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.

Austin Campbell

Dallas Employment Trial Lawyer Austin Campbell

Summary: This article discusses Texas conflict-of-law rules as they apply to non-compete agreements, and some ways that employers may try to get around those rules. 

Various articles we have published address in general what a non-competition agreement is and what is required for one to be enforceable in Texas.  But with Texas increasingly becoming a hub for large or even multinational companies, it can be much more confusing for workers to figure out what a non-compete their company insists they sign even means.  That is especially true as companies may demand that employment documents be governed by some other state’s laws, or even another country’s.  

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. 

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:

Austin Campbell

Dallas Employment Trial Lawyer Austin Campbell

Summary: This article gives a very brief overview of what you can do if you are or were a federal employee, settled an MSPB appeal with the government, and are now concerned it is breaching its agreement. 

Say you’re a federal employee who, unfortunately, had to file an appeal with the Merit Systems Protection Board (“MSPB”).  Perhaps you were improperly reduced in grade, removed from your position, or you were subjected to a prohibited personnel practice.  A final hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) with the MSPB may be the way to fix the situation.  Other times, before the hearing you and the federal agency you work(ed) for may be able to work out some deal to put an end to the situation, like them reinstating you, paying you lost wages, agreeing not to sabotage your career, or the like.

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.

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.

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.

Austin Campbell

Dallas Employment Trial Lawyer Austin Campbell

One of the more esoteric (arguably boring) concepts in law is the idea of “standing”—that is, what kinds of disputes the Constitution allows courts to consider, and who can bring them.  To put it another way, “standing” is about whether someone is allowed to sue someone else in the first place.  However, standing to sue is often directly tied to whether someone’s rights are protected by law.

 The new abortion law that took effect in Texas on September 1, 2021, is controversial for many reasons.  This article focuses on just one of those reasons: the law is enforced through a “bounty” provision that may allow anyone, anywhere, to sue someone for knowingly aiding or abetting—or even just intending to aid or abet—an abortion more than six weeks into a pregnancy.  The plaintiff in that situation can win a bounty of $10,000 plus costs and attorneys’ fees.  This article places that provision in context with the rules of standing for qui tam whistleblowers and other employment claims to point out just how much of a sea change it represents.  

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