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Texas Employment Blog

Woman says former employer discriminated against her

Houston resident Christine Reid filed a lawsuit against American Eagle Protective Services Corp. on December 14, 2016.

Reid is claiming her employer engaged in retaliation and wrongful termination by neglecting to provide reasonable accommodation for her. She adds the company discriminated against her, subjected her to retaliation, and fired her because of her national origin and medical condition she sustained after a major surgery in the fall of 2013. The former employee, a Jamaican-American woman, is requesting a trial by jury, damages in an amount within the jurisdictional limits of the court, punitive damages excluding attorney fees, reinstatement, interests, cost of court, and other equitable relief as deemed necessary by the court.

When you are dealing with wrongful termination, discrimination, overtime or wage disputes, retaliation, or other employment law issues, it is essential to enlist the support of an experienced employment attorney. Contact our attorneys at The Melton Law Firm in Austin by calling our offices today at (512) 330-0017.

Security guard fired after attending son’s birth in New Hampshire

Lamar Austin, whose baby was born in Concord, New Hampshire this year, was terminated from his post after attending his son’s birth. At the time, Austin was employed as a part-time security guard with Salerno Protective Services.

According to Austin, he was not able to attend one shift in December because he had to accompany his wife, Lindsay, to a doctor’s appointment. His wife then went into labor on the night of Friday, December 30 and Cainan was born on Sunday, January 1. The birth caused Austin to miss his Friday and Saturday shifts. After that, Austin received a text message at approximately 1 a.m. of New Year’s Day saying, “As of now, you are terminated.”

Our attorneys at The Melton Law Firm provide legal services for our clients in Austin and other areas in Texas. We handle employment-related issues, such as wrongful termination, a hostile work environment, retaliation, and whistleblower offenses, among others. Call our offices today at (512) 330-0017 to learn more about your legal options.

Union opposes new HR rules proposed by the city of Austin, TX

Washington, D.C.-based trade union American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees is wary of the language in proposed changes to a city’s policy regarding discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and employee conduct.

The rules that the trade union is in contention of are the ones that would affect an employee while the said employee is off duty as long as the “conduct is related to or relevant to an employee’s job”.

In a letter asking the Austin City Council to do away with such a provision, AFSCME business manager Carol Guthrie said, “We oppose any oversight of the private lives of employees in situations that have no impact on an employee’s ability to perform their job.”

If you need legal advice, assistance, or representation for your employment-related issue in Austin or other areas in Texas, do not hesitate to get in touch with our attorneys at The Melton Law Firm by calling our offices today at (512) 330-0017. Speak with a qualified member of our legal team as soon as you can.

Attleboro uranium plant ex-workers cite radiation for illnesses

A 100-acre plant for Texas Instruments on Forest Street in Attleboro may be the cause of death and illness for a number of ex-workers at the plant. The Bristol County, Massachusetts plant processed toxic chemicals, such as uranium, for nuclear reactors at the site.

Over two dozen former Texas Instruments employees – and the estates of former employees who have died – filed a lawsuit against the company in federal court, alleging it had lax safety standards. Supposedly, they negligently disposed of radioactive and toxic waste and failed to inform its employees of its irresponsible actions. Now, the employees want tens of millions of dollars in compensation.

Workers in Texas have the right to sue employers they feel are violating their rights in the workplace. If you feel your rights are undermined or if your employer is exposing you to unsafe working conditions, file a lawsuit with the help of our attorneys at The Melton Law Firm in Austin by calling our offices at (512) 330-0017.

New overtime rule blocked by Texas federal judge

A new law signed by President Barack Obama would have raised the threshold for those eligible to receive overtime pay to $47,476 ($913 per week) from $23,660 ($455 per week). The rule should have gone into effect this December but was sidelined by United States District Judge Amos Mazzant of Sherman in Grayson County, Texas.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who filed a lawsuit against the Department of Labor in protest of the new rule, welcomed the development, saying, “The finalized overtime rule hurts the American worker. It limits workplace flexibility without a corresponding increase in pay and forces employers to cut their workers’ hours.”

Our attorneys at The Melton Law Firm know how difficult it can be for Austin employees to cope with the consequences of an employment legal issue, such as a wrongful termination, retaliatory action, or an overtime or wage dispute. As such, we are here to help you sort out your difficulty. Call our offices today at (512) 330-0017.

Diallo’s owner sued after demanding employee prove HIV status

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit against the nightclub Diallo’s of Houston after the owner allegedly demanded an employee show medical records proving she was HIV-negative.

According to the EEOC, such a demand is a direct violation of the American Disabilities Act of 1990, which prohibits employers from making medical inquiries unrelated to the performance of an employee’s job-specific duties.

