Most employers treat their employees fairly and have safeguards in place to address and correct violations of workplace conduct. In many cases, though, an employer may choose to deliberately violate or look the other way after inappropriate conduct.
Texas is an employment at will state. That means, if you don’t have a contrary employment agreement, a private employer in the state can terminate you for any reason or no good reason at all, so long as the employer’s reason is not specifically prohibited by law. Specifically prohibit reasons include race, age, sex, disability, religion, and national origin. That is, both Texas and Federal law, make it unlawful to discriminate against someone, in employment, on the basis of their race, age, sex, disability, religion, or national original. (Usually, these types of issues must be brought to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) first, by filing a charge of discrimination within 180 days of the discrimination.).
Texas and Federal law also protect employees from retaliation for engaging in certain protected activities. For instance, under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), workers are entitled, in certain cases, to twelve workweeks of leave, in a 12-month period. Taking FMLA leave is a protected activity. Thus, it is unlawful for an employer to deny you FMLA leave (assuming you are entitled to it and have properly applied for it, usually on the employer’s required form). Likewise, it is unlawful, in such cases, for your employer to fire you during your FMLA leave or to retaliate against you, after the fact, for taking FMLA leave. Other protected activities include opposing workplace discrimination, filing an EEOC Complaint, whistleblowing (in some limited cases), and exercising your lawful rights under the workman’s compensation laws.
Because the exceptions to employment at will can be various and complicated, you may need the advice of an attorney. We have a comprehensive knowledge of employment law issues because we represent both employees and employers. This knowledge helps us effectively represent our clients in negotiations or at trial.
We counsel our employment law clients with respect to any number of legal situations and related disputes:
- Wage and Hour Claims
- Sexual Harassment
- Severance Negotiations
- Employment Leave
- Employer Counseling
We actively provide detailed and extensive analysis of the pros and cons of each employment law case. We can determine if settlement or litigation is the most advisable approach for your case.
If you need legal assistance, whether you are a business or an individual, contact our experienced legal team. We can help. (210) 479-3195.