Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policies: Are They Legal in the Workplace?

In May, Operation Warp Speed, a program with the goal of producing “300 million doses of safe and effective vaccines with the initial doses available by January 2021,” was officially announced. We are now rapidly approaching the January deadline – and it does appear that a vaccine is coming soon. For many employees, the possibility of a vaccine begs the question whether employers can mandate vaccinations in order to return to work. Some would prefer their employers make a COVID-vaccine mandatory to ensure workplace safety. Others are more hesitant. Regardless of where you stand on the issue of vaccines, it’s...

Election 2020: Where the Candidates Stand on Issues that Matter to Employees

The election countdown is on and we think it is important for workers to know where each Presidential candidate stands with respect to workers’ rights. Each candidate has a multitude of proposed policies that, if implemented, would undoubtedly impact employees. We’d like to provide a brief rundown of those policies in this article.

How to Protect Yourself at Work During a Pandemic

Health, wealth, and happiness: It’s what most of us strive for. But 2020 has made attaining each especially hard. Many have lost their jobs, their income, and experienced depression at staggering rates. If you have been fortunate enough to keep working throughout the pandemic, you probably have another concern: staying healthy while interacting with others that could potentially expose you to a deadly virus.

CBS Affiliate Found in Violation of Age Discrimination Protections

Based on our own personal experiences at the firm, it seems employees have some misconceptions about age discrimination, and I can see why. It’s easy to assume that a person in their 40s – likely at the prime of their career – would not fall victim to age discrimination. However, in industries that skew younger (like tech, for instance) it happens more often than we might think.

A SCOTUS Win for LGBTQ Employees!

As an employee rights attorney, I am ecstatic to share the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Thanks to this new decision, federal workplace discrimination protections now extend to LGBTQ employees.

Racial Discrimination in the Workplace: How to Stand Up for Your Rights and The Rights of Others

We are heartbroken over the brutal deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and all the others who have lost their lives to senseless racism. As employee rights attorneys, we have seen racial discrimination in action, and we fight for everyone to be treated with the fairness and dignity they deserve. We also stand with the peaceful protestors and activists seeking long overdue changes.

Q&A About the Families First Coronavirus Response Act: What Employees Need to Know

With the passage of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), employees have questions about what the law does and doesn’t provide to those impacted by the coronavirus and COVID-19. In this article we’ll answer 7 of the most pressing questions employees face while the U.S. prepares for (and deals with) this historic contagion.

Sex, Lies, and Recording in Texas

Proving sexual harassment in the workplace can be exceptionally difficult. When confronted, virtually all harassers claim that harassment never occurred or that their words or actions were taken out of context. Few, if any, people readily admit that they have engaged in harassing behavior.

The ‘Bombshell’ Movie & Workplace Harassment

As Texas employment lawyers, we were some of the first in line to see “Bombshell,” the star-studded film about allegations of sexual harassment against former Fox CEO Roger Ailes and the toxic workplace he oversaw at Fox News. Even though the movie refers to itself as a “fictionalized account” of the behind-the-scenes happenings at Fox, we couldn’t help but notice the realistic depiction of workplace sexual harassment.

Age and Disability Discrimination & Your Rights

Are you facing workplace discrimination based on a disability or your age? Perhaps you’ve been working for your employer a long time, only to discover that with age, your health has declined. Many employees facing health challenges fear discussing their concerns with their employer. However, if you’re having difficulty performing your job due to a disability or age-related health condition, you have rights.

Do’s and Don’ts of Getting Fired [INFOGRAPHIC]

Few things are as disheartening as the realization that your company might be preparing to fire you. You might want to stop working, lash out, or confront your supervisors. Here’s what to do if you think your termination is around the corner – and what not to do if you suspect you may be getting fired. (For more information, see our original blog post here.) If you suspect you’ve been or are about to be wrongfully terminated, contact Jackson Spencer for a consultation.

Whistleblower Protections in the United States

Since Congress launched an impeachment inquiry against President Trump in September, there’s been a lot of talk about whistleblower protections filling the news cycle. Even Texas Republican Will Hurd has expressed the importance of keeping whistleblowers’ identities confidential to encourage exposure of corruption.

Pregnancy Discrimination: Know Your Rights.

Pregnancy can be both exciting and overwhelming. Losing a job or facing discrimination while pregnant is stressful and frightening for any mom-to-be. In 2018, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) awarded $16.6 million in monetary awards for pregnancy discrimination charges, a substantial increase from years past. If you feel you are being treated unfairly due to pregnancy or childbirth, you have rights.

Severance Pay Basics

Understanding a Severance Package Losing a job, especially when unexpected, is a nightmare for most employees. Worrying about finding another job, paying bills, and covering health insurance premiums between jobs stresses any employee who has been terminated or laid off. Fortunately, you can reduce these fears by educating yourself on severance pay basics long before the need arises. Arm yourself with knowledge so that you will know how to respond if the worst occurs. Many employees have been led to believe that severance packages are rare, but according to a recent study, 97 percent of U.S. businesses reported offering some form of severance to...

