Articles Posted in Discrimination

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. 

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:

Employment Lawyer Rasha Zeyadeh

Texas Employment Lawyer Rasha Zeyadeh

Employment issues will again take center stage at the U.S. Supreme court on January 7, 2022, and appeals related to vaccine mandates are sure to be the main attraction. Alas, vaccine mandates will be squarely before the Court and audiences nationwide will soon receive some clarity from the nation’s highest Court regarding vaccine mandates in the workplace.   

Enforcement of the Biden Administration’s vaccine mandates applicable to government contractors, CMS and large employers had been stayed or partially stayed by various federal courts.  The OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) applicable to most employers having 100 or more employees was stayed by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals prohibiting enforcement of the rule.  However, on December 17, 2021, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, which was chosen by lottery to hear the consolidated appeals challenging the ETS, dissolved the stay that the Fifth Circuit put in place. Thus, employers with 100 or more employees that are not specifically exempt from the standard due to disability or religious belief must now take steps to comply with the emergency rule. Judge Stranch delivered a gripping opinion addressing the question that has been vexing employers since the beginning of the pandemic:

Dallas Employment Lawyer Fadi Yousef

Dallas Employment Lawyer Fadi Yousef

It is no secret that in the past few years companies have been moving their principal places of business from progressive states, like California or New York, to Texas. Texas has been known as a “business-friendly” state, and for good reasons. Among other things, Texas has a healthy economy, a prime location in the center of the country, no state income tax, and affordable cost of living.

One major factor that doesn’t receive much publicity is Texas’s far less-restrictive labor & employment laws. After all, a company relocating thousands of its employees to work in Texas means a lesser risk of violating more restrictive laws in states like California or New York.

Employment Lawyer Rasha Zeyadeh

Texas Employment Lawyer Rasha Zeyadeh

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Love them or hate them, this is the time of the year during which employers are finalizing holiday party plans. After a long pause on holiday parties due to Covid-19, many employers are gearing up for their first holiday party since the pandemic.  Work holiday parties are a time for employees to get together, socialize, and celebrate a year well done. This is your opportunity to shake hands with the movers and shakers. However, holiday parties are notoriously known to pose serious risks for employees, especially if alcohol is served.

Let’s address the big Texas elephant in the room. Texas is an “at-will” state. That means your employer can fire you for no reason or any reason, short of unlawful discrimination or retaliation. In Texas, termination caused by your actions at a work holiday party is no exception to the “at-will” rule.

Employment Lawyer Deontae Wherry

Dallas Employment Lawyer Deontae Wherry

COVID-19 has dictated much of our daily activities over the last 20 months. It seems that COVID-19 is not going away anytime soon neither is the vaccine mandate. Yesterday, President Biden’s administration fulfilled its promise that it would take more aggressive steps in getting more Americans vaccinated. The administration announced additional vaccine mandates affecting more than 100 million workers. In this article, I will explain what this mandate means for employees.

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Employment Lawyer Rasha Zeyadeh

Dallas Employment Lawyer Rasha Zeyadeh

Aside from New York’s magnificent architectural treasures and California’s amazing weather and beautiful beaches, what sets these two states apart from Texas? New York and California have strict requirements for employers to provide meal and rest breaks to employees, while Texas does not.

Under Texas law, there is no requirement for employers to provide meal breaks to employees. Similarly, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA), does not mandate meal breaks. Thus, Texas employees are not entitled a meal break.

Employment Lawyer Deontae Wherry

Dallas Employment Lawyer Deontae Wherry

As a young athlete, I remember the phrase, “Don’t move the goalpost.” 

The phrase is often used in sports to describe changing the criteria, or goal, while the game is still in progress. Outside of the sports arena, the phrase is commonly used as a metaphor when the goal is changed after someone has begun an act or process in an attempt to reach said goal. It may be perceived that a person is placed at an advantage or disadvantage when the goal is changed. Now as a lawyer, sometimes I find myself saying, “Don’t move the goalpost.”

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