Texas has one of the most favorable business climates of any state in the United States. As such, organizations of all sizes chose to come here either for their headquarters or to run part of their business and have employees of all kinds working in the state. No matter how many employees they have, and how closely they follow state and federal guidelines, a business can run into disputes with its employees, potentially leading to employment litigation issues.
At Martin Cukjati & Tom, LLP, we have worked with employers of all sizes to manage and solve employee issues. We know proper planning on the front end can help avoid many employment conflicts. Clearly laying out rules and regulations for the entire life cycle of an employee can help prevent employment litigation. Additionally, developing and providing continuous training for employment related issues can help ensure people are aware of and following the rules. We can review your guidelines to not only make sure you are in compliance with all applicable laws that relate to your business, but also to make sure you have strong policies in place. This can include compliance and guidance around things like Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and parental leave, pay, overtime, time off, discrimination, harassment, substance abuse, employee discipline, and termination, among other issues.
Common areas where we see employment disputes arise include:
- Discrimination: If an employee feels they have been discriminated against, by being passed over for a promotion, disciplined, or fired, the employee may file a claim with the appropriate government agencies to try and hold the company accountable. There are a number of laws that prevent discrimination based on race, sex, national origin, age, and disability, including Title VII, the Civil Rights Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act, to a name a few.
- Wage & Hour: There are strict state and federal laws governing pay rates, hours worked, overtime, and time off that vary by industry and the type of role each employee has. It can be tricky to determine if your business is in compliance with all the various laws and it is important to make sure proper documentation is in place to show that they are being followed.
- Employee Injury: Failure to comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations may result not only in a fine or other punishment by OSHA, but also in an employee being injured. Even if all safety rules are followed, workplace accidents happen and organizations can be involved in dealings with insurance companies and lawsuits to resolve the matter.
- Contracts: There are many contracts that happen over an employment lifecycle. The employment contract is the most common, but depending on the type of business and the role of the employee, non-compete and non-disclosure agreements may also be required. Non-competes might be used when an employee leaves and goes to work for a competitor to prevent them from taking any clients away for a specific amount of time. Non-disclosure agreements are important to keep an employee from discussing the work the company does at all, or taking trade secrets or other confidential company information to a competitor. If these contracts are not properly structured, it can lead to conflicts down the road. Any violations, either by the employee or the business, can also require litigation to resolve.
- Harassment: Harassment of any kind is not tolerated in the workplace. If an employee feels they have been harassed, they may try and hold their employer accountable for not providing a safe work environment. Proving harassment can be difficult and it helps to have an experienced employment attorney navigate the situation with you.
San Antonio Employment Litigation Lawyers
No matter the situation, it is critical for Martin Cukjati & Tom, LLP to partner with our clients. We have trial experience with all types of employment issues. We have dealt with government agencies involved in the area of employment as well. At Martin Cukjati & Tom, LLP, we understand how important it is not only to help protect our clients’ businesses, but also to handle these claims with sensitivity. We aim to help you continue to make a positive workplace for all your employees and want to make sure that a conflict with one employee does not harm your whole business. Ultimately, our goal is to help navigate all employee disputes so you can focus on running your business. If you have an employment related issue you wish to discuss, contact our San Antonio employment litigation attorneys today.