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March 2013 Archives

Texas senior living company settles religious discrimination suit

A religious discrimination lawsuit was recently settled after an employee's religious beliefs were disregarded by a manager at a Texas-based senior assisted living home. The company, Senior Living Properties, LLC, will pay $42,500; bolster its training regarding discrimination in the workplace; and enact other provisions to compensate for the unfortunate episode.

Texas coach accuses school of gender, race discrimination

A former track and field coach at the University of Texas says that the athletic department discriminated against her because of her gender and her race.

How far can employers go in reading your email?

Many Texas readers have probably sat at work during the day, emailing back and forth with their coworkers about the latest office gossip or sharing a funny video they saw on YouTube. These types of exchanges often lead to a fleeting thought of what one's boss might think of this use of work time, and a question about whether or not employers can or do read emails sent at work.

$3 million whistleblowing claim involves CIA, building contractors

There are a couple of basics to know about whistleblowing, and the first -- and most important -- is that there are local and federal protections for those that blow the whistle on illegal workplace activity. Without such protections, not only would there be fewer whistleblowers in general, but the ones who did take the admittedly-risky step would be even more at risk.

Texas man says discriminatory moves denied him promotion chance

Acts of discrimination are despicable in any circumstance; but in the workplace, they are arguably worse. The victim of the discrimination is not only embarrassed and hurt by the incident, but their professional career is usually held back by their employers as a direct result of the discriminatory act.

Jury awards $1.3 million in Texas age discrimination case

A local jury awarded a Texas woman a total of $1.3 million after a trial about the conditions surrounding her 2008 termination from her job with Jefferson County. The woman worked for the county as an administrator for the purchasing department for about one year before she was fired, which she claimed in her lawsuit was a result of age discrimination and retaliation.

Nonexempt janitors worked 80-hour weeks, did not get full overtime

One very common dispute that employees have with their employers has to do with wages. The dispute is not necessarily the wage itself (though a raise would be nice); but the way in which it is administered. If an employee is told that they have to work overtime, and they do it, then they should expect their next paycheck to reflect that overtime. However, some employers try to skimp out of that overtime pay by classifying employees in a certain way, or outright neglecting to apply an overtime rate to an employee that worked overtime.

Constant harassment forces woman to quit, file lawsuit

In a particularly egregious example of workplace harassment, a woman in Galveston, Texas was forced to quit her job after two employees repeatedly harassed her, even after the company went to great lengths to keep the two employees away from the woman. The victimized woman is now seeking a substantial award from her lawsuit that accuses the two employees of "intentional, extreme and outrageous conduct." She is not suing the company she used to work for -- simply the two negligent defendants.

'Workplace bullying' can cause serious workplace complications

We have all had bosses we didn't like over our careers. Maybe their work ethic bothered you; maybe their decisions caused you to do work over or completely hit the reset button on a project; or maybe it was just a case of the two of you not clicking, where your boss' personality simply did not mesh with yours. These things happen; and while they are far from ideal, the important thing is that the employee and boss remain cordial and work through these issues for the betterment of both themselves and the company.

Americans with Disabilities Act protects job applicants

Applying for jobs is stressful for most people, but it may seem even more challenging if a person has a disability. A person may wonder whether he or she should tell potential employers about his or her disability upfront or whether it is acceptable to not mention the disability until necessary.

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