Texas Employment Lawyers
Texas Employment Attorneys Passionate About Getting you Results
Have you been treated unfairly or discriminated against in your workplace?
No one should have to undergo harassment, discrimination, or retaliation from their employer. If you’ve dealt with these or other problems at your job, you may be able to sue your employer for compensation.
Texas employment law is complex, often favoring the employer. Don’t take on a big employer yourself. Hire a Texas employment lawyer from Diaz Law Firm and rest easy knowing you have a team of aggressive workplace attorneys adamant about getting you the justice and compensation you deserve.
We know how stressful and difficult it can be to bring a suit against your employer. You rely on work to support yourself and your family, but when that workplace or boss oversteps their bounds and treats you unfairly, its time to speak up.
Let the Texas Employment lawyers at Manual Diaz Law Firm be your voice in and out of court, representing your best interests and fighting hard for your rights.
Call or message today for a free initial consultation. We’re standing by and ready to help.
What is Employment Law?
Employment law is the set of regulations and laws pertaining to a relationship between an employee and their employer. These laws ensure employees are provided with livable wages, safe working conditions, reasonable overtime and holiday pay policies, time off for medical emergencies, and more. Employment laws apply whether you work part-time or full-time, whether you work on a seasonal or year-round basis, and whether you’re a new hire or a long-standing employee. No matter who you are or what your job situation is—you have rights.
If you feel your employee rights have been violated, you can contact an attorney who specializes in Texas employment law for help.
Do You Have a Case Against Your Employer?
Before starting a lawsuit, it’s important to make sure you have a legal reason to sue. Unfortunately, you cannot sue simply because your employer was unkind, because they denied your time off, or because you think their policies are unreasonable—even though those things can seem wrong in their own ways. Their actions need to be illegal for a court to take action. If you’re not sure, it’s always a good idea to check with a local employment lawyer in Dallas Texas first before starting legal proceedings.
Which law did your employer break?
A Texas employment attorney can help you understand the nuances of Texas employment law and how it relates to your employer’s actions. In general, if your employer did any of the following, you may be able to sue:
- Harassed you (sexually or otherwise)
- Discriminated against you (due to your gender, race, national origin, age, religion, or disability)
- Denied you personal leave in the event of a medical emergency
- Paid less than minimum wage, or did not pay for overtime hours worked
- Fired you in response to a previous lawsuit you brought against the company
Can You Present Evidence?
In a legal case, it’s important to have supporting evidence for your claims. Can anyone else back up your statements? Does the company have a history of treating employees this way? Do you have paperwork, emails, or other files that can show their actions?
If you’re not sure, it’s best to talk to a Texas employment attorney. An investigation may be able to dig up the evidence you need to present a strong case.
Starting the Legal Process
If you’re sure your employer broke Texas employment law, and you can provide evidence to support your claims, you may have a case against your employer. The next step is to talk with a Texas employment attorney about the different types of cases. We’ve outlined them below for your convenience.
UNPAID WAGES AND WAGE AND HOUR VIOLATIONS
WRONGFUL TERMINATION / RETALIATION
UNPAID WAGES AND WAGE AND HOUR VIOLATIONS
WRONGFUL TERMINATION / RETALIATION
Types of Employment Law Cases
There are several types of Texas employment law cases. In this section, we’ll go over the major categories addressed by these regulations.
Hostile Work Environment
If your work environment is unhealthy to the point of keeping you from performing your job, you may be able to begin a hostile work environment lawsuit. This goes beyond office gossip and unpleasant responsibilities—it must involve discrimination or harassment based on specific categories.
Additionally, there are a few qualifications that must be met before your workplace can be sued for permitting a hostile work environment. You must be able to prove the discrimination or harassment occurred repeatedly—one instance is not enough to justify a hostile work environment claim. In addition, you must be able to prove the treatment was serious. Occasional jokes are not enough cause to win a lawsuit. Finally, the treatment must be to the degree that you are unable to perform your job.
There are only certain types of discrimination and harassment that are covered under this law, including:
- Unwanted sexual attention
- Racial slurs
- Decreased salary due to an employee’s race, gender, age, religion, nationality, or disability status
- Unnecessary dress codes that violate an individual’s religious beliefs
- Repeated criticism of an employee’s religion
- Harassment of a person due to their gender
- Unwarranted withholding of opportunities, bonuses, and promotions due to an employee’s race, gender, age, religion, nationality, or disability status
If your situation qualifies under one of the above list items (or something similar), you deserve compensation for the unacceptable treatment you’ve received. You may be able to sue your employer for a hostile work environment.
Discrimination cases are similar to hostile work environment cases. They involve a specific set of employer behaviors, usually based around mistreatment of an employee due to their race, gender, age, religion, nationality, or disability status (or other protected category).
Some examples of discrimination include:
- Your employer didn’t offer you a promotion because you do not share the same religion
- Your employer does not accommodate your disability in the workplace
- Your salary is less than your colleagues because of your age, even though you share the same skill set and responsibilities
- Your employer does not allow you to work in a sales- or customer-related capacity because they are uncomfortable with the way your religion asks you to dress
- Your employer withholds promotions or other career opportunities because of your gender
- Your employer refuses to offer you the same training, networking, or career opportunities as other employees due to your race
Discrimination can be obvious or subtle. If you suspect your employer is treating you unfairly due to one of the above-mentioned categories, talk with a local employment lawyer in Dallas Texas. Proof of subtle discrimination can be difficult for an employee to find. However, a legal expert may be able to start an investigation that uncovers a pattern of discrimination across an organization.
There are some reasons that employers are allowed to cite when firing employees, such as showing up late to work repeatedly, mistreating customers, or failing to fulfill responsibilities while at work.
