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October 2011 Archives

Employment Eligibility Verification: Information on I-9 Forms

It seems that on the GOP-side of things, a political tussle is taking place regarding the positions that the candidates take towards illegal immigrants.

Therefore, this seems like a good time to review the duties and obligations employers have with respect to illegal immigrants under their employ, especially as these requirements have expanded through regulations promulgated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Employers in Texas are required to complete an employment eligibility verification through a I-9 form within three days after hiring an employee.

Do You Have to Take a Polygraph Test at Work?

Does your current or prospective boss think he or she is like DeNiro’s character Jack Byrnes in Meet the Parents and has your fingers wired up with electrodes?

If so, you should know your rights.

Under the law, employers can’t normally use polygraphs in the hiring process. The law also severely limits how they’re used on the job.

Reverse Discrimination Alleged at Thurgood Marshall School of Law

Patricia Garrison, an employee at Texas Southern University's Thurgood Marshall School of Law, is alleging reverse discrimination against her employer, reports MSNBC.

Garrison started working at Thurgood Marshall School of Law in 2007. She claims that her problems began in 2009 when Dean Dannye Holley joined. Garrison claims that since then she's been removed of a number of duties and has had a lot of her authority taken away.

U.S. Postal Services Faces Huge Employment Related Liabilities

The financially strapped U.S. Postal Service (USPS) doubled its projections about probable liabilities related to employee grievances and lawsuits, reports the Federal Times, a resource for federal government managers.

Employee grievance claims cost the USPS $641 million. The USPS also owes upward of $88 million for payouts related to environmental, contract, and tort claims. The figures came out after a report conducted by postal auditors.

Caviness Beef Packers Settle Allegation of Hiring Discrimination

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), part of the U.S. Department of Labor, announced that Caviness Beef Packers will pay $600,000 to job applicants that alleged racial and gender discrimination at two meat processing facilities, reports the Sacramento Bee.

The workers in the case, ranging from white, black, Asian, and female, totaled 746 people. They will receive back wages and interest. Further, there will be 81 offers of employment as positions become available. According to The Bee, applicants in Amarillo and Hereford will be affected.

Three Tips for Employers During the Texas Drought

The Texas drought has wracked the state's agricultural industry and cost the economy billions, reports the Austin Statesman.

Texas A&M University estimates that the total economic impact of the severe Texas drought will be $8.7 billion. And the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture reports that 96 percent of Texas pastureland is in poor or very poor condition.

Scooter Store Discrimination Alleged by EEOC

The Scooter Store, a nation-wide retailer based out of Texas, which provides scooters for injured and disabled people, ironically, has been sued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) over failure to accommodate a disabled worker.

The EEOC’s lawsuit alleges that the Scooter Store failed to accommodate an employee’s request for a reasonable accommodation for his psoriatic arthritis, which manifested itself after he sustained a knee injury that required absence from work.

In the suit against the Scooter Store, the EEOC alleges that the company refused the employee’s request for time off, and instead fired him. The alleged reason for the firing was job abandonment.

Texas "Jane Doe" Actress Sues IMDb For Revealing Her Age

In some industries age discrimination is so rampant that revealing one's age can create altogether separate litigation. That is the case with a Texas actress of Asian descent with an Americanized stage name who is suing the Internet Movie Database (owned by Amazon) for revealing her age to Hollywood, reports MSNBC.

The actress suing IMDb is identified in the lawsuit as "Jane Doe". She is accusing IMDb of improperly using her legal date of birth to her public acting profile. She claims that she asked for the date of birth to be removed but IMDb did not comply.

LGBT Workplace Summit Comes to Texas

The rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transsexual workers have been in the spotlight lately, with the repeal of "Don't Ask Don't Tell" in the military and the Harvard University study that showed that there was a bias against gay resumes, as reported by FindLaw's Houston Employment Blog.

As a way to reduce discrimination against LGBT people, 126 corporations have banded together and organized a summit in Texas, to be held from October 25-28. The aim will be to advance workplace equality. Up to 2,500 attendees are expected. Some of the major corporations attending will include Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Northrop Grumman.

Explaining the FMLA's Eligibility Requirements

The Family and Medical Leave Act is a federal law that is of great benefit to Texas workers, allowing them to take time off under a number of circumstances. However, like many useful federal laws, it is also quite complicated and requires some navigation. This blog will try and provide you some clarity about the FMLA.

Here are some common questions about the Family and Medical Leave Act:

Age Discrimination Towards 70-Year-Old Alleged Against Trisun

A woman from Jefferson County is alleging age discrimination against Trisun Healthcare, reports the Southeast Texas Record.

Clydell Green's lawsuit against Trisun Healthcare alleges that Trisun terminated her and hired a younger person to replace her. Clydell Green is 70-years- old. She was allegedly told that she was not a good team player.

Retired Delta Pilots Fight for Lost Pension Benefits

Delta pilots are fighting for lost pension benefits, nearly $600 million in total, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Delta, which until 2005, had a major airport hub in Texas, is still quite a big player across the South.

The Delta pilots with the lost pension benefits, who organize under the Delta Pilot's Pension Preservation Organization, will be filing an appeal with the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). The appeal will argue that each pilot lost on average $1,200 after Delta artificially reduced the total pension fund during a bankruptcy, reports the AJC.

EEOC's DHL Complaint: Hispanics at DHL Harassed and Mistreated

At a Dallas warehouse belonging to the shipping company DHL, Hispanic employees were subject to such derogatory names as "wetback", "beaner", "stupid Mexican", and other equally disturbing epithets, reports the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's website.

The EEOC, which has brought suit against DHL Global for harassing and intimidating its Hispanic employees, added that various employees were given severe admonition for using the Spanish language.

Unpaid Black Swan Interns Sue For Pay

The unpaid film interns from the Aronofsky film, Black Swan, have a lawsuit against the producers, asking for fair wages, reports the New York Times.

Led by Eric Glatt and Alex Footman, who interned on the film produced by Fox Searchlight, the plaintiffs argue that the menial work the interns did should have been done by paid employees. For example, Footman, 24, was tasked with making sure the coffee pot was full, taking lunch orders, and taking out the trash. He believes he should have been paid for this kind of work.

Gay Men 40% Less Likely To Get Job Interview

The largest study to look at employment discrimination towards gay men found that gay men were much less likely to receive a job interview offer if their resume indicated that they were openly gay, reports the University of Chicago Press Journals. In fact, the study found that gay men were 40 percent less likely to get an employment interview.

Published by Andras Tilcsik of Harvard University, the research will be published in the American Journal of Sociology. The research techniques used in the study by Tilcsik are the same ones that in the past have been used to investigate hiring prejudice based on race and gender.

Texas Roadhouse Alleged to Have Refused to Hire Older Workers

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently alleged that Texas Roadhouse, a national restaurant chain, engaged in the practice of age discrimination, reports the EEOC website.

The Texas Roadhouse age discrimination allegation stems from the fact that since 2007 Texas Roadhouse has allegedly been discriminating against workers that get to work the front of the restaurant and other visible locations, like bartending. Texas Roadhouse is alleged to have consistently used only people less than 40 years old to work these areas.