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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. 

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.

Paige Melendez

Dallas Employment Lawyer Paige Melendez

The United States, on a nationwide scale, protects military service members in several ways through the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act or USERRA. One of the ways is to require employers to reemploy service members after their service obligations are completed subject to a couple of extra requirements. But what about the lone star state? The good news is that Texas has laws to protect Texas military forces that track the protections extended to national military forces under USERRA. Chapter 437 of the Texas Government Code is the primary location for these employment protections.

Like most bodies of law, Chapter 437 has multiple provisions that apply to service members, but this article is intended to briefly hit upon 1) who is covered, 2) what that coverage means, 3) how do you become eligible for those protections, and 4) what do you do if your employer isn’t as familiar with the law as you surely will be after you finish reading. 

Paige Melendez

Dallas Employment Lawyer Paige Melendez

For employers and employees alike it is becoming apparent that there is a trend of employees leaving their workplaces. In Texas, the at-will doctrine allows an employee to leave for any reason or no reason, but sometimes resignations can be a bit more complicated. For employees it is complicated because resignations can be and should be used strategically rather than a simple decision to leave a job. To use a resignation strategically, there are a few things to consider and think about before pulling the plug. 

First and foremost, leaving a job can evoke questions about eligibility for unemployment benefits. In Texas, resignations, except for narrow exceptions related to “good cause connected with the work,” can be fatal to an application for unemployment benefits. While every case is different, resignations likely spell the end for unemployment benefit eligibility. Yet, it ultimately comes down to the Texas Workforce Commission’s decision. Therefore, if unemployment benefits are part of the financial planning underpinning a resignation, it is important to keep this in mind.

On March 11, 2021, President Biden Signed the American Rescue Plan Act (“ARPA”) into law. The ARPA extends the unemployment benefits that were available under the March 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”) and the December 2020 Consolidated Appropriations Act, (both of which were set to expire after March 14, 2021) through September 6, 2021. 

To reap the benefits of the ARPA, you must meet your state’s eligibility requirements. In the state of Texas, if COVID-19 is the only reason you cannot work, you are considered able to work according to the Texas Workforce Commission (“TWC”). Hence, in order to remain eligible for benefits, you must be able and available to work and search for work as instructed by the TWC. Unless you are exempt, the number of work search activities you must complete and report each week is determined by your county of residence. 

However, according to the TWC, each benefits case is evaluated on an individual basis. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the TWC has compiled a list of reasons benefits would be granted even if you refuse suitable work. Among those reasons are if you are 65 years or older, and/or have a medical condition, like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, or a weakened immune system, or at a higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19, and/or if someone in your household is at high risk for contracting COVID-19. 

fadi-yousefWhat is mediation?

You’ve filed a complaint with the EEOC, OSHA, or the Texas Workforce Commission and were told that your case will be referred to mediation. Or your own employer’s internal grievance process includes mediation as an option. But what is mediation? Is it a good option?

Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). ADR could mean many different things, but in short, it means settling disputes without having to litigate the case in court. Examples of ADR include mediation, arbitration, or even direct negotiations.

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