However, there are reasons employers are not allowed to fire employees. An employer is not allowed to fire an employee for being pregnant or adopting a child. A company can’t fire an employee simply because the employee is older than others and nearing retirement age. Your employer can’t fire you because they dislike your religion. Your company cannot fire you for taking time off for emergency medical leave. An employer cannot terminate an employee to retaliate for legal action the employee took against the employer: for example, if you sue your employer, the employer cannot respond by firing you. Employers can’t fire employees over the employees’ race, gender, age, religion, nationality, or disability status.
In Texas, it can be difficult to determine the reason for your termination. Employers are not required to provide a reason. However, if you suspect you are a victim of wrongful termination, call a Texas employment attorney. They may be able to build a case for wrongful termination and secure the compensation you deserve.
Salary and Hours
Finally, if your employer is paying you below minimum wage—or requiring unlawful working hours, such as not providing a lunch break or a day off—you may be able to file a lawsuit against your employer. Texas employment law varies greatly by industry. For example, in Texas, only retail workers are required to have a day off in a 7-day period. Nurses cannot be required to work overtime, but other industries can issue mandatory overtime. Talk with an employment lawyer to find out whether your situation breaks Texas employment laws.
Employment Law FAQ
Yes. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes standards for minimum wages, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor. The FLSA requires employers of covered employees who are not otherwise exempt to pay these employees a minimum wage of not less than $7.25 per hour and at least 1½ times the regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek. Certain occupations and establishments are exempt from the minimum wage, and/or overtime pay provisions.
Please contact our office to schedule a free consultation.
The FLSA protects covered workers without regard to an employee’s immigration status. No employer should have an unfair advantage because he employs undocumented employees and doesn’t pay them.
All employees of certain enterprises having workers engaged in interstate commerce, producing goods for interstate commerce, or handling, selling, or otherwise working on goods or materials that have been moved in or produced for such commerce by any person, are covered by the FLSA.
A covered enterprise is the related activities performed through unified operation or common control by any person or persons for a common business purpose and —
1. whose annual gross volume of sales made or business done is not less than $500,000 (exclusive of excise taxes at the retail level that are separately stated); or
2. is engaged in the operation of a hospital, an institution primarily engaged in the care of the sick, the aged, or the mentally ill who reside on the premises; a school for mentally
3. is an activity of a public agency.
Any enterprise that was covered by the FLSA on March 31, 1990, and that ceased to be covered because of the revised $500,000 test, continues to be subject to the overtime pay, child labor and recordkeeping provisions of the FLSA.
Employees of firms which are not covered enterprises under the FLSA still may be subject to its minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor provisions if they are individually engaged in interstate commerce or in the production of goods for interstate commerce, or in any closely-related process or occupation directly essential to such production. Such employees include those who: work in communications or transportation; regularly use the mails, telephones, or telegraph for interstate communication, or keep records of interstate transactions; handle, ship, or receive goods moving in interstate commerce; regularly cross State lines in the course of employment; or work for independent employers who contract to do clerical, custodial, maintenance, or other work for firms engaged in interstate commerce or in the production of goods for interstate commerce.
Domestic service workers such as day workers, housekeepers, chauffeurs, cooks, or full-time babysitters are covered if:
1. their cash wages from one employer in calendar year 2010 are at least $1,700 (this calendar year threshold is adjusted by the Social Security Administration each year); or
2. they work a total of more than 8 hours a week for one or more employers.
Tipped employees are individuals engaged in occupations in which they customarily and regularly receive more than $30 a month in tips. The employer may consider tips as part of wages, but the employer must pay at least $2.13 an hour in direct wages.
The employer who elects to use the tip credit provision must inform the employee in advance and must be able to show that the employee receives at least the applicable minimum wage (see above) when direct wages and the tip credit allowance are combined. If an employee’s tips combined with the employer’s direct wages of at least $2.13 an hour do not equal the minimum hourly wage, the employer must make up the difference. Also, employees must retain all of their tips, except to the extent that they participate in a valid tip pooling or sharing arrangement.
Some employers incorrectly classify workers as “independent contractors” when they are actually employees under the FLSA. It is important to know the difference between the two because employees (unless exempt) are entitled to the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime pay protections and correctly classified independent contractors are not.
The FLSA contains a two-year statute of limitations (three-years for willful violations). This means that any part of a back-wage claim which was earned more than two years before a federal court lawsuit is filed may not be collectible. To ensure we can complete our investigation before the statute of limitation expires, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
All discussions with our office are confidential and protected by the attorney-client privilege.
Here are a Few Suggestions
• If you don’t have a permanent address, give us your cell phone number, or the number and address of a friend or family member who knows how to reach you.
• If you are not sure of the name of your employer, some suggestions are: take a picture with a cell phone or write down the license number of your employer’s vehicle; do the same for any company names on the vehicle. Do the same for other employers on the job. If you get a paycheck write down all the information on the check before you cash it. If you can, make a photocopy of the check or take a picture of it. Make a note of your job location by writing down the address.
• If there is no record of your hours or pay, start keeping one. Every day you work, write down the time you start and the time you finish. Write down if you took time for a meal break and how long the break was. Write down every time you get paid, with the date and how much pay you received.
Contact a Trusted Texas Employment Lawyer
Discriminatory treatment from an employer should never be tolerated. All employees deserve respect, safety, fair compensation, and consideration. If you’ve endured harsh treatment from your employer, you may deserve compensation for your hardship.
The experts at Manuel Diaz Law Firm have helped many clients recover compensation after mistreatment from an employer. At our firm, we treat our clients like family: we support you, we stand up for you, and we fight for your rights. Contact us today with your employment law questions. We’re ready to become part of your team.