The law guarantees employees the right to work free from discrimination based on age, race, sex, national origin, pregnancy, disability and other protected classifications. The Law Office of Jeffrey Goldberg represents both employees and executives before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in the federal and state courts in Texas. Federal and State law prohibit discrimination based upon race, national origin, religion, age, and disability. Federal and state laws prohibit discrimination in employment, availability of housing, rates of pay, right to promotion, educational opportunity, civil rights, and use of facilities based on race, nationality, creed, color, age, sex or sexual orientation.
Federal and state laws protect employees from gender discrimination and sexual harassment. Sexual harassment may involve a hostile work environment created through inappropriate touching, jokes, remarks, or pictures.
A wrongful termination occurs when a person is fired on the basis of race, sex, ethnic origin, pregnancy, disability, religion, sexual orientation or medical condition.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) protects individuals who are 40 years of age or older from employment discrimination based on age. The ADEA’s protections apply to both employees and job applicants. Under the ADEA, it is unlawful to discriminate against a person because of his/her age with respect to any term, condition, or privilege of employment — including, but not limited to, hiring, firing, promotion, layoff, compensation, benefits, job assignments, and training.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires covered employers to pay their employees 1 1/2 times their regular rate of pay for each hour worked over forty in a work week. In Texas, it is illegal for an employer to deny you overtime pay if you are a non-exempt employee. Many employees have been misled about their right to overtime pay. You may be owed overtime pay if:
o You are paid a salary rather than hourly;
o Your job title is manager or assistant manager, but you do very little true management work;
o You are paid on a piece work basis;
o You don’t have detailed records of all the hours you have worked;
o You receive tips.
The FMLA applies to public agencies, public and private elementary and secondary schools, and companies with at least 50 employees. Eligible employees are entitled to up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year for any of the following reasons:
o birth and care of the newborn child of an employee (including doctor visits and pregnancy complications prior to the birth);
o placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care;
o caring for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition;
o medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition;
o qualifying exigencies where the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is on active duty or call to active status as a member of the National Guard or Reserves in support of a contingency operation.
An employee is eligible for FMLA leave if he or she has worked for the employer at least 12 months, at least 1250 hours over the past 12 months, and at a location where the company employs at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius.
It is illegal for any company that does business with the State or Federal Government to make fraudulent claims for payment to the State or Federal Government.
Even if the individual is labeled an “independent contractor”, that individual still has legal rights under the various discrimination and employment laws. If you feel you have been classified or identified as an independent contractor, you may have legal rights. Contact our office immediately.
It is illegal for state and local governmental entities to terminate your employment in retaliation for reporting illegal conduct. The False Claims Act is a federal law that allows people who are not affiliated with the government to file actions against federal contractors claiming fraud against the government. The act of filing such actions is informally called “whistleblowing.”
Whistleblower claims result from fraud in a number of different areas, including:
o Procurement fraud
o HUD fraud
o Medicaid fraud
o Airport Construction
o Medicare fraud
o Energy contract fraud
o Defense Contractor fraud
o Government Health Insurance fraud
o Building and Roadway Construction
o Public works projects and federal government construction
It is illegal for an employer to subject an employee to a hostile environment based on the employee’s national origin, race, disability, age, color, religion or gender.
All 50 states, including Texas, have unemployment compensation or unemployment insurance statutes that must meet federal guidelines; consequently, unemployment insurance (UI) systems around the country share many characteristics. Generally, anyone who is no longer performing personal services for compensation may file a UI claim and try to draw benefits, but must meet various requirements, including monetary eligibility, continuing eligibility, and qualification requirements. These requirements for Texas claimants are found in the Texas Unemployment Compensation Act.