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June 2010 Archives

Can An Employer Legally Retaliate Against An Employee's Family?

An interesting U.S. Supreme Court case will soon determine if a company can retaliate against an employee's friends, relatives, family, or spouse after an employee files a discrimination claim. The law currently does not allow for workplace retaliation against people who file discrimination claims, but does not say anything about retaliating against an employee's friend in the workplace. However, Associated Press does state that judges have ruled that the law does not allow people who haven't complained of discrimination to file a retaliation suit.

Sexual Harassment Claims at Applebees Lead to EEOC Lawsuit

Five women who claim that they were sexually harassed while working at an Applebee's Neighborhood Grill and Bar restaurant in Bismarck, North Dakota are now filing a lawsuit with sexual harassment claims against the company, alleging that they were subjected to working in a sexually hostile environment.

KXnet.com reports that the U.S Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has filed the federal lawsuit against Minot-based Food Management Investors Inc. and Apple Core Enterprises Inc., who do business as Applebee's restaurant in Bismarck. The lawsuit seeks financial damages and asks the court to require Apple Core Enterprises and FMI to adopt a sexual harassment prevention policy.

Employee of Viva Railings Alleges FLSA Violations

An overworked employee of Viva Railings claims that he quit working for the railing manufacturer because he wasn't being paid proper wages for working overtime, a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The Southeast Texas Record reports that an overtime lawsuit has been filed against the company and that the plaintiff, William Rotkis, is hoping to collect lost wages. In addition to lost overtime pay, the man is seeking damages for physical pain, mental anguish, emotional distress, lost wages and benefits, plus interest, attorney's fees and court costs.

Walmart Employee Claims That he Faced Homophobic Discrimination

A former temporary Walmart employee at a Las Vegas Walmart store has filed a complaint with the Nevada Equal Rights Commission, alleging that he faced discrimination based on his sexual orientation at the world's biggest retailer.

The Advocate reports that 18-year-old Fernando Gallardo quit his position at Walmart because of the harassment and humiliation that he faced each day. The teenager claims that a supervisor straight up asked him if he was gay in front of four of his coworkers. After he told his supervisor "yes," he said that he was alienated from then on.

New DART Policy to Extend Rights to LGBT Employees, Or Will It?

The Dallas Area Rapid Transit authority claims that they're updating their nondiscrimination policy to disallow discrimination against gay and transgender employees. However, some people in Dallas' LGBT community feel that the language of the new policy will not necessarily grant gay employees any new rights.

The Advocate reports that the agency's updated policy reads as follows: "DART is committed to hiring, promoting and retaining the best qualified persons in all positions and, except to the extent permitted by federal and/or Texas law, DART will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other characteristic protected by law."

Woman Claims She Was Sexually Harassed by Work Supervisor

A female employee of Superior Energy Services has filed a lawsuit against the company because she claims that she was a victim of sexual harassment and that her civil rights were violated while working with the company.

The Southeast Texas Record reports that the alleged sexual harassment victim, Mindy Hasler, filed a lawsuit against Superior Energy Services on June 11 in the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division. The woman has a Texas employment lawyer representing her in the case and hopes to recover damages from lost income, humiliation, embarrassment, emotional distress, mental pain and suffering, fear and damage to her reputation, punitive damages and court costs.

How to File an Unemployment Insurance Appeal

It's happened again, there's another downturn in the economy and you've been let go by your employer. Luckily you qualify for unemployment insurance. You apply, but what if the award doesn't seem right, then what?

After the Texas Workforce Commission ("TWC") reviews a request for Unemployment Insurance ("UI"), it will issue a decision based on the information you and your employer provide. If you do not agree with TWC's decision, you may appeal the decision by requesting an Unemployment Insurance hearing.

Male Nurse Alleges Title VII Violations

A male licensed vocational nurse claims that he lost his job with Mental Health Mental Retardation Services in Texoma and was given no reason for his termination. Court records show, however, that the nurse was replaced by a female employee.

The Southeast Texas Record reports that the nurse Mark Murray is turning his termination into a gender discrmination case, alleging violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. With a Texas employment lawyer, Mark Murray has reportedly filed a lawsuit against Mental Health Mental Retardation Services in the Sherman Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

Texas De Brazil Pays Back Wages to Hundreds of Workers

Texas De Brazil Restaurant is known for their juicy steaks and South American cuisine, but the U.S Department of Labor says that the company may start to become well-known for their violations in overtime pay among employees.

The Dallas-based restaurant chain has reportedly miscalculated hundreds of workers' overtime wages and has agreed to pay a $177,502 settlement in overtime back wages to 715 former and current waiters. Associated Press reports that the payouts will go to employees in six different states, with the company agreeing to pay $26,979 for 119 employees in the Dallas and Fort Worth areas. In addition, Texas De Brazil Corp. will be paying $22,662 for 90 employees in Virginia, $79,638 for 310 employees in Florida, $9,563 for 64 employees in Colorado, $14,574 for 42 employees in Tennessee, and $24,086 for 90 employees in Illinois.

Texan Bank of America Employees Join Nationwide Lawsuit

The nation's largest bank is now facing an employment lawsuit for allegedly failing to pay overtime and other wages to several Bank of America employees in California, Florida, Kansas, Texas, and Washington. The suit, which was filed in Kansas City last Friday, consolidated 12 lawsuits against the company.

Reuters reports that the lawsuit is now seeking nationwide class-action status, which could eventually cover more than 180,000 workers across the country. If Bank of America is found guilty of Fair Labor Standards Act violations, the company may be forced to payout over $100 million.

When is a Person Entitled to Unemployment Benefits?

If a person is put out of work at no fault of his or her own, then that person is usually entitled to receive unemployment compensation. This compensation is meant to provide temporary financial help to people who are actively searching for full-time work after they've been put out of a job.

The Texas Unemployment Compensation Act is the law that governs the unemployment insurance benefits in the state of Texas. Under this law, Texans are allowed to collect money during unemployment when they have earned wages in at least two of the past four base period calendar quarters. Wages during this base period are used to calculate the benefit amounts that you will receive.

Doctor Wins Discrimination Case Against UT Southwestern

University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center has been ordered to pay $3.6 million to a former doctor because of discrimination based on race and religion. The outcome of the lawsuit has certainly turned some heads in the Dallas community and has surprised many.

LawyersAndSettlements.com reports that Dr. Naiel Nassar, a Muslim and Egyptian native who began working with UT Southwestern in 2001, sued the hospital after alleging retaliation. His Texas employment lawyers stated that the doctor was a well-respected physician in the hospital's HIV Clinic, but that he was never promoted because of his race and religious beliefs.

Did Google Discriminate on the Basis of Age?

Brian Reid claims that he was terminated from his position as a Google director because of his elderly age, but the 54-year-old man is now firing back at Google Inc. with a legal claim. The former director says that he was constantly being harassed on the job, where he was criticized for being "sluggish," "lethargic" and "an old fuddy duddy."

According to the Los Angeles Times, a California appeals court recently ruled that Brian Reid presented sufficient evidence of age discrimination to have his case brought before a jury. His employment lawyer, Paul Killion, argued that his client was hired with Google at 52 years of age when the company wanted to increase their credibility with lenders. But since his hiring, he has faced age discrimination to a youth-oriented corporate culture.