Austin Employment Law Lawyer
What is employment law?
Put simply, employment law is a collection of laws in place to protect employees from unfair treatment in the workplace. Unfair treatment can mean being wrongfully terminated, harassed, discriminated against, paid unfairly, and many other things. There are federal and state laws that protect employees from this unfair behavior committed by employers.
Employment laws exist to regulate the relationship between employers and their employees. These laws cover all stages of the employment process including hiring, firing, and promotions. Employment laws exist to protect employees from wrongful conduct by employers or even fellow employees. While these laws can be very complex, they are in place for the benefit of the individual employee.
What kind of discrimination is illegal in the workplace?
Employers cannot discriminate against an employee or potential employee on the basis of:
- Gender identity
- Veteran status
- Sexual orientation
- Transgender status
- National origin or ancestry
- Pregnancy status
An employer cannot refuse to hire someone or fire someone on the basis of any of the above. If you feel you have been discriminated against for one or more of the above, you should contact an employment law attorney.
What are all the specific areas of employment law?
While employment law is a vast field, some of the areas include:
- Wrongful Termination
- Unpaid Commissions
- Contract Review and Negotiation
- FMLA (Family/Medical Leave)
- Overtime Violations (Unpaid Overtime/Misclassification)
- Unpaid Minimum Wage
- Unpaid “Interns” and Volunteers
- Severance Agreements/ Separation Agreements
- Trade Secret Misappropriation
- WARN Act Violations/ Mass Layoffs
- Injury or Disability Discrimination (ADA/ Workers Compensation Retaliation)
- Fired for Refusing to do an Illegal Act
- Non-Compete Consulting and Litigation
- Tip Pool Violations
- Unpaid Tips
- Pregnancy Discrimination
- Sexual Harassment
- USERRA Violations
- Marriage Equality
If you think you are a victim of any of the above, you should contact an Austin employment law lawyer as soon as possible.
What is the EEOC?
The EEOC is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC plays a huge role in employment law. The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal discrimination laws in the workplace. These laws apply to all kinds of employment situations including hiring, firing, promotions, training, harassment, wages, and benefits.
The EEOC investigates charges of discrimination against employers who are covered by the law. Most employers with at least 15 employees are covered.
Filing a charge with the EEOC is one of the first thing most people need to do to begin to assert the rights in the process of a discrimination or harassment claim. Whenever possible, you should consult with an employment attorney before filing a charge with the EEOC.
What is the TWC?
The TWC is the Texas Workforce Commission. Similar to the EEOC, the TWC may also play a major role in enforcing employment law. While the EEOC covers enforcing federal laws, the TWC enforces state employment laws in Texas. The two agencies have overlapping jurisdiction in most cases, and generally only one will take the lead in investigating your claim.
In many cases of discrimination or harassment, you can have the option to file your claim with the EEOC or the TWC. Like the EEOC, the TWC investigates your claims. Both of these commissions provide a vital role in the employment law process. While the process may not end with the TWC or EEOC in all circumstances, it will serve as a first step in investigating the claims you brought forward.
What does it mean to be an at-will state?
At-will simply means that employers in the state of Texas can fire an employee at any time for nearly any reason. Actually, the employer does not even have to give the employee a reason for firing them. While this may sound scary, most at-will employees do still have the right to be free from discrimination and harassment.
What are the relevant federal laws governing employment law?
There are a handful of federal employment and labor laws. These include:
- The Affordable Care Act (ACA)
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
- Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
- Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
- Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
- National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)
- Retaliation and Whistleblower Laws
- Title VII (Race, National Origin, Religion, and Sex Discrimination)
- Wage and Hour Laws
- Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act)
These are very complex laws and difficult to fully understand, which is why it is best to contact an Austin employment law lawyer for any potential issues in the workplace as soon as possible.
How do I know when to contact a lawyer?
If you feel that you are a victim of unfair or unjust treatment in the workplace, you may want to look into contacting an Austin employment law lawyer. While you may or may not have a case, you can still get legal advice on how to proceed in your situation. If you do have a case, your lawyer will walk you through the process and explain the next steps to get you justice.
You do not have to put up with unfair treatment in the workplace. You do not have to work for someone who is breaking the law. Take a stand, use your voice, and stop this behavior!
How common are employment law violations?
Very common! Unfortunately, misconduct happens in the workplace everyday and it happens to a lot of people across Texas. We encourage people to come forward and pursue claims to end this type of behavior. It is not acceptable and needs to be stopped. If you think you may be experiencing some improper conduct, it is better to be safe than sorry. Get legal advice and see how to go forward.
How Can We Help?
Austin was dedicated, responsive, answered all my questions quickly. I really appreciate that he was always available by email and text message. His team worked hard and quickly to get me a great result. With Austin’s help, we ultimately succeeded in achieving positive change, not only for me, but also for many others as well. I highly recommend Austin Kaplan and Kaplan Law Firm.
— William, Civil Rights
Austin helped out my dad on a employment matter. Within a short time Austin got results and my dad was very happy with the outcome. Austin knows what he is doing I couldn’t recommend him any more.
— Pedro V.
Austin was impressive and able to accomplish the results in my case. Like me, he is goal oriented, and his approach to my case was not only efficient but extremely effective. If you are looking for a lawyer that will provide personalized attention and help you accomplish your goals efficiently, I highly recommend Austin.
— Richard, Unpaid Overtime (FLSA) / Retaliation
It was an absolute pleasure working with Austin Kaplan and his staff. They are very personable, easily available for questions and procedures, incredibly knowledgeable, and they made a terrible employment experience easy to deal with. I cannot say enough great things about the Kaplan Law Firm.
— Shelby L.
I would like to personally thank Austin and his staff in handling my first time attorney experience. Him and his staff were very polite and very professional. He really took the time to explain everything which made me feel like he really cared. He responded to every email that I had questions and concerns and I got answers. Thankful I had Austin in my corner. Thank you once again for doing an amazing job. I would highly recommend Austin and his team.
— Jenevieve S.
I reached out to Austin in hopes he could offer guidance with a difficult employment situation which had me feeling helpless and depleted. In my initial meeting with Austin, he offered insight into employment law confirming my suspicions that my employer was not acting in compliance with legal expectations.
Austin was thorough, compassionate, and knowledgeable as he explained legal definitions and the implications associated with various potential actions I might engage. Through the course of the next several weeks as Austin and I worked together, he displayed rich creativity and a deep understanding of the art of both law and negations while always being open to collaborative discussion. Having Austin on my team offered me the support I needed to feel empowered and take action and, ultimately, led me to a resolution which feels both fair and absolute. I have already recommended Austin to several personal friends/colleagues and will continue to voice my support for Austin and his team.
— S.L., Severance Negotiation, Sexual Harassment, Retaliation
Mr. Kaplan is highly professional and provided me with a great deal of confidence regarding my employment issue. I highly recommend him.
— Tim K.
Austin represented me in a employment related matter that ended in a satisfactory outcome. I would recommend his firm in the event that you require representation in his area of expertise. The staff is friendly, responsive, ridiculously helpful.
— Matthew S.