Wrongful termination often occurs as a result of harassment, discrimination or breach of contract. Discrimination includes unfair treatment due to an employee’s race, nationality, age, gender, disability, color, religion, pregnancy or other factors. It also happens in retaliation for exercising your employment rights or reporting unlawful activity.
We represent employees to recover their minimum wages or unpaid overtime. We also represent employees for all other types of employment violations. We thoroughly evaluate every case to make sure our clients’ rights are protected. Your initial consultation is free, and in most cases involving a violation of your employment rights, we will represent you on a contingent fee basis, meaning you will not have to pay any attorneys’ fees unless we recover damages from your employer.
Wrongful Termination Lawyer
Employees are sometimes nervous about speaking up about the unlawful things their employer is doing. They worry that, if they try to protect their own rights, they may lose their job. Since losing a job can have a devastating impact on their lives, some employees choose to unnecessarily suffer. What these employees don’t know is that any time an employer terminates an employee for making a claim, or participating in a proceeding that accuses the employer of committing discrimination, unlawful pay practices or any unlawful act, that termination is “wrongful.” Essentially, it is a violation for your employer to fire you if you speak up and try to protect your own rights.
It is also a violation for your employer to fire you for making a workers’ compensation claim, taking or requesting medical or family leave, refusing to participate in illegal acts, requesting an accommodation for a disability or pursing any of your employment rights.
Employers violate employment laws every time they retaliate against an employee for sticking up for their rights, or the rights of others. No one should be afraid to fight for the rights that are there to protect them from their employer’s bad practices.
Please contact us is you feel you have been wrongfully terminated by your employer to find out what rights you may have.
Whether it comes with warning or out of the blue, losing a job is an upsetting and emotional but all too common event. In the midst of picking up the pieces, a fired employee should remember the following things.
- First, Texas law provides that upon termination an employer must hand an employee a final paycheck which includes all pay due up to moment of firing and all pay due for accrued sick leave and vacation time. If the paycheck is not offered when the employee is terminated, the employee has a right to make a claim for “waiting time” penalties with the Labor Commission against the employer for up to thirty days until the check is received.
- Second, a fired employee has the right to continue medical coverage and certain other company-sponsored benefits under COBRA. The employer has a duty to inform the employee about these rights, but if it does not, any fired employee who received company benefits should ask about continued coverage under COBRA after termination.
- Third, a fired employee should apply for unemployment benefits, even if the employee thinks that the employer will deny the benefits. If, in fact, the employer denies the benefits, the employee should appeal unless it is very clear that the reason for the firing was employee wrongdoing, such as misappropriation of company property.
- Fourth, if the fired employee suspects that he or she was fired for an improper reason, such as discrimination or retaliation for reporting an employer’s violation of a law to an authority, the employee should seek the advice of an employment lawyer. Not every firing is legally actionable, but a good employment lawyer can evaluate whether the employee has a case to pursue.
- Fifth, while it may seem hard, the fired employee should go out and look for another job. For one thing, the longer a person is unemployed the more difficult it is to find work. Also, employees who have wrongful termination cases have a duty to seek employment to mitigate their damages.
Texas employment laws
With complex federal and state laws regarding employment laws, it’s sometimes impossible for employees to understand exactly what their rights are and what to do about violations without aid from a knowledgeable source. When there is a question or dispute over the treatment of employees, an New York Employment Lawyer identifies if a violation has occurred and what steps to take. an Employment Lawyer handles a wide variety of situations and must know and understand all aspects of employment law.
Employees who feel they have been violated by an employer find themselves in need of guidance. Whether they were wrongfully terminated, discriminated against, harassed, or not paid correctly according to to the law, an employee will need an Employment Lawyer to represent them.
Texas Sexual Harassment Claims – Discrimination Laws
Sexual harassment exists in the workplace in various forms, none of which should be tolerated by you or your employer.
Sexual harassment laws protect both men and women from unwanted advances and hostile work environments. They also protect employees from having their employment, salary, promotion or other component of their work be conditioned on them accepting or tolerating sexual advances.
