The workplace can be a complicated environment, involving people from a wide variety of backgrounds and even different expectations regarding what constitutes professionalism.
When there is too much ambiguity in these matters, the potential for disputes can be high. That is why employers and employees need to be aware of their rights and responsibilities in the workplace. Moreover, there are steps that employers can take to minimize the potential for conflict, support employees appropriately and guard against liabilities.
Issues That Can Lead to Hurtful and Costly Disputes
Employees and employers in Texas encounter all kinds of workplace disputes, and to prevent or resolve them, it helps to understand what to look for. Here are some of the main issues that can lead to employment litigation:
- Discrimination based on race, gender, religion, age or disability
- Discrimination based on pregnancy
- Discrimination based on sexual orientation
- A generally hostile work environment
- Sexual harassment
- Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) violations
- Wage and hour violations, including employee misclassification and unpaid overtime
- Trade secret disputes
- Disputes over noncompete agreements and severance agreements
- Retaliation against employees who make whistleblower claims or report work injuries
If you believe you have been wronged in any of these ways, speak with an employment law attorney to find out if you have a case.
Steps Employers Can Take
One way to get everyone -- employees and employer -- on the same page is to create an employee handbook and code of conduct. Comprehensive training with regard to job duties and workplace ethics is also important.
While these are all great suggestions for any workplace, it may be difficult for employers to find the time to create handbooks and codes of conduct, as well as ensure compliance with state and federal employment laws and provide appropriate support to employees when complaints do arise.
For more on covering these legal bases, please see Sturm Law PLLC's overview of employer representation. We provide comprehensive employment law services to employees, employers and executives in Houston and the surrounding areas.