Celebrating 20 years of representing Dallas employees, including Rasha Zeyadeh, Deontae Wherry, Fadi Yousef, Clara Mann*, Kalandra Wheeler, Jeannie Buckingham*, Austin Campbell, Julie St. John, Colin Walsh, and Jairo Castellanos. *Indicates non-lawyer staff.

Paige Melendez

Dallas Employment Lawyer Paige Melendez

Retaining an attorney is never an easy decision, but it should also not be a last resort. The reason why timing is so important is that unfortunately the legal system moves slowly. Even if your case is not tangled up in an ineffective judicial system, it can be tangled up in something worse: attorney’s schedules. Despite how it is portrayed on television, most of law is negotiating with the attorneys on the other side to try and work out a resolution. We are opponents on either side, but the best resolutions come from an agree to disagree attitude with a common goal to resolve things for both our clients. With that being said, as a client there are certain timing issues to be aware of before thinking about retaining an attorney. 

The first timing issue is when to retain an attorney. An attorney being utilized as a last resort sometimes makes sense if there is some legal matter that cannot be handled without one. However, using an attorney as a last resort in situations that are ongoing will ultimately make it more difficult – and here’s why: if the goal is to get a settlement quickly through an attorney and a lot of very serious issues rely on this “quick” timing, you will be disappointed. The law does not work expediently and rewards those who are patient and can stand to the last day of battle. It’s kind of like playing a game of chicken. You have to prepared to go all the way without swerving. If there is a strict timeline attached because of extraneous issues, then it makes things more difficult because sometimes legal schedules do not always match up with personal timelines. It’s also something the other side can take advantage of. 

Austin Campbell

Dallas Employment Trial Lawyer Austin Campbell

Summary: This article discusses some strategies, including different contract clauses, that employers might use to try to control where you can sue them, or to try to sue you in a far-away place. 

If you are in a legal dispute with your employer, where the lawsuit is filed can make a big difference.  That affects who the judge is or who might be on the jury.  Exactly where a lawsuit can be filed depends on the nature of the legal claims in it.  However, two basic principles generally apply.  If there are multiple permissible options of where to file suit, the party filing suit gets to choose where to file suit.  However, the location must be somewhere that has “personal jurisdiction” over the defendant—i.e., the defendant has to have sufficient connections to the location for it to be legally “fair” to sue them there.  This article, however, explores ways that employers may try to get around these basic principles through contracts containing “forum selection” or “venue selection” clauses.

Employment Lawyer Deontae Wherry

Dallas Employment Lawyer Deontae Wherry

Searching for a job in today’s job market can be a tedious and competitive process. Employers are adding more requisites and qualifications to job postings in an attempt to attract the best candidate. That, in turn, requires candidates to find ways to better market themselves, including sometimes exaggerating their skills and qualifications on their resume and application or misrepresenting why they left their last employer. Let me warn you—don’t misrepresent your qualifications or the reason you left your employer. If a job is meant for you, the job will be for you.

How can a misstatement on an application affect you in an employment case?

Paige Melendez

Dallas Employment Lawyer Paige Melendez

The dissolution of abortion rights that should be guaranteed as substantive due process rights have a direct impact not only on healthcare, but on employment. I know that’s odd to say, but it’s a person’s personal health decision that should not be interfered with, even by their employment. However, with the Supreme Court’s decision a flurry of companies began to step in to protect abortion rights in a private sector way. This is untenable as a solution. While helpful in the short-term, it creates a complex picture for employment discrimination. 

As a hypothetical, let me set up Grayson. They are currently pregnant and would like to access abortion in a different state. Their employer is Be Free Sporting Goods who has promised that they will give time off and leave to allow Grayson the opportunity to pursue abortion access outside the restrictive laws of states like Texas. Despite this being a personal healthcare choice between them and their doctor, Grayson now has to disclose their decision to access abortion to their human resources department. Be Free is a big corporation – their decision is not communicated to one person, not even two people, but several people must work on the request before it is approved. Grayson’s request is then denied because Marla in the human resources department has a sincerely held religious belief that abortion is wrong. And this juncture is where the private sector’s “solutions” to abortion access fall short.

Austin Campbell

Dallas Employment Trial Lawyer Austin Campbell

Summary: This article gives an overview of the May 2022 Texas Supreme Court decision Perthuis v. Baylor Miraca Genetics Laboratories, LLC, and its implications for employees’ rights to their commissions in Texas. 

