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July 2013 Archives

Woman sues Texas school district for on-the-job discrimination

After causing a fire by using a washer and dryer to clean mop heads (which caused the mop heads to catch fire in the dryer), a female school custodian was terminated. She filed suit against the Texas school district claiming she was the victim of on-the-job discrimination. Her claim was based on her termination allegedly being the result of both her natural origin and her gender.

Rally for higher wages takes place in downtown Houston

Earlier this week, people rallied in downtown Houston to encourage employers to pay workers more than minimum wage. The minimum wage here in Texas is tied to the federal minimum wage, which is currently set at $7.25 an hour. The federal minimum has not been increased for four years, but the Minimum Wage Act of 2013 is currently working its way through Congress, and if passed it would raise the federal minimum to $10.10 an hour.

Sexual harassment claim: Criminal charge was retaliation

A female city code enforcement officer in Texas is facing a criminal charge which she claims is an act of retaliation. She alleges that the criminal charge was brought about in response to her civil suit against the city for sexual harassment. The criminal charge levied against her carries a possible punishment of as much as a $4,000 fine and a year in jail. The woman filed a second civil suit against the city claiming that the criminal charge is an act of retaliation.

Texas domestic workers' wages fall far below legal minimums

According to an advocacy group that supports the rights of domestic workers, the contribution made by these household employees is a key element in the growing prosperity of the Rio Grande Valley area. Unfortunately, many of the domestic workers do not have a full understanding of their legal rights under Texas and federal wage and labor laws. As a result, some unscrupulous employers have been taking advantage of poorly informed household workers by undercutting their wages.

Sexual harassment claim alleges CEO bartered for man's wife

In what is somewhat of a departure from the typical form of workplace harassment, a CEO stands accused of attempting to barter with a male employee to have sex with his wife. Although this particular sexual harassment suit has somewhat of a twist to it, it also contains the classic elements of workplace abuse taking place in Texas and elsewhere. The target of the CEO's inappropriate solicitations was initially a female employee, but when she apparently refused to cooperate, he then began trying to get to her through her husband who was also an employee at the company.

Sexual harassment figures are staggering for female food workers

Female workers in the agricultural and food processing industries face an alarmingly high degree of harassment and other workplace abuses. Studies have found that up to 40 percent of female food industry workers have been subjected to sexual harassment including improper advances, coercion, assault, and rape. In what are significantly high numbers of alleged incidents in Texas and other states, 85 percent of the women who have complained to management faced retaliation that included some of the women being fired or demoted, and some even experienced an escalation in the harassment, while the accused offender faced no consequences.

Austin-based employer faulted for English-only policy

Austin-based Whole Foods Market was hit with a discrimination complaint earlier this month. The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico filed the complaint, accusing the grocer of discriminating against native Spanish speakers. The company’s English-only language policy is at the root of the problem. Employees have asserted that the company forced them to refrain from speaking Spanish while on the job. 

Texas teens, sexual harassment and first-time-summer jobs

The summer months are here, and for Texas teenagers just getting out of high-school, it means an opportunity for a first-time summer job, the experience of working, and some extra spending money. It's also an opportunity for some unscrupulous individuals to take advantage of young adults who may be lacking in worldly wisdom. As an example of what might happen, consider that a sexual harassment lawsuit was recently settled involving young female workers who were made to endure alleged sexual advances and language from a restaurant supervisor.

CBS sued for sexual harassment

In a case similar to others proceeding in Texas and elsewhere, a woman has sued her company for that form of sexual harassment in which sexual favors are a prerequisite for employment. This type of sexual harassment is generally known as a quid pro quo situation. The defendant this time is media giant CBS.

Texas woman accuses employer of gender discrimination

Gender discrimination has been outlawed in this country since 1964. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against employees or employment applicants on the basis of their gender. Nonetheless, unfortunately, employers here in San Antonio do sometimes allow gender discrimination to occur. Common types of illegal gender discrimination in the workplace include sexual harassment and paying women less than their male counterparts, or passing women up for promotions.

Gov Perry signs bill to help stop construction misclassification

Texas is one of the largest states with one of the largest highway infrastructures, and it certainly requires a lot of maintenance. It takes a lot of construction workers just to maintain these roads, let alone complete the many new construction projects that are taking place across the state.

Retaliation may be difficult to prove in Texas and elsewhere

Retaliation, discrimination workplace harassment are a problem all over the United States. Recently, the Supreme Court made rulings on two employment law cases. Both cases could be considered stumbling blocks for employees who experience retaliation, workplace harassment or discrimination. Texas residents may benefit from hearing the details of these cases, as employees in the state may be able to relate to some of the situations contained therein.

Many Texas employees have to spend wages on pay card fees

Many large employers such as Wal-Mart, Taco Bell and McDonald's that have thousands of employees nationwide, including in Texas, now pay their employees with pay cards. In order to access their wages, employees often have to pay fees. The cards work like debit cards, but are not regulated the same way.

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