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U.S. Supreme Court upholds $5.8M judgment against Tyson Foods

In a 6-2 decision, the United States Supreme Court on Tuesday, March 22, affirmed a federal court’s decision to certify the claims of former and current employees at a Tyson Foods pork processing plant as a class action. They accused the company of not paying them for the time they spent putting on and checking their safety gear while at work.

The high court upheld a $5.8 million judgment against Tyson under the Fair Labor Standards Act and an Iowa wage statute.

David Frederick, the Tyson employees’ legal counsel, stated in an interview with Bloomberg the ruling is relevant because it establishes that representative proof is enough methodology to certify class action lawsuits, a point which wasn’t clear until after the court’s decision.

An employer’s maltreatment – in any known form – of his employees should not go unpunished as this treatment hinders the professional growth of an employee while also compromising his well-being. Call our attorneys at The Melton Law Firm in Austin, Texas by dialing (512) 330-0017 today to pursue legal action against responsible parties.

Study shows women, minorities, LGBT community underrepresented in Hollywood

A new study, titled The Comprehensive Annenberg Report on Diversity, showed that movies and television shows produced by major media companies in Hollywood are “whitewashed,” and that an “epidemic of invisibility” is prevalent top to bottom throughout the industry for women, minorities, and the lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender community.

The study focused on 109 movies released by major studios (including art-house divisions) in 2014 and non-reality TV and digital series across 31 networks and streaming services that were aired between September 2014 and August 2015.

Over 11,000 speaking characters were studied for gender, racial and ethnic representation, and LGBT status. Diversity among 10,000 directors, writers, and show creators, and around 1,500 executives was also examined.

The study showed that women, minorities, and people belonging to the LGBT community are underrepresented no matter the media platform or position within the entertainment industry, from chief executive officers to minor characters in films and television shows.

Sadly, this is only one representation of discrimination that is present in the American workforce. If you believe that you have been discriminated against at your place of employment or at a potential place of employment, find out what legal options are open to you by contacting the Austin employment attorneys of The Melton Law Firm today at (512) 330-0017.

EEOC announces $4M settlement for Sara Lee employees

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has recently announced a $4 million settlement for former employees of the Paris, Texas factory of the Sara Lee Corp. after two years of investigations into complaints of workers’ rights and health violations. This announcement marks the largest settlement the EEOC has brokered regarding a hostile work environment case.

In addition to paying monetary damages, Sara Lee was ordered by the EEOC to initiate measures that would prevent workplace discrimination and to deliver periodical reports to the agency regarding working conditions at the factory.

The investigation yielded evidence that African-American employees were exposed to unsafe working conditions, such as black mold asbestos and other dangerous toxins, during the course of their daily work while Caucasian employees were promoted to work in areas of the factory that were not exposed to such substances.

No employer has the right to treat their employees disrespectfully due to prejudices of any kind. If you had been a victim of workplace discrimination in Austin or other areas in Texas, seek the legal assistance of our attorneys at The Melton Law Firm today by calling our offices at (512) 330-0017.

Austin workplace discrimination lawsuits and women

A group of Austin women recently attempted to determine if female employees in the city file more workplace discrimination lawsuits than men, so they filed an open records request earlier this year to find out. Their efforts attracted the attention of Council Member Kathie Tovo, who then became involved in the group’s efforts. In October, Tovo received a memo from Human Resources with answers to some of these women’s questions.

The memo revealed that women who work for the city of Austin file up to three times more complaints based on gender discrimination than men in city positions do. Of all of the complaints filed against coworkers in city jobs, 57 percent were lodged against men.


Specifically, 162 employment complaints have been filed against the city of Austin either with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the Texas Commission on Human Rights within a five-year period beginning in 2010; thirty-seven of those complaints have involved gender discrimination, eighty-four have involved retaliation in addition to discrimination, and thirty-nine have involved harassment of some sort.

At The Melton Law Firm, our attorneys represent employees who have been wronged by their employers or coworkers. To discuss your situation with one of our Austin employment lawyers, call (512) 330-0017 today.

Professor sues Tyler Junior College for employment discrimination

Tyler, Texas professor Richard Tabu has filed a lawsuit on Wednesday, November 18 in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas against Tyler Junior College, claiming that the school is guilty of employment discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

According to the lawsuit, Tyler started working as a full professor in the school’s computer science department in August 2006. Around that time, Tabu started suffering from obstructed lacriminal ducts, a condition which prevents Tabu from producing natural tears and which caused him to request accommodations in the form of a full online schedule in October 2013, a request which the school denied. Tabu was then forced to take a medical leave of absence in January 2014, which used up all of his paid leave time at the college.

The suit claims that Tyler Junior College has continuously denied Tabu accommodations that would allow him to teach a full work schedule, thus violating his rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Employees and workers in the state of Texas enjoy certain inalienable rights under laws and codes which employers must uphold. If your rights have been violated in Texas or you feel that you have been the victim of discrimination, the Austin attorneys at The Melton Law Firm are prepared to represent you as we fight for justice. Call (512) 330-0017 today to discuss your case with our legal team.

