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November 2013 Archives

Texas restaurant's Oktoberfest turns into discrimination lawsuit

During the month of October, many German-style eateries celebrate the annual tradition of Oktoberfest. This includes a popular restaurant in San Antonio, Texas. Unfortunately, the choice of outfits has led the restaurant to become embroiled in a discrimination lawsuit. The discrimination claim shows how quickly what management thinks is "funny" can be revealed as not in the least bit humorous.

Texas urged to avoid hiring discrimination of those with records

In the state of Texas, there is a law that says it is okay to screen out workers who apply for jobs if they have criminal records, even if those criminal records happened well in the past or would have little bearing on the position for which the individual was being evaluated. Some representatives of the EEOC consider this as discrimination and are urging Texas to change its practices. The EEOC is making it clear that it doesn't want employers to have to hire those with criminal backgrounds, but the entity feels that denying someone a job on that basis alone is grounds for discrimination.

Coach sues UT for discrimination after forced resignation

Issues of discrimination can sometimes lead to employment-related disputes, as in a current case involving the University of Texas. The ex-coach of the women's track and field team is alleging that she was forced to submit her resignation due to a hostile working environment.

Texas judge claims sexual harassment, retaliation

Each person wants to be treated with respect and dignity in the workplace. However, when an individual becomes the victim of sexual harassment, he or she feels anything but respected: The person typically feels violated and unfair advantage was taken. Sexual harassment is a real problem in Texas at companies when employers attempt to abuse their power and exploit employees on the basis of sex. When this happens, the person who has been harassed can pursue legal action.

Man's depression disability discrimination case rejected

When Congress amended the Americans with Disabilities Act in 2008, it was clear that the law would be broadly interpreted to cover a wide range of disabilities, specifically addressing mental illness, among other conditions. However, the Fifth Circuit Court recently affirmed a lower court's decision that depression does not qualify as a disability in a Texas man's employee discrimination case.

Will the Pregnant Fairness Workers Act be enough?

Having a child is supposed to be a joyous event, but if a soon-to-be mother is being discriminated against on the basis of her pregnancy, it may be more terrifying than it is happy. There are many different forms of pregnancy discrimination, all of which can stress a woman who is soon expected to provide for another person.

Texas biggest offender when it comes to unpaid wages

A report recently released by an Austin news station shows that Texas is the worst offender in the nation when it comes to wage complaints. Statistics show that the amount of unpaid wages owed to workers across our state has increased significantly in the past few years. The Texas Workforce Commission and Department of Labor are responsible for investigating these types of complaints.

Former Texas restaurant employee files discrimination complaint

When employees spend many hours each week at their jobs, they want to feel like they work in a comfortable, non-hostile environment. If instead, they feel that they are being targeted for harassment or discrimination, they may find their workplace to be unbearable. Recently, a former employee of the Hofbrau at The Rim restaurant in San Antonio went to the Texas Workforce Commission, claiming that she faced discrimination at her workplace because of her Oktoberfest attire. She is also seeking damages for lost wages, stating that the harassment she endured forced her to resign.

Texas hospital sued by former worker for racial discrimination

Racism is generally not tolerated in any workplace. When an employee feels that he or she is being targeted at work because of race, it may create a hostile and distressing work situation. That seems to be the case for a former maintenance worker at a Texas medical center. He is now suing his former employer, claiming that he was subjected to racial discrimination and retaliation because of his interracial marriage.

Military and federal workers entitled to FMLA benefits

When the Supreme Court overturned Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, it opened the door for partners in same-sex marriages to access benefits previously unavailable to them. For same-sex couples in San Antonio, that decision is finally bearing fruit. The Office of Personnel Management recently issued a memo detailing how the decision affects benefits available to same-sex partners of federal employees under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Texas sexual harassment whistleblower gets jury verdict reward

In today's era where bullying is everywhere, the message to kids and adults is clear: Those who see it happening have every right to take action. This even holds true when one employee hears about sexual harassment on the job and reprimands the offender in order to make it stop. Recently, one Texas jury awarded a sexual harassment whistleblower more than $1 million after she was unfairly treated.

Three things Texas employers must do to prevent sexual harassment

A Houston woman complained to her employer about her supervisor’s unwelcome sexual advances. She was transferred to another location, but the offending manager was never disciplined.  Was that enough? What about the coworkers left behind? Texas employers must do three things to protect employees from sexual harassment and minimize the risk of employment disputes.

Former Texas police officer wins discrimination suit

In a well-publicized Texas lawsuit in Orange, an African American police officer charged his employer, the local police department, with discrimination. This occurred three years ago, and both parties have gone back and forth. Now, he feels he has been vindicated, as his discrimination suit has ended in a sizable settlement worth $600,000.

Misclassification as contractors hurts government, employees

When is an employee not an employee? It depends on how a worker is classified by an employer. Full-time employees are eligible for benefits -- and are also required to be paid overtime, where applicable, and fair wages. Employers must also pay insurance and employment taxes for full-time employees, which can add up to significant expenses for businesses.

Former employee claims discrimination against his shy bladder

There are many instances of employment discrimination based on disability in Texas and around the country. In many cases, these are violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. But what is defined as a disability? The disorder that a Texas man is claiming might catch some people off-guard.

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