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News Wrongful Termination, Workers' Compensation and Work Injuries

Texas Workers' Compensation is unfair to injured workers in El Paso, Texas.

Written by Mr. Roger Davie on Wednesday, 07 Oct 2015.

Workers' Compensation Laws in Texas are really unfair to injured workers. If you have been injured and your employer does carry workers' compensation then you know how insurance companies deny benefits and do everything they can to deny benefits to injured workers. This recent story from the Texas Tribune highlights the amazing degree of unfairness in the Texas Workers' Compensation System. This is exacerbated by the Texas Supreme Court is really the impetus for this unfairness because [read more]

If you slip and fall at work does your employer have to pay your medical bills and lost wages?

Written by Mr. Roger Davie on Wednesday, 07 Oct 2015.

The Texas Supreme Court recently answered this question in the case of Austin v Kroger.  Under Texas law an employer does not have to carry Texas Workers' Compensation  to protect its employees from injuries.  In fact man of the largest employers in Texas do not carry such coverage but have their own injury benefit plans.  Under Texas law if your employer has Texas Workers' Compensation Insurance Coverage you can usually not sue them for your work injuries (including [read more]

You can be bound to an arbitration agreement even if you did not sign the agreement.

Written by Mr. Roger Davie on Tuesday, 08 Sep 2015.

In the case of Wright v. Hernandez, ___ S.W.3d ___, 2015 WL 4389582 (Tex. App.—El Paso 201) the El Paso, Court of Appeals held that an employee can be held to an arbitration agreement even if the employer did not sign the agreement.  Arbitration is a process where the employee is forced to bring any claim he or she has not to court with a jury but to a third part (usually a lawyer).  The reason that employers force these agreements upon their employees is becau [read more]

Nurses protection. A hospital or mental health facility cannot retaliate against a non-employee who reports a violation of law.

Written by Mr. Roger Davie on Tuesday, 08 Sep 2015.

Nurses and other Health care workers are protected if they report violations of the law. Section 161.135 of the Texas Health and Safety Code States that it is illegal to retaliate against a non-employee who reports a violation of law.  Recently a nurse-anesthetist was working at a hospital and reported that a doctor failed to obtain the informed consent from the patient in violation of Texas Law.  The nurse, who did not work for the hospital, but worked for a separate group [read more]

Sexual Harassment Must be either severe or pervasive.

Written by Mr. Roger Davie on Tuesday, 08 Sep 2015.

The law of sexual harassment has always been that the sexual harassment must be severe or pervasive before it will lead to liability of the employer.  In a recent Texas case the court held that a supervisor’s attempt to include an employee in a group viewing an obscene photograph was not sufficiently severe or pervasive to constitute sexual harassment.  At least not that standing alone.  However, if the employee complains about such action and reports the a [read more]

An employer can win a claim if they can show they would have fired the employee even if the employee had been discriminated against.

Written by Mr. Roger Davie on Tuesday, 08 Sep 2015.

An employer can win a claim if they can show they would have fired the employee even if the employee had been discriminated against. This is know as the "Same Decision Defense" In the case of River Oaks L-M. Inc. v. Vinton-Duarte, ___ S.W.3d ___, 2015 WL 3618950 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2015) the employer claimed that even if the employee was fired after she reported sexual harassment, they would have fired her anyway because she stole merchandise from the [read more]

Before you can sue your employer for retaliation for reporting discrimination does the discriminated employee have to do the reporting?

Written by Mr. Roger Davie on Tuesday, 08 Sep 2015.

In a recent Federal District Court case a Federal Judge in the Western District ruled that the employee was not required to report the discrimination when the discrimination was open and pervasive.  This case involved same-sex harassment which normally always requires that the employer be put on notice of the discrimination before they can be held liable (assuming they have a sexual harassment policy and that the policy is communicated to the employees).  However, the Federal [read more]

What does "at-will" employment mean in Texas?

Written by Mr. Roger Davie on Tuesday, 08 Sep 2015.

What does "at-will" employment mean in Texas? "At-will" employment means that your employer can fire you with or without cause.  In other words your employer can fire you for no reason at all or even a bad reason as long as it is not an illegal reason.  There are many illegal reason (race, color, religion, sex, age, discrimination, national origin to name a few), but you cannot  be fired if you have an actual contract of employment.   So what constitutes a cont [read more]

What evidence do you have to have to prove discrimination? Apparently "Old Fart" comment was enough.

Written by Mr. Roger Davie on Tuesday, 08 Sep 2015.

When suing for discrimination there has long been an issue about what evidence is need to prove discrimination.  There has been a notion that many discriminatory statements by supervisors are not evidence of discrimination but are simply what are known as "stray remarks".  This "stray remark" doctrine has allowed Judges to basically eliminate legitimate discrimination claims from even going to jury because the Judge believes that the remarks are not sufficient to prove di [read more]

President Obama announces paid time off for Federal Contractors

Written by Mr. Roger Davie on Tuesday, 08 Sep 2015.

On Labor Day President Obama announced that he had issued an executive order that Federal Contractors are now required to provide up to 7 days of paid days of sick time (based on an accrual system for time worked).  This order only applies to employers who do Federal Contracts. "Right now, about 40% of private-sector workers -- 44 million people in America -- don't have access to paid sick leave," Obama said in announcing the order. "Unfortunately, only Congress has the power [read more]