Under Texas law, if you are an employee who is paid via commission, as long as you fully performed what you were required to do under your commission plan at the time, you are owed the commissions for your work.  Furthermore, written commission plans can only be modified in writing.  Employers can modify their commission plans prospectively, i.e., going forward.  But employers cannot escape their obligation to pay commissions already earned by changing the plan.  

Employment Lawyer Deontae Wherry

Dallas Employment Lawyer Deontae Wherry

In 1994, Congress passed the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (“USERRA”) which protects military service members and veterans from employment discrimination because of their military service. USERRA requires that employers allow service members to regain their civilian jobs following their military service. Many states like Texas have implemented state laws that also protect service members at the state level.

Although one would believe Texas understands the importance of protecting our military service members, since it has passed laws to protect them, Texas has been fighting to protect itself from liability under USERRA.  Texas’ long battle has now come to an end, and now service members can sue state employers if they violate USERRA.

Paige Melendez

Dallas Employment Lawyer Paige Melendez

The newest shockwave to hit employment customs is the murmurs of a four-day workweek. In fact, Iceland recently declared their experiment with the four-day workweek a success. Belgian workers won the right to a four-day workweek in February, and the United Kingdom has set up a trial run that began this month with about 70 companies volunteering. Further, other countries are looking at the European peninsula to see how their experiment goes to consider instituting the shortened workweek. So, how could we get a four-day workweek in the United States? 

The first way is obvious but unlikely. Either the House or Senate would have to draft a bill that mandated a four-day workweek for all businesses. Then, the bill would go to the opposite chamber of Congress before a final agreed upon draft was sent and signed by the President. The chance of a bill of this magnitude, with the potential to cause ripples throughout all levels of industry and business, wading through the stagnant pond of Congress is low, so we turn to a second method.

Austin Campbell

Dallas Employment Trial Lawyer Austin Campbell

Summary: This article touches on some of the complex issues surrounding the apparent boom in unionization—will this be a sea change or just temporary? What are the implications of recent union victories in major multinational companies? 

There have been high-profile union victories in the news lately for the employees of major multinational companies, particularly Amazon and Starbucks.  The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”), which oversees union elections and investigates “unfair labor practice” claims, has also gone to bat recently against those same companies for numerous allegedly unlawful tactics they engaged in during union elections.  It could be that unions are on the verge of a renaissance in the face of the “great resignation” causing a shift in the power dynamics between employees and employers.  Indeed, unions are more popular with the public now than they have been in generations.  

Dallas Employment Lawyer Fadi Yousef

Dallas Employment Lawyer Fadi Yousef

Earlier this month, Sheryl Sandberg announced her resignation from Facebook parent Meta Platforms, Inc. Her departure was a surprise to many people. Ms. Sandberg was the Chief Operating Officer of one of the biggest and most powerful companies in the world. She was the primary reason why Facebook scaled from a company with $153 million in revenue and 500 employees in 2007 to its current size, with more than 77,000 employees.

This past week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Ms. Sandberg decided to leave Meta after a years-long process of battling job burnout. She felt like she had become a punching bag for the company’s problems and that she was targeted in a way that would not happen to a man, according to the Journal. This caused Ms. Sandberg to become disconnected from the business and less visible publicly.

Employment Lawyer Deontae Wherry

Dallas Employment Lawyer Deontae Wherry

Suppose both husband and wife, Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, have worked for Democan in the marketing department for 15 years. The couple loves their job because they can help their pastor with his re-election campaign. For most of their career, the couple has reported to the marketing director, Joe Abbott. Mr. Abbott retired seven months ago. Democan then hired Donald Paxton as the new Marketing Director.

Since his first day, Mr. Paxton has had a crush on Mrs. Johnson. Mr. Paxton waits until Mrs. Johnson is alone then he approaches her in the backroom and begins to caress her body. Mrs. Johnson tells Mr. Paxton to stop as his actions were unwelcomed and made her uncomfortable. Mr. Paxton continued with his actions, and Mrs. Johnson continued to ask him to stop. Mrs. Johnson had enough, so she engaged in protected activity by filing multiple sexual harassment complaints with human resources. Human resources did nothing. By this point, Mrs. Johnson feared going to work, so she decided that her only option was to file a charge of discrimination (“charge”) with United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). After she filed with the EEOC, she notified human resources and Mr. Paxton that she formally filed a charge with EEOC.

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