A serious problem in the workplace can be an all-consuming concern. People who are denied fair pay, suffer adverse consequences when they try to take family and medical leave or are impacted by other employer mistreatment endure tremendous strain.

employment law issues:

  • Unpaid overtime and other wage and hour claims
  • Employee misclassification in order to deny overtime pay, avoid payroll taxes or gain other financial advantages at workers’ expense
  • Family and medical leave rights
  • Employer retaliation, including wrongful termination
  • Sexual harassment
  • Employment discrimination in all forms — including pregnancy discrimination and age discrimination as well as violations of the rights of workers in other protected classes
  • Whistleblower protection for individuals who report their employers’ illegal activities

Wage And Hour Attorney

Do you work overtime without receiving overtime pay? Are you ordered or expected to perform work “off the clock”? Perhaps, if all the hours you actually work are taken into account, your employer is avoiding paying you minimum wage. These are just a few common pay-related practices that may be illegal. They are all worth discussing with a qualified employment lawyer.

It is one thing for employers and supervisors to try to get maximum productivity from workers. But if they violate the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) or other laws to do so, they must be held accountable. At the Moreland Law Firm, we take action for victims of wage and hour violations, unpaid overtime, and other unlawful practices.

You can turn to a law firm for personal attention to your concerns involving:

  • Unpaid overtime claims
  • Off-the-clock work, including being told you must work before clocking in, keep working after you clock out or work through meal and rest breaks
  • Being told that you must work extensive overtime without pay because you receive a salary
  • Being fired, demoted, disciplined or otherwise retaliated against by your employer for reporting suspected unfair compensation practices

Employee Misclassification

Are you required to work overtime without full compensation for those extra hours? Do you believe you should be eligible for overtime pay, insurance coverage and other benefits — but have been told you are not because you are an independent contractor? These and other violations of workers’ rights can often be traced to the intentional misclassification of employees.

Increasingly, companies in Texas and nationwide are being exposed and held accountable for employee misclassification. They categorize workers in improper ways to avoid the costs of payroll taxes, minimum wage, overtime pay requirements and employee benefits. Misclassified workers often suffer severe financial and personal consequences.

Actionable violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and other laws may include:

  • Wrongfully classifying workers as independent contractors rather than employees of the company to reduce labor costs and/or avoid providing legally required protections
  • Misclassifying nonexempt workers as “exempt” from minimum wage requirements and overtime pay
  • Denial of proper pay to salaried workers who are required to work substantial overtime without overtime compensation

Family And Medical Leave Rights

Were you fired because you took leave from your job to deal with your own or an immediate family member’s serious health condition? Have you suffered retaliation after requesting a leave that was protected under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)?

Get advised of your legal rights and options if, for example, you have been:

  • Terminated for taking a leave for any reason covered by the FMLA, such as caring for yourself as a result of your own illness or injury; the need to care for your spouse, child or parent; or in relation to the birth or adoption of a child
  • Unjustifiably disciplined by your employer in retaliation for taking a protected leave — even if that disciplinary action is for an alleged violation of an absenteeism policy
  • Subjected to pregnancy discrimination or another form of employment discrimination

Employer Retaliation

Employers in the Austin area and across Texas terminate workers for many reasons. In the vast majority of cases, they may have had the legal right to do so. However, if you believe you were fired in retaliation for reporting or objecting to what you believed to be illegal activity, you should speak with an experienced employment lawyer. Were You Fired Because You Reported Discrimination, Harassment, Fraud Or Unfair Pay Practices?

A law firm may be able to provide guidance, counseling and representation for you if your firing or serious workplace disciplinary action was a result of:

  • Your complaint or report of illegal activity in the workplace — such as a violation of wage and hour laws, discrimination or sexual harassment
  • Employment discrimination based on your race or national origin, gender, age, disability or other characteristics covered in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • Pregnancy discrimination — or because you exercised your lawful right to take family and medical leave

Sexual Harassment

Are you working in an environment that has become intolerable due to sexual harassment? Have you been fired, threatened or disciplined because you resisted or complained about harassment? This abusive activity takes many forms, ranging from pervasive sexual comments to demands for sex and worse. If you are a victim of sexual harassment, you should consult competent legal counsel.

No one should be subjected to a hostile work environment or asked for sexual favors, especially while on the job. All too often, victims of harassment feel they have no choice but to put up with the activity or quit.

The many activities that may justify legal action against your employer include:

  • Unwanted sexual advances
  • Requests and demands for sexual favors, often accompanied by threats of termination, poor performance reviews or demotion
  • A hostile work environment, such as when sexually explicit comments or discussions are tolerated or encouraged
  • Employer retaliation for filing a complaint about sexual harassment, resisting sexual advances or ending a sexual relationship

Employment Discrimination

Have you been fired or disciplined, or have you suffered other mistreatment on the job because of your race, gender, age or other protected characteristics? Whether you have a valid, strong employment discrimination case will depend on many factors.

  • Workplace discrimination based on race, national origin or religion
  • Gender and pregnancy discrimination
  • Age discrimination against workers over 40
  • Unlawful employer retaliation for reporting discrimination, harassment, violations of wage and hour laws or other illegal activity within the company
  • Systematic inequities within companies, such as failure to promote or pay certain workers fairly due to their race, gender or other protected characteristics

Pregnancy Discrimination

Gender inequality and discrimination remain a reality in many work environments around Austin and San Antonio, across Texas and nationwide. Among the most frequent types of discrimination that women face is unlawful treatment when they become pregnant. If you have been fired, disciplined or otherwise mistreated because of your pregnancy, contact an attorney.

  • ou have been terminated, disciplined or threatened for taking leave
  • You are being unlawfully denied your right to take a protected family and medical leave for the birth of your child
  • Soon after notifying your employer of your pregnancy, your ability to do a job you have performed well for a significant period is being questioned

Age Discrimination

Were you fired from your job and replaced with a younger, less-qualified person? Are you a professional or skilled worker over 40 who has been subjected to unequal treatment because of your age? Retain informed counsel if you are a worker whose legal rights have been violated in the Greater Austin and San Antonio areas and across Texas. You may have a workplace age discrimination case worth pursuing, and the financial compensation you can recover may be significant.

It is no secret that many companies are relentless in their efforts to cut and control costs. However, discriminating against older workers in order to do so is neither acceptable nor legally defensible.

Workers over 40 have enforceable protections under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) and Texas law.

  • Termination because of the employee’s age
  • A multiple employee layoff that unfairly targeted older workers in the organization
  • A company’s pervasive, systematic failure to hire or promote workers over 40

Whistleblower Protection

People who discover that their employers are breaking the law have an obligation to report such activity, but their concerns are real and significant. Internal complaints to management are often ineffective. Employees who “blow the whistle” are sometimes wrongfully fired, disciplined or otherwise discriminated against. Federal and state laws may provide specific, strong protections for whistleblowers and prohibit employer retaliation against those who report wrongdoing.

To gain protection under whistleblower laws, it is essential to contact the appropriate law enforcement authority or other government agency and report what you know.

if you are considering this step or evaluate what action to take or if you have already suffered some form of workplace retaliation. Some of the many scenarios that are indicative of a valid whistleblower claim involve:

  • Complaints to the Internal Revenue Service about bookkeeping and tax-related irregularities
  • Reports of health and safety code violations, Medicaid and Medicare fraud or other serious workplace wrongdoing discovered by nurses, nursing home workers or other health care personnel
  • Blowing the whistle on other forms of fraud, corruption and financial crimes, including the misuse of federal or state funds by government contractors