Employment Law and Human Resources
Employer/Employee Relationships Can be Harmonious when Managed Correctly
We provide representation in the following areas related to employment law and human resources to both employers and employees. The employer/employee relationship can be harmonious when managed correctly. However, both the employer and the employee should know their rights and obligations under the law.
Texas is an "at will" employment state meaning the employer can terminate the employment relationship even if the employee's action have not prompted the termination. However, "at will" terminations have limits. Federal (e.g. ADEA claims, ADA claims, Title IX actions) and state laws provide strict guidelines to protect against employment discrimination, wrongful termination, reverse discrimination, sexual harassment, age and religious discrimination, and other hostile work environments. When conduct taken by, or on behalf of, the employer rises to severe or pervasive, the employee may bring claims against the employer. It is important to consider whether the harmful conduct is isolated to the interactions of a few co-workers or whether the conduct arises out a widespread company culture. When a company's culture promotes harmful conduct, many employees may be able to bring the same claims, together or separately.
In addition the guidelines set by federal and state laws, agreements between the employer and the employee typically begins with an employment contract or terms found in an employee handbook. Courts will often honor the provisions of employment contracts and employee handbooks. As such, when the employment relationship ends it is important to consider breach of contract claims, arbitration clauses, non-compete/non-solicitation agreements, severance agreements, and unemployment claims. For the employer, having a properly tailored employment contract and employee handbook is essential to preserving the company's rights.
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