Texas Employment Law Update

Texas Employment Law Update

A Resource for Texas Employers

Category Archives: Retaliation

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Oral Complaints of Wage and Hour Violations Sufficient to Provide Protection from Retaliation

Posted in Case Summaries, Retaliation, Wage & Hour
The Fair Labor Standards Act is the federal law that requires most employers to pay a minimum wage and overtime.  The FLSA also includes an anti-retaliation provision that prohibits an employer from discharging any employee who has "filed a complaint" under the FLSA because of that complaint.  The issue at the high court in Kasten v. Saint-Gobain… Continue Reading

USERRA Provides No Cause of Action for Hostile Environment Discrimination

Posted in Case Summaries, Discrimination, Harassment, Retaliation
In an issue of first impression, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (the federal appellate court hearing cases from Texas), held that the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) provides no cause of action for a hostile work environment that is created because of a service member’s military service.  The Plaintiffs, in Carder… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Blesses Cat’s Paw Theory of Discrimination

Posted in Case Summaries, Discrimination, Judicial Updates, Retaliation
The U.S. Supreme Court recently considered the circumstances when an employer may be liable for employment discrimination based on the unlawful, discriminatory animus of an employee who influenced, but did not make, an ultimate employment decision.   This theory is commonly referred to as the Cat’s Paw theory derived from fable about the monkey who convinces the cat… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Recognizes Third-Party Retaliation Claims under Title VII

Posted in Case Summaries, Discrimination, Judicial Updates, Retaliation
The U.S. Supreme Court announced that employees, who never engaged in protected activity, can bring third-party retaliation claims against their employers when they suffer an adverse employment action due to their connection with a person who has engaged in protected activity. The facts of Thompson v. North American Stainless are straightforward.  In February 2003 North American Stainless was advised… Continue Reading

New Filing Reminds Employers of Employee Protection for Jury Service

Posted in Discrimination, Retaliation
Barry Shlachter of the Fort Worth Star Telegram reports today on an employment dispute you rarely see these days.  Shlachter profiles a new lawsuit filed by Saginaw resident Corey Gillespie against Dee King Trucking of Amarillo.  According to the article, Gillespie (a relatively new employee (and importantly not an independent contractor) with the company) was summoned for jury duty in… Continue Reading

City of Houston Adds Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity as Prohibited Types of Discrimination

Posted in Discrimination, Harassment, Human Resources, Retaliation
By Executive Order dated March 25, 2010, Houston Mayor Annise Parker, added sexual orientation and gender identity as protected categories under the City’s anti-discrimination, harassment and retaliation policy.  The Order prohibits discrimination, harassment and retaliation based on gender identity and sexual orientation in all of the City’s employment, contracting and vending activities and in the provision and accessing of… Continue Reading

Last Rites for Neutral Absence Control and Maximum Duration of Leave Policies?

Posted in Retaliation, Workers' Compensation
For more than 15 years Texas employers have used the application of uniformly enforced neutral absence control policies setting a maximum duration an employee can be away from work as a defense to workers’ compensation retaliation claims.  The defense was first solidified by the Supreme Court of Texas in in its 1996 Continental Coffee Prod. v. Casarez case.  See 944… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Holds Collective Bargaining Agreement Can Require Arbitration of Age Discrimination Claims

Posted in Arbitration, Discrimination, Harassment, Retaliation
Today, the U.S. Supreme Court held that provisions in collective bargaining agreements that clearly and unmistakably require union members to submit statutory discrimination claims to the grievance and dispute resolution provisions of the agreement are binding and enforceable.  In 14 Penn Plaza LLC v. Pyett ,  a dispute arose over a commercial office building’s reassignment of night watchmen employees (whose duties… Continue Reading

EEOC Charge Filings Surged in 2008

Posted in Discrimination, Harassment, Retaliation
The EEOC recently released the latest statistics detailing the number of charges of discrimination filed in 2008.  Last year marked the largest number of charges filed in a single year totaling 95,402 charges of discrimination.  While every category of charges increased (and the total increased 15.2 percent over 2007), charges of age discrimination and retaliation increased… Continue Reading