Can I be fired for discussing politics at work?

Texas employees have good reason to worry about how the polarized political climate may affect their jobs. Certainly changes in employment laws could have a meaningful change to employment in Texas. These could occur in changes to: civil rights protections for gay and transgender employees; minimum wage and overtime pay regulations; investment adviser fiduciary duties …

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Dallas Police and Firefighters Pension Funding Crisis

Dallas residents may have discovered over the past several months a financial crisis in their city related to the Dallas Police and Firefighters Pension. Few people really understand pension funding and how pension funding created this billion dollar shortfall for the city. The local news media in Dallas–Fort Worth, Texas has done a fairly good …

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Interview with Fort Worth Divorce Attorney Adam Kielich

Adam Kielich is a Fort Worth divorce attorney and managing attorney at The Kielich Law Firm in Bedford, Texas. This is an adaptation of an interview provided for a local journalism program researching the Tarrant County legal system. This research includes the affordability of legal counsel, the efficiency of the courts and overall fairness in the …

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Seven Ways Legal TV Shows Are Not Like Real Life Trials (and three they are)

Courtroom and legal television is nearly as old as television itself, dating back to classic shows like Perry Mason–but how real are they? Not very real at all. The range of courtroom comedies, drama and “reality” shows over seventy years of television cover the entire range from editorializing real events to completely ridiculous fictionalized worlds. …

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The 323rd District Court in Fort Worth, Texas

The 323rd district court in Fort Worth handles family law cases and juvenile criminal cases. Although it is a family law court it does not hear divorces or other private family disputes. Instead it handles CPS and other child welfare disputes in Tarrant County. The 323rd district court might be most well known for the affluenza case. If …

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What can I do if I want an uncontested divorce in Texas but can’t find my spouse?

Sometimes a married couple in Texas will decide to separate and eventually lose contact with each other. At some point one spouse decides he or she needs an uncontested divorce and not to fight over the terms of the divorce. The non-filing spouse has a right of due process under the federal and Texas constitutions to …

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Can my Texas employer fire me for doing what my manager told me to do?

Here’s a tricky situation: you follow a specific instruction from your manager or a company policy. Then your employer fires you. Can this happen for following orders? Unfortunately, in most cases the answer: yes. Seems bizarre–and it is–but this is the nature of the at-will employment relationship. In an at-will employment relationship the employer can discipline an employee, …

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Just been fired? Apply for unemployment benefits in Texas

If you are fired (aka discharged, terminated) from your job then one of your first acts in almost all cases should be to apply for unemployment benefits. Applying for unemployment benefits through the Texas Workforce Commission is free so even if denied benefits you have only lost the time applying. This is true even if …

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College Retirement Plans under Fire for Excessive Investment Fees

The past ten to fifteen years has given rise to a set of lawsuits against 401k plan administrators over excessive plan fees and revenue sharing agreements between plan administrators and recordkeepers. We are probably approaching the end of this wave of excessive fee litigation against for-profit employers for 401k plans. A new wave of excessive retirement …

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EEOC hits Dunkin Donuts franchise for $330k in sexual harassment suit

Last week the EEOC settled  a Title VII sexual harassment and retaliation suit against multiple Dunkin Donuts franchises. The $330,000 settlement, which covers multiple employees, includes a multi-year training and oversight provision to avoid similar events in the future. The EEOC press release describes the events alleged in the lawsuit as follows: Hillcrest Marshall violated federal law by …

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Texas Employment Attorney’s 10 Signs You Should Not Take That Job

In a tough job market it’s always difficult to turn down a job but sometimes the company culture is so toxic or the boss is so insufferable that it’s more harmful to your health and career than the benefit of the paycheck. Of course, that’s an easy thing to say when you have a paycheck. …

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Should my Fort Worth divorce decree identify my financial accounts and debts in Texas?

Drafting divorce decrees and other legal documents is an art form. It requires understanding what the law requires. One must also know the balance between what may appear and what should appear. The answers may not be a black and white issue. There may be competing concerns and what is right is often a judgment …

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Employees must engage interactive process in good faith for ADA failure to accommodate claims in Texas

ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and the Texas Labor Code require employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with qualified disabilities. A reasonable accommodation allows a disabled employees equal access to the workplace and allow them to perform the essential functions of their jobs. Many employers refuse to provide any reasonable accommodation. This results in a failure …

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Bedford Divorce Attorney on Issues in an Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce is a divorce in which the parties have reached an agreement on the issues involved in the divorce. Sometimes problems arise in an uncontested divorce when the parties have agreed to some of the terms involved in the divorce but not all. These will resolve themselves if the spouses can agree on the remaining …

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Why is there a 10% early withdrawal penalty to cash out a 401k?

Before becoming an employment attorney I worked for one of the largest (maybe the largest) provider of 401k services. We provided various investment, customer service and recordkeeping services for 401k plans. Most people who call for information about their 401k plans will end up talking to my former employer or one of their competitors. Most …

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Fort Worth Uncontested Divorce and Prioritizing the Children

Uncontested divorce typically means the spouses agreed to the issues in the divorce rather than have the court decide how to divide property and how to address child issues–custody and child support. In the uncontested divorce the spouses have made decisions about the co-parenting relationship after the divorce. It can be easy in an uncontested divorce to …

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Can you get a beer on intermittent FMLA? Court says yes.

Intermittent FMLA has always been and probably always will be a contentious issue between employer and employee. Employers often have negative attitudes about intermittent FMLA leave centered largely around self-serving beliefs that employees abuse the legally protected leave rights and do not really need the time off from work. Certainly some employees do abuse FMLA but …

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