Frequently Asked Questions About Employment Law
Employment law can be confusing, and most people filing employment law claims have never done so before. For your convenience, we have listed some of the common questions we hear at our office about employment law cases below.
How do I know whether federal employment laws enforced by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) apply to my workplace?
The EEOC states that businesses with at least one employee are required to provide equal pay for equal work to male and female employees; businesses with 15 to 19 employees are covered by laws prohibiting discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, and genetic information as well as equal pay for equal work; and businesses with 20 or more employees are covered by laws prohibiting discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, and genetic information as well as equal pay for equal work.
What is the difference between an employee and an independent contractor?
An employee and an independent contractor could very well perform the same job functions. The difference is usually in how they are paid. With an employee, taxes are withheld from that person’s paycheck. With an independent contractor, taxes are not withheld. The nature of an employment relationship is typically dictated by such circumstances as contracts between the parties, aspects of the job being controlled by the employer, and how long the relationship is expected to continue.
What is the difference between “at will” and “for cause” employment?
With an at will job, your employment is at will, meaning that either the employee or the employer can end the relationship at any given moment without notice. An employer cannot violate state or federal law in releasing an at will employee, however. With for cause employment, an employer typically needs to have a justification, or cause, for firing an employee. For cause employment usually relates to employment contracts.
Employment Law Statistics
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the civilian labor force in Texas as of August 2018 was more than 13,822,000 people. The 535,900 unemployed people represented an unemployment rate of 3.9 percent.
The BLS reported that total nonfarm employment included 12,626,500 people. Among these, 260,400 were employed in mining and logging, 766,000 were employed in construction, 878,500 were employed in manufacturing, 2,525,600 were employed in trade, transportation, and utilities, 196,000 were employed in information, 775,200 were employed in financial activities, 1,761,700 were employed in professional and business services, 1,712,200 were employed in education and health services, 1,372,100 were employed in leisure and hospitality, 436,700 were employed in other services, and 1,942,100 were employed in government.
The EEOC reported that Texas had 8,827 total charges filed in fiscal year 2017. Of these charges, 2,999 involved race, 2,740 involved sex, 1,115 involved national origin, 317 involved religion, 483 involved color, 4,740 involved retaliation, 3,730 involved retaliation under Title VII, 1,975 involved age, 2,642 involved disability, 98 involved the Equal Pay Act (EPA), and 32 involved Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA).
Nationally, the EEOC reported 84,254 total charges filed in fiscal year 2017. Of these charges, 28,528 involved race, 25,605 involved sex, 8,299 involved national origin, 3,436 involved religion, 3,240 involved color, 41,097 involved retaliation, 32,023 involved retaliation under Title VII, 18,376 involved age, 26,838 involved disability, 996 involved the EPA, and 206 involved GINA.
According to the EEOC, 201 suits were filed in 2017. This was the highest total for any year since 2011, when 300 suits were filed.
The EEOC reported 125 resolutions in 2017. Monetary benefits in these cases totaled $42.4 million, the lowest total of the past three years.
According to the EEOC, Title VII suits resulted in $21.7 million, ADA suits resulted in $7.1 million, Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) suits resulted in $12.1 million, EPA suits resulted in $200,000, GINA suits resulted in $100,000, and suits filed under multiple statutes resulted in $1.1 million.
The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) reported that there were 2.2 million nonfatal occupational injuries or illnesses reported in 2016. That same year, there were 545 fatal occupational injuries.
Contact an Employment Law Attorney Today
Some people may be dealing with certain issues at work while others may have lost their jobs for discouraging reasons. People have a right to know whether certain actions comply with federal and state employment laws.
In some cases, people may file claims with state or federal agencies that are slow to respond. Any person who has been mistreated in their workplace should make sure that they know what their rights are.
Do you think that your employer has broken the law or otherwise violated your rights? You should make sure that you seek knowledgeable legal representation.
Leichter Law Firm PC handles a wide variety of employment law cases for clients all over Texas. Call (956) 205-0884 or contact us online to have our lawyers provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case during a free consultation.