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Expedited permit for construction projects passed by City Council in Austin

A new resolution that seeks to include worker protections was approved by the City Council of Austin on Thursday, September 1. The Council added the resolution to a new program intended to expedite the permit process for construction projects.

The worker protections include mandating that construction workers be paid a living wage of $13.03 per hour, receive proper Occupational Safety and Health Administration training, and be able to obtain workers’ compensation. Also, the plan dictates that 30% of the construction pool should come from local workers, companies must comply with employment laws, and a third-party onsite monitor should be present on site to make sure safety standards are being met.

Bo Delp, Better Builder program director for the Workers Defense Project, welcomed the development for the industry, but said that this might pose some dangers to construction workers. Delp noted “More construction workers die in Texas than in any other state. One in five report being seriously injured. 50% don’t even get overtime pay. That was according to a study that was done in collaboration with the University of Texas.”

Our attorneys at The Melton Law Firm provide legal services for our clients in Austin, handle cases that deal with employment issues such as hostile work environments and civil rights violations, among others. Call our offices today at (512) 330-0017 to discuss your situation.


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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