I think I have a discrimination claim. What should I do next?

Realizing you have been discriminated against at work can be distressing, but there are several steps you can take if you believe you have a discrimination claim. Do you have a disability, and do you notice that non-disabled people always seem to get promoted even though you have been with your company longer and receive similar or better performance reviews? Are you Hispanic, and your non-Hispanic coworkers are always invited to crucial meetings, but you are not? Was part of your sales territory given away after you told your boss about your pregnancy? While some forms of discrimination are easy...

Social Media and the Workplace

With the exception of a few people, almost everyone has a connection to social media. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Snapchat (just to name a few) can be a great way to keep in touch with friends and family. However, your behavior on social media can directly affect your relationship with your employer, so it’s important to know your rights. Can my employer really control what I post on social media? While you have ultimate control over everything you post on social media, employers are well within their rights to create social media guidelines for their employees. Some common guidelines...

I Think I’m Getting Fired. What Next?

Maybe you heard layoffs were happening around the company, and your boss has been surprisingly distant with you. Maybe you saw your position posted on a job search engine. Maybe you have been unfairly treated since you complained about discrimination or took FMLA leave. Or maybe a coworker let it slip: they’re letting you go. Few things are as disheartening as the realization that your company might be preparing to fire you. You might want to stop working, lash out, or confront your supervisors. Here’s what to do if you think your termination is around the corner – and what...

My Company is Breaking the Law. What Should I Do?

Maybe your boss let it slip that the company didn’t report everything it should have to the IRS, or maybe you came across a document that revealed your employer is stealing from its clients. While it might be daunting to think about the possibility of reporting your employer for wrongdoing, there are laws to protect those who report unethical or illegal behavior. These protective laws are called whistleblowing laws, and it can be illegal for your employer to retaliate against you for reporting unlawful behavior. Scroll to the end of this post for a list of many of the laws...

5 Ways to Improve Your Severance Package

Two of the most common questions we are asked are “how do I improve my severance agreement?” and “how do I obtain severance?” While every situation is different and there is no simple answer, we have outlined below five of the steps we undertake in a severance negotiation. While you execute this plan, make sure you sign nothing until you read and understand the whole thing and know your rights. STEP ONE: Decide on Your Goals This can be one of the most important steps. You need to know what you want so that you can go out and try...

Understanding A Severance Package

Employers are not required to offer severance payments to employees they lay off or terminate, unless there is a specific employment contract or company policy requiring the payments. Since most employees are “at will,” the employment relationship can be ended by the employer or the employee for any reason except an illegal reason. Why then would an employer offer to pay severance when it does not have to? Companies often say that severance is being offered to assist employees with their transition out of the company and to help them while they look for another job. That may be true,...

In a Win for Employees, Federal Judge Reinstates Obama-Era Fair Pay Regulations

On March 4, 2019, a federal district court overturned President Trump’s efforts to curtail regulations designed to combat employment discrimination and pay disparity. U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan of the District of Columbia reinstated President Obama’s executive order requiring large companies to submit data to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regarding their employees’ gender, race, ethnicity, and salary. This ruling is a huge win for equality proponents everywhere. For a free consultation with an experienced employment lawyer, contact Jackson Spencer Law at contact@jacksonspencerlaw.com, 972-301-2937, or complete our online intake form. Here’s a little history on the fight for...

Jackson Spencer Law Recognized by Numerous Professional Organizations

From individual honors for name partner Jennifer Spencer to firm-wide awards for their work in labor and employment law, here is a sampling of the recognitions recently earned by Jackson Spencer Law: Best Lawyers in America: US News & World Report: Jennifer Spencer – 2016-2019 Best Law Firms: US News & World Report: 2016-2019 American Institute of Legal Counsel: 10 Best Client Satisfaction Award – 2017-2018 American Institute of Legal Counsel: 10 Best Labor and Employment Attorneys – Texas – 2018 America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators: Jennifer Spencer – 2018 Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters): Jennifer Spencer – 2017-2018 Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters): Jennifer...

If I Ask for More Severance, Will I Lose the Company’s Original Offer?

Laid-off employees are often worried that their former employer will retract the original offer if they ask for increased severance or better terms. While it is technically possible that the company could withdraw the offer, it rarely, if ever, happens. A few have ultimately refused to negotiate, but virtually all have extended the time period for the former employee to accept the original offer. For a free consultation with an experienced severance negotiation lawyer, contact Jackson Spencer Law at contact@jacksonspencerlaw.com, 877-239-6274, or complete our online intake form. Why don’t employers withdraw their original offers when an employee demands more money? Companies...