Daycare employees terminated from their posts claim violation of religious liberties

Madeline Kirksey and Akesha Wyatt, who both work at the Children’s Lighthouse Learning Center in Houston, Texas, said during a press conference on Tuesday, November 10 that they were terminated from their posts earlier this month because they did not follow the wishes of the parents of a six-year-old girl who goes to that particular daycare for that child to be identified as a transgender boy.

Kirksey and Wyatt said that they have already lodged a federal complaint against their former employer, claiming that by firing them, their employer had committed a violation against their religious liberties as Christians.

Children’s Lighthouse Learning Center spokesman Jamie Izaks, in a different interview on Wednesday, November 11, said that he is not at liberty to discuss employment matters on a public scale but added that the company holds that the pair did not suffer a violation of their religious liberties.

Employment issues can be extremely contentious and complex, and our Austin employment lawyers at The Melton Law Firm are here to help you if you believe that your rights have been violated in any way. Contact us today at (512) 330-0017 to learn more.

Texas company facing lawsuit over wrongful termination

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Austin Division against Austin’s Park N Pizza, a Pflugerville-based amusement park, after the company terminated an employee based on his intellectual disabilities without attempting to provide any accommodations.

According to the legal complaint filed by EEOC, the employee in question suffered a traumatic brain injury as a child, leading to some mental impairments; however, he was able to work for the park for four years doing maintenance and custodial work.

It was only when the company implemented a new computerized timekeeping system that the employee experienced difficulty logging his hours. After noticing her son had not received payment in some time, the employee’s mother contacted the park and questioned the change, asking that they provide some alternative method of logging hours for her son. The company refused her request and later terminated the employee.

The attorneys at The The Melton Law Firm feel strongly that any form of discrimination is deplorable and should not be tolerated. If you have been the victim of this type of behavior in your workplace, our legal team can help you explore your legal options and take action to put a stop to this injustice. To discuss your situation with our attorneys, call us at (512) 330-0017 today.

Woman says Verizon fired her for taking off work after her babies died

New Jersey resident Marybeth Walz, who had worked as an executive at Bedminster, New Jersey-based Verizon Wireless for 17 years, has recently filed a lawsuit against the telecommunications company in Massachusetts, claiming that the company denied to give her maternity leave payment, and then terminated her employment contract after she took extra days off from work after her twins – who were brought to the world via a surrogate mother – both died shortly after birth.

Walz said she delayed having children due to her work at Verizon and was later unable to have children after she was diagnosed with cervical cancer. She is alleging that Verizon has discriminated against her on the basis of sex, pregnancy, and disability.

If you have been discriminated against based on your age, race, gender, or disability, and you reside in Austin or other areas in Texas, you can be sure that our attorneys at The Melton Law Firm are willing and able to provide you with legal assistance and representation. Learn more about the legal services that we offer by calling our offices today at (512) 330-0017.

Landry’s restaurant files petition to arbitrate wrongful termination suit

Houston, Texas-based restaurant chain Landry’s Inc. has filed a plea of abatement on June 25, 2015 to abate a wrongful termination claim filed by Houston resident and former Landry’s employee Joseph Hoffman on April 9, 2015 in Jefferson County District Court, which, according to Hoffman, was a retaliatory action for a workers’ compensation benefit claim he filed in April 2014, court records showed.

According to the filed plea of abatement, the lawsuit should be abated due to the right of arbitration set out in the contract between the employer and the employee when the employee first accepted the job with his employer.

If you have been mistreated in any form in your workplace, may it be from your employer or co-workers, you can seek justice by calling our attorneys at The Melton Law Firm in Austin. Call us at (512) 330-0017 to talk to our skilled lawyers about your case today.

Company found not liable for employee attacking supervisor

A Texas Court of Appeals in Houston, Texas affirmed the decision made by the 149th District Court in Angleton to grant a staffing company’s motion for summary judgement, ruling that a workers’ compensation nonsubscriber is not liable for negligence.

Ramiro Najera, the plaintiff, performed responsibilities such as fumigating packaged rice and collecting garbage and dead pests when he worked for Freeport-based American Rice Inc. through manpower company Recana Solutions LLC.

In June 2012, Najera told his team that they would have to work late that day. One employee, James Prodoehl, begun to argue with Najera. It wasn’t until Najera threatened to report Prodoehl to their boss that Prodoehl started beating Najera with a hard hat.

Najera incurred shoulder and teeth injuries in the incident. He filed suit against Recana and American Rice, citing negligence, gross negligence, and respondeat superior – meaning that an employer is responsible for the actions of its employees throughout employees’ duration of employment. A lawsuit had also been filed against Prodoehl.

If you believe that your rights as a worker or employee have been abused and you reside in Austin or other areas in Texas, hire the legal services of our attorneys at The Melton Law Firm by calling our offices today at (512) 330-0017. Schedule an appointment with a member of our legal team today.

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