple reasons why challenging the result won’t likely help your cause.


Texas firefighter fights back against racial discrimination

Many of us have made the three-hour trek west from Houston to get to Austin, one of the best music cities in America. But a racial discrimination lawsuit filed by a former Austin fire cadet might have the capital of Texas singing the blues.

The former cadet is African American. His employment was terminated two years ago after he said the city’s fire department "steadfastly put up road blocks in an attempt to make his academy experience so difficult that he would quit." He also alleges in his suit that a supervisor told him that he would not even be in the academy if not for an agreement between the Fire Department and U.S. Justice Department to improve the department’s hiring practices.

Current laws protect immigrants from discrimination

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Anyone who has been paying attention for the past couple of years knows that immigration is one of the hottest topics in the news. While illegal immigration has always been an important issue, the 2016 presidential election rocketed the issue to the top of the headlines.

Employers here in Texas and across the nation are particularly interested in the issue, as their source of labor diminishes during this period of low unemployment. At a time when it seems that everyone is already working, the threat of arrest and deportation has forced many undocumented workers out of the labor pool and into hiding.

Where does religious discrimination begin and end on your job?

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Americans are taught that religion is sacred. The separation of church and state is a founding principal that every kid learns early in school. But in today's America, the idea that everyone should be free to practice their own religion when and how they please flies in the face of the new political reality.

Then, what is discrimination? 

What a former employer can say about you in Texas

Jobs don’t always end well. Maybe you were terminated because your manager suspected you of stealing, or perhaps a colleague accused you of sexual harassment. Regardless of whether or not such claims were valid, they can tarnish your reputation and make it difficult to find another job.

If you ended your last job on bad terms, you might be concerned about what this means for your future employment opportunities. If a prospective employer contacts your previous company for an employer reference, what are they allowed to say?

Gender inequalities statistics in the workplace

The gender gap in pay between women and men is well documented. Despite continued attention to the problem, the data says there is still a long way to go. In a recent report by the World Economic Forum, it says that it would take one hundred sixty-eight years to even the field at the current rate, as the Boston Globe reports.

What are my rights surrounding civic duty time off in Texas?

In Texas, there are certain situations in which your employer is required to give you time off for civic duty service. In today’s post, we outline your right to protected leave from your job for civic duty purposes.

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