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

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.

Employment Lawyer Rasha Zeyadeh

Texas Employment Lawyer Rasha Zeyadeh

Time does not stop for anyone. There are time limits for filing claims against your employer. In fact, state and federal claims have different deadlines for different types of claims. When pursuing a claim against your employer, it is important to note the statute of limitations for the claim you intend to pursue. The biggest mistake I see employees make is waiting too long to pursue a claim. If the statute of limitations for your claim has expired, you will not be able to pursue your claim – even if you have a strong claim. There’s no way around it. Below are some of the most common employment-related claims and each claim’s respective statute of limitations.

Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Harassment, Hostile Work Environment, and Retaliation.

Paige Melendez

Dallas Employment Lawyer Paige Melendez

At first glance, describing owing a debt in any way “good” seems erroneous, but most debts cannot be appealed. For the Texas Workforce Commission or TWC, overpayment decisions that state that a claimant for unemployment benefits has been overpaid and now owe that money back are not out of the ordinary. Typically, overpayment notices occur when a claimant has lost their appeal to qualify for unemployment benefits or the initial claim is found to be invalid. In TWC land, practically everything is appealable and the same is true for overpayment notices. And that is what creates the good news. If you have received an overpayment notice saying your unemployment benefits were overpaid, you have that same 14-day window to submit your appeal either for the overpayment itself or for the issue that resulted in an overpayment. 

To appeal the overpayment determination for federal extended unemployment compensation, the TWC looks at whether the payment was made non-fraudulently, the overpayment was not the fault of the claimant, and that forcing a claimant to repay the amount would go against equity and good conscience. Within those categories the TWC considers things like whether a claimant received benefits even though they knew they were not eligible, whether the overpayment was a result of a decision on appeal, or whether financial hardship will befall the claimant if they are forced to pay it back. 

Austin Campbell

Dallas Employment Trial Lawyer Austin Campbell

This article gives a brief overview of when and to whom a duty to preserve evidence applies under Texas law, and discusses why it is usually important to clearly put your employer on notice as soon as possible if you have a legal claim against it. 

Many times when someone first hires a lawyer to pursue an employment claim, they ask about getting information or evidence from the employer.  Despite how the media present things, there generally is no legal requirement for an employer to turn over any information whatsoever to a current or former employee, even under threat of a lawsuit.  Texas rules generally allows so-called “pre-suit discovery” in limited circumstances, like to preserve information or testimony that might otherwise be lost (for example, by the death of a witness).   

Employment Lawyer Deontae Wherry

Dallas Employment Lawyer Deontae Wherry

In 1993, Congress passed the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) which provides employees the right take medical leave for (1) the birth of a child or to bond with a child, (2) the placement of a child for adoption or foster care, (3) a serious health condition that prevents the employee from his or her job, and (4) the care of the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent who has a serious health condition. In this article, I will focus on the definition of “spouse”, the expanded definition, and highlight FMLA’s key provisions.

“Spouse” was initially based upon the traditional definition of marriage being between a husband and a wife. Put simply, a spouse was only a person who was married to a person of the opposite sex. As society continued to change, this impacted many employees’ ability to care for their significant other or spouse. For example, employers were not required to return the employee to his/her position and could retaliate against them if the employee requested medical leave to care for a person of the same sex with a serious health condition because this was not a FMLA qualifying reason.

Employment Lawyer Rasha Zeyadeh

Texas Employment Lawyer Rasha Zeyadeh

The Muslim holy month of Ramadan is observed by 1.6 billion people around the world. Practicing Muslims will be fasting from dawn until dusk (approximately 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.) beginning on April 2, 2022 and ending on May 2, 2022. Fasting means no food or liquid of any kind. Yes, that includes water! Ramadan is meant to be a time of spiritual discipline – of deep contemplation of one’s relationship with God, extra prayer, increased charity and generosity, and intense study of the Quran. It is a joyous month meant to be shared and celebrated with loved ones.

Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five pillars – or duties – of Islam, along with the testimony of faith, prayer, charitable giving, and making a pilgrimage to Mecca. The practice of fasting is intended to be a reminder of human frailty and dependence on God for sustenance. It reduces the distractions of life to allow time to focus on our relationship with God. Importantly, it provides an example of the hunger and thirst the poor experience, which is intended to encourage empathy for and charity to the less fortunate.

Austin Campbell

Dallas Employment Trial Lawyer Austin Campbell

Summary: This article gives a rundown of judicial elections in Texas: what they are, what positions are up for a vote, and why you should care about them. 

Although many states elect at least some of their judges, as of 2020 Texas is one of only six states to run partisan (party-based) elections for all state judicial positions.  If you were one of the 17 percent of Texans who voted in the March primary for the 2022 midterm elections, like me you probably encountered several pages of candidates for all sorts of judicial positions in your county and across the state.  All kinds of judges, justices—and something called a “justice of the peace”?  Some of the candidates were unopposed in their primaries and might even run unopposed in the general election, while other races had 3 or 4 candidates competing.  Perhaps the information overload of all these judicial elections is one reason for Texas’s incredibly low primary turnout. 

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