Title VII and the Texas Labor Code, the laws that govern sexual harassment claims, protect you from retaliation at work when you pursue your claim. The law also requires employees to go through a very specific process in making their claims. When making a sexual harassment claim, it is best if an experienced attorney guides you through the claim process and helps you understand your rights. If you do not follow this very specific process, you may jeopardize your rights to pursue a claim, or may lose your right to pursue a claim against your employer altogether.
If you feel that you have been subjected to a sexually hostile work environment, or if you feel that your work, salary, promotion or conditions of employment have been affected because you were placed in a position where you had to accept, reject or tolerate sexual advances or demands, please give us a call for a free and confidential consultation.
Wrongful termination complaints
Wrongful termination is a common complaint an employment lawyer investigates. Even though in New York an employee can be terminated for any reason, it is the lawyer’s job to see if the termination was fair.
Another common complaint is a person may feel they were denied a position or discriminated against because of their race, gender, age, or sexual orientation. The lawyer will review the circumstances to see if any discrimination occurred.
An employee may also need a lawyer for situations involving a hostile work environment. The employment lawyer investigates to see if the employer has indeed created a hostile work environment for the employee and plans what steps to take in regards to legal action.
In some situations, it may be a contractual issue. The lawyer may check the contract to see if it sufficiently covers the interests of the employee. Contractual issues are commonplace in the workplace.
Wage and Hour Claims
The minimum wage in Texas is $7.25 per hour. For tipped employees, employers in Texas are allowed to reduce the minimum wage to $2.13 per hour in certain circumstances. As plain and clear as this is, employers still violate their employees’ rights by violating the minimum wage standards. Some of the violations include:
- The employer does not pay an employee for all hours the employee worked. This can happen when employers hold back a final paycheck or make deductions resulting in pay to the employee of less than minimum wage. Some examples of impermissible deductions would be for breakage, uniforms, tool rentals, register shortages or other deductions when the deduction results in the employee receiving less than the minimum wage. If the employee is paid minimum wage, no such deductions are permitted at all.
- Working “off the clock” or having meal breaks automatically deducted from a paycheck can result in a minimum wage violation if, after taking the actual time worked into account, the hourly pay falls below the minimum wage.
- If an employer does not pay his employees on the day that they are regularly scheduled to be paid, or if an employee’s paycheck bounces, the employer has committed a minimum wage violation.
There are also common mistakes related to tipped employees:
- Paying a tipped employee the lower rate of $2.13 when the employee routinely makes less than $30 per month in tips or has not been informed that his employer is taking a credit.
- Employers wrongly distributing tip pool money. Employers are allowed to have employees share their tips in a common tip pool, but only if the employer lawfully manages the shared money. If the managers or cooks or even “the house” gets a share in the tip pool, this may be a violation.
- Treating mandatory service charges as tips. If the employer charges a required service charge for large groups, banquets, or any other reason, they must distribute ALL of it, or it does not count as “tips” and cannot be used to satisfy the requirements of a lawful tip pool.
- Paying overtime at a rate of $3.20 an hour or even less. The overtime rate for tipped employees in Texas is $5.76 per hour, not including tips.
If an employer is found to have violated minimum wage laws, the employer must pay the employee all money that is owed and pay them their attorneys’ fees as well. Furthermore, in many cases, they must pay the employee TWICE the amount of wages owed in addition to attorneys’ fees.
Choosing the right Texas Employment Lawyer
Choosing the right Employment Lawyer, in Houston or anywhere in Texas, is an important decision. You need a lawyer who is well versed in employment law and has the knowledge and experience to identify all the possible violations that an employer may be guilty of. Sometimes employers are guilty of multiple infractions at one time. The right lawyer will be able to identify these and make sure you are getting the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to.
If you feel you have been violated in any way, you need to contact us today. We offer you absolutely free legal advice. The consultation is free and you do not have to pay anything unless we win your case for you. We want to make sure that businesses are treating their employees fairly and by the law.