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employment law Archives

Disrespectful workplaces can foster harassment

Workplace harassment has a specific legal definition and guidelines. However, disrespect and insensitivity in a Texas workplace can easily bleed over into even more damaging and troubling behaviors. Many human resources professionals emphasize the importance of building a positive culture of kindness and support in the workplace, not only to avoid harassment but also for the benefits it provides to the entire office.

Constructive discharge and workplace discrimination

Some Texas employees may face so much discrimination or harassment at work that they have little choice but to resign. It may then be possible for these employees to take their employers to court on what is known as a "constructive discharge" " claim. However, it might be difficult to prove, and it requires a higher level of harassment or discrimination than what is required to establish a hostile work environment.

After-acquired evidence may be crucial

In a Texas wrongful termination case, the term "after-acquired evidence" might refer to evidence gathered by the company after the employee has been fired. It's common in these cases for the employer to look for valid reasons for termination in the employee's history, in anticipation of a complaint or after the complaint has been filed.

How to avoid harassment at work

Texas employers should make preventing harassment in the workplace one of their top priorities. One way that this can be done is by training employees to recognize and avoid specific actions that could be seen as harassment. For instance, companies can provide examples of behavior to avoid such as asking colleagues on dates or sending emails containing lewd jokes or other inappropriate language.

Bias may be considered discrimination

Employees in Texas and across the country may face discrimination in the workplace. Sometimes, discriminatory practices or behaviors may be overt and obvious, but the pattern is often subtle and difficult to determine. The law is typically broad and inclusive when it comes to discriminatory practices and even bias that makes employees feel excluded based on protected factors such as gender, religion or sexual orientation may constitute discrimination.

Settlement for Disney employees over costume costs

Texas workers who are required to wear uniforms on the job may be interested to learn that Disney employees will receive a settlement totaling $3.8 million in a dispute related to costumes. According to a Department of Labor investigation, two Disney resorts violated overtime pay, minimum wage and record-keeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. One of Disney's violations was that in requiring employees to purchase costumes, the pay to those employees dropped below minimum wage.

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