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If you are terminated and your employer hands you a severance agreement, you’ll want to know your rights before you sign anything. More often than not, severance agreements are drafted by an employer’s lawyer with provisions to protect the employer and not you, the employee. In fact, many of these agreements ask you to give up many of your rights as an employee, such as your right to file a lawsuit or a claim with any employment oversight agencies. While you should still seek the advice of a lawyer before signing a severance agreement, here are the top 4 provisions…
Congratulations to Jennifer Spencer for being selected to D Magazine’s annual list of the Best Lawyers in Dallas for her work in labor and employment law. “I’m honored to be included on the list once again,” said Ms. Spencer. “It’s become increasingly apparent in the last year and a half how important it is to have attorneys who advocate for a community’s workforce. A resource like the D Magazine list provides our clients with assurance that they’re working with trustworthy and effective counsel.” Selection to Best Lawyers in Dallas is based on a preliminary nominations process followed by an independent review…
The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects you from the government interfering with your speech – meaning you can typically express opinions (even if they are offensive) without being arrested or charged with a crime. But that does not mean you can say whatever you want online without suffering consequences. It is an oft-cited misconception that freedom of expression (protected by the First Amendment) means you can say whatever you want, whenever you want. Sadly, this myth often leads people to post comments on social media they later regret. Private companies and employers can discipline or fire an employee…
There is a common misconception among employees that you cannot discuss your pay with others. In fact, employees’ right to discuss their salary is protected by law. While employers may restrict workers from discussing their salary in front of customers or during work, they cannot prohibit employees from talking about pay on their own time. In this article, we will answer the most frequently asked questions about salary discussions. We’ll also review the laws that protect salary discussions, as well as their exceptions and limitations. Let’s start by answering the most important question, “Can employers prohibit workers from discussing…
On March 2nd, Governor Abbott officially repealed Texas’ statewide mask mandate with an executive order, effective March 10. Many Texans and leaders of other states have criticized the measure. A Progress Texas poll found that Texans are almost evenly split on Texas’ re-opening and the repeal of the mask mandate. However, major metro areas like Dallas disapprove of the repeal by wide margins—likely because the more populated areas have been hit especially hard by the coronavirus pandemic. As employee rights attorneys, we are fielding a lot of questions about the recent changes to the mask mandate. In this post,…
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected nearly every facet of American life – and every facet of U.S. law to boot. As employee rights lawyers, we have seen the myriad ways coronavirus has impacted workers. Regulatory violations are on the rise and employees are blowing the whistle (where we get the term “whistleblower”) on corporate fraud and wrongdoing. Unfortunately, some of our current laws are not enough to protect whistleblowers during a pandemic. Here are just some of the events that illustrate the need for extra COVID-related whistleblower protection: Corporations are silencing employees from disclosing coronavirus outbreaks in the workplace Employees…
Employers and employees alike have had to comply with evolving health protocols as the world has dealt with the coronavirus pandemic. You have likely learned a number of new medical terms, been informed about symptoms, screening methods, and followed the rush to get most of the world vaccinated. One new term to add to our collective vocabulary is “antibody test.” In the interest of public health and safety, many workplaces have had to implement COVID-19 screening and protocols to reduce the risk of spreading the highly contagious (and deadly) virus. But can an employer require you to take a COVID-19…
After months of partisan deadlock, Congress finally passed a new coronavirus relief package at the eleventh hour (narrowly avoiding a government shutdown and a lapse in benefits for many Americans). While the direct payments portion of the bill was covered (and fought over) extensively, many are unaware of the provisions of this second relief package. In this article, we will break down the six main components of the new relief package: Direct payments Unemployment benefits Rental assistance and SNAP benefits Small business assistance Infrastructure and education Vaccines and healthcare We will briefly review each of the major provisions, starting with…
A few months ago, we outlined what each presidential candidate’s platform meant for employees. With President Joe Biden now sworn in as president, we’ll now take a look at the potential implications for employees as a result of Biden’s pick for labor secretary. While COVID relief has dominated the news, we would like to take a look at the labor policies that are likely to come to fruition now that Democrats control the White House, House of Representatives, and the Senate. In this article, we will take a closer look at: Biden’s pick for Secretary of the U.S. Department of…
Whether you are returning to work or have been working since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, you probably have questions about safety. It is important that your employer take precautions to ensure the safety of all employees, as well as customers, if they want to re-open a brick-and-mortar location. While there are plenty of questions (and arguments) about what is best to protect individual health during this pandemic, two government agencies have provided helpful guidance. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have issued health guidelines for individuals and businesses regarding COVID-19. In…