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. However, no matter how many people a business employs and how hard they try to follow state and federal guidelines, businesses often run into disputes with their 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. For example, clear business 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 protect your employees and prevent future problems by creating awareness in the workplace. Finally, we can review your company policies and handbook to help you stay in compliance with applicable laws and implement strong policies to protect your employees. 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.
Discrimination: If an employee feels they have been discriminated against by being passed over for a promotion, disciplined, or fired, they may file a claim with the appropriate government agencies to try and hold the company accountable. Several laws 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 name a few.
Wage & Hour: Strict state and federal laws governing pay rates, hours worked, overtime, and time off. Laws vary by industry and the employee's organizational role. Because of the complexity of the law, it can be tricky to determine if your business complies with all the laws, and it is important to make sure proper documentation is in place to show your business's compliance.
Employee Injury: Failure to comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations may result in a fine or other punishment by OSHA if an employee is 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: Many contracts are drafted and agreed to over an employment lifecycle. The employment contract is the most common, but depending on the type of business and the employee's role, non-compete or non-disclosure agreements may also be required. For example, non-compete agreements might be used when an employee leaves and begins working 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 company's work or sharing trade secrets or other confidential company information with a competitor. If employment contracts are not properly structured, conflicts down the road inevitable. Violations, either by the employee or the business, may require expensive litigation to resolve.
Harassment: Harassment is not tolerated in the workplace. When employees feel harassed, they may try and hold their employer accountable for not providing a safe work environment. However, proving harassment can be difficult, and it helps to have an experienced employment attorney navigate the situation with you.
No matter the situation, it is critical for Martin Cukjati & Tom, LLP to partner with our clients. We have dealt with government agencies involved in the area of employment and litigated employment claims. At Martin Cukjati & Tom, LLP, we understand how important it is to help protect our clients and handle these claims with sensitivity. In addition, we aim to help you continue to make a positive workplace for all employees. Ultimately, our goal is to help navigate all employee disputes so you can focus on running your business. If you need help with an employment-related issue, our attorneys are ready to help. Contact our San Antonio employment litigation attorneys today.