The complaint states the owner, who also manages the club, claimed he was able to obtain third-party information that the employee was HIV-positive and twice approached her asking her to provide a medical certificate clearing her of said ailment. The woman got terminated when she refused. At first, the EEOC tried conciliatory measures to deal with the employer. When those measures failed, they filed a lawsuit asking for an injunction, backpay with pre-judgment interest, reinstatement (or front pay), compensatory damages, and punitive damages.

Legal protections for workers are put in place to ensure a worker’s rights are upheld and that the employee feels safe in his workplace. If these protections are not met and you work in Austin or another area of Texas, get in touch with our attorneys at The Melton Law Firm by calling our offices today at (512) 330-0017.

Statistics of sexual harassment in the workplace

In a new poll conducted by Washington, D.C.-based nonpartisan digital media and survey research company Morning Consult, it was found out that 45% of female respondents were touched in an unwarranted sexual nature by colleagues in the workplace and have experienced unsolicited, unwanted, and unnecessary physical advances. Another survey, conducted by international women’s fashion magazine Cosmopolitan, showed that one in three women has experienced sexual harassment at some point in their lives at work.

Tom Spiggle, lawyer and author of the book You’re Pregnant? You’re Fired: Protecting Mothers, Fathers, and Other Caregivers in the Workplace, said sometimes women refuse to report instances of sexual harassment in the workplace to the proper authorities, noting, “it is a combination of two factors: first, the real difficulties of fighting sexual harassment, and second, a mistaken belief that the option is to do nothing or wage an all-out battle.”

Employees in the state of Texas are entitled to a wide range of legal protections under state and federal law, so if your employer is treating you improperly or you feel that your rights in the workplace may have been violated, get in touch with our attorneys at The Melton Law Firm, who provide legal services to our clients in Austin or other areas in the state by calling our offices today at (512) 330-0017.

Lake Jackson employee claims wrongful termination

Lake Jackson resident Kristin Lee Dial filed a complaint in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas against Shell Deer Park Refinery. Dial claims she was wrongfully terminated from her post after she reported a sexual harassment incident.

According to the lawsuit, Dial had a short-lived relationship with her co-worker, Christopher Carrizales, outside of the workplace. Dial said during her employment from August 2014 through December 2014, she was sexually harassed by Carrizales after she ended her relationship with him. She then reported Carrizales’ behavior to her team leader, Benjamin Stafford, who told her if she reported the incident to human resources, she and Carrizales would be terminated from their posts.

Our attorneys at The Melton Law Firm provide legal services for clients in Austin and other areas of Texas. We handle employment issues such as discrimination, sexual harassment, and equal pay, among others. Contact us at (512) 330-0017 to learn more about your legal options.

Texas judge hinders implementation of Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces rule

Judge Marcia A. Crone of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued a preliminary injunction last Monday, October 24 against the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces rule. The regulation recently imposed by President Obama mandates that contractors who are looking for federal work should disclose recent law labor violations. Opponents of the law refer to it as the “blacklisting” rule.

Politico reported the groups who initiated the lawsuit – the Associated Builders and Contractors – “properly demonstrated immediate and ongoing injury to their members if the rule is allowed to take effect.” According to an ABC survey in September, 98% of the respondents said the contracting process would become more costly if the regulation took effect.

Our attorneys at The Melton Law Firm provide legal services for our clients in Austin and other areas of Texas. We also handle employment issues such as overtime and wage disputes, a hostile work environment, and equal pay, among others. Call our offices today at (512) 330-0017 if you feel your employer may be violating your rights.

EEOC settles sexual harrassment lawsuit against Texas Roadhouse

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced on Wednesday, September 21 that a Texas Roadhouse franchisee in Ohio settled a 1.4 million dollar lawsuit lodged against it.

The EEOC said restaurant manager Eric Price subjected female employees, including teenagers, to inappropriate touching and requests for sexual favors in exchange for employment benefits. Even though he received numerous complaints since 2007, he wasn’t taken off his post until May 2011 when surveillance video showed him inappropriately touching a 17-year-old in his office.

Ellen Toth, an attorney, said the lesson in this case is that “employers have to be able to show their employees and prove to a judge or jury that they promptly, thoroughly and honestly investigated each complaint they received. This lesson is magnified when an employer receives complaints of physical touching of underage women.” Under the settlement contract, the companies need to track and report all discrimination and retaliation complaints in accordance to a five-year consent decree.

Toth said retail and restaurant operations far from corporate headquarters may want to practice reporting such complaints by giving contact information for regional and corporate human resource professionals. Other options include providing anonymous Internet and telephone hotlines and scheduling regional and division management to make unannounced visits during non-peak hours to uncover hidden issues.

If you suffered injustice or maltreatment at your place of work in Austin or another area of Texas, get in touch with our attorneys at The Melton Law Firm by calling our offices today at (512) 330-0017. We can file the appropriate lawsuit against the people responsible for your mistreatment.

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