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.

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. 

Dallas Employment Lawyer Fadi Yousef

Dallas Employment Lawyer Fadi Yousef

On March 3, 2022, President Joe Biden signed into law new legislation banning the use of arbitration clauses in employment contracts that force victims of sexual assault and harassment to pursue their claims in private arbitration rather than in open court. The legislation passed Congress with bipartisan support and has been described as one of the most significant workplace reforms in history. It is estimated that about 60 million Americans are subject to arbitration clauses.

The law allows victims of sexual assault and harassment to have their day in court and to speak publicly about their cases. Until now, victims who had signed an arbitration agreement with their employers were forced to bring their claims in a private and largely employer-friendly arbitration process, where cases are typically decided by a single arbitrator instead of a jury.

Paige Melendez

Dallas Employment Lawyer Paige Melendez

On February 22, 2022, Governor Abbott penned a letter to the Texas Department of Family Protective Services (“DFPS”) in which he imposed a mandate on the State agency to investigate the parents of children who are undergoing any type of gender transitioning treatment. To call the tone and aim of this letter transphobic would be an understatement. 

More importantly, the fact that Governor Abbott felt emboldened enough to send a transphobic order to the DFPS should act as a call to action. The February 22, 2022 letter is a prime example of how far we have come and yet how far we still have to go in the fight for equal rights. It is an example of all the protections we do not have because, in spite of Bostock County being decided by the Supreme Court, our state entities are not bound to follow those guidelines.  Governor Abbott had the audacity to direct a state agency and licensed professionals to directly harm LGBTQIA+ children by deeming gender reassignment surgeries and treatment as child abuse. This is a clear sign that the Governor’s office is either indifferent or blind to the trials and tribulations that besiege an already marginalized minority.

Employment Lawyer Rasha Zeyadeh

Texas Employment Lawyer Rasha Zeyadeh

The death by suicide of Cheslie Kryst was a big wake up call. Mental illness is prevalent amongst Americans now more than ever. According to data collected by Mental Health America, Texas is the second most prevalent state for mental illness.  As a Texas employee, you should be aware of the resources available to you. 

Historically, many cultures have viewed mental illness as a form of religious punishment or demonic possession. Negative attitudes toward mental illness persisted into the 18th century in the United States, leading to stigmatization of mental illness, and confinement of mentally ill individuals. As a society, we still have negative views of and oftentimes downplay the severity mental disabilities. In fact, I just watched an episode of the Bachelor where one contestant mocked another because she suffered from ADHD. I was disgusted by such a display of ignorance, but at the same time, was proud that mental health was being talked about on a such a widely televised platform. 

Employment Lawyer Deontae Wherry

Dallas Employment Lawyer Deontae Wherry

Perhaps you have filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and you have been requested to respond to the employer’s position statement. But, you do not know where to start. You may be asking yourself a few questions such as “What is a position statement?”  and “What should be included in my response to the employer’s position statement?”. This article will, hopefully, answer some of your questions concerning your response to the employer’s position statement. 

A position statement is the employer’s responsive statement to the claims presented in the employee’s charge of discrimination. It is simply the employer’s opportunity to share its version of the facts. While the EEOC states a position statement should be “clear, concise, and complete,” position statements are often the complete opposite. They are generally inundated with policies that are unrelated to the claims at hand and a host of issues concerning the employee’s performance. However, do not panic—here are a few tips:

Contact Information