A former Capitol Hill staffer is suing U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee for disability discrimination, alleging that the congresswoman from Houston ridiculed her poor vision and reading disabilities and failed to accommodate her.
A man who applied for work at the Denton State School is suing the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services, claiming gender bias. His claim: The school just won’t hire men for some positions.
A former manager at Capital Title of Texas has filed suit in federal court in Houston, claiming the company fired her for refusing to color her gray hair. She claims her boss told her to dye her hair because the office was moving from Katy to the Galleria area.
Texas public employees who work under a contract don’t have a property interest in that job once the contract expires. That means they can’t sue for deprivation of property.
Public employees who miss the deadlines for suing under various discrimination laws sometimes get another bite at the litigation apple with a claim under Section 1983. But Section 1983 lawsuits also require public employees to show that their employers had a custom or policy that resulted in discrimination. That’s hard to do.
Employers sometimes think that if they hire “independent contractors,” they won’t have to worry about things like benefits, overtime and the like. But some make the mistake of assuming that merely because those workers sign contracts stating that they’re not employees, that’s enough. It’s not.
Texas employees who claim they have been sexually harassed must file a complaint with the Texas Workforce Commission Civil Rights Division within 180 days of the harassment. But that time limit doesn’t mean that only those acts of harassment that happened in the immediately preceding 180 days will be considered. In fact, any related acts that may have occurred earlier may be pulled into the litigation as part of a continual violation claim.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: When an employee announces her pregnancy, the only appropriate response is “Congratulations!” Anything else may end up being used against you later if things don’t go smoothly.
Disabled employees or those who need FMLA leave aren’t immune from following work rules. But think carefully before you punish them. It is possible to terminate an employee who has announced he needs time off or an accommodation. However, you must have a legitimate reason—and you must be able to demonstrate that the company acted in good faith.
A new Texas Supreme Court ruling on covenants not to compete is good news for employers. The court’s decision in Marsh USA v. Cook moved away from technical questions of contractual enforceability and emphasized the core question of whether the scope of such covenants is reasonable.