Author Archives: edwinsullivan

Court Holds That Once An Employer Acts With An Illegal, Retaliatory Motive Against An Employee, The Employee’s Mildly Inappropriate Response Is Not Sufficient To Remove The Taint Of Illegal Retaliation

In Fisher v. Lufkin Industries, __ F.3d __, No. 15-40428, 2017 WL 562444 (5th Cir., Feb. 10, 2017), the African-American plaintiff, Fisher, complained to Lufkin’s VP of HR that his supervisor referred to him as “boy,” which he regarded as … Continue reading

Posted in Discrimination, Houston Employment Law, Houston Retaliation Law, Retaliation

Fifth Circuit Holds That Employee’s Failure to Provide Doctor’s Note Confirming Reason for Absence Dooms His Claims Under The Americans with Disabilities Act

Mark Oberti writes: Sometimes, employees ask for time off from work because of medical issues. In those situations, the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) may protect them from being terminated because of the time they take off from work. However, … Continue reading

Posted in ADA, At Will Employment, Disability, EEOC, Houston Employment Law, Human Resources

Fifth Circuit Holds That Employees Interviewed As Part Of A Sexual Harassment Investigation Have Greater Protection From Retaliation

Mark Oberti writes: Recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which covers Texas, Mississippi, and Louisiana, affirmed that an employee interviewed as part of a company’s internal investigation into sex harassment complaints is protected from retaliation under … Continue reading

Posted in Discrimination, EEOC, Houston Employment Law, Houston Retaliation Law, Retaliation, Whistleblower

Employee Loses Retaliation Claim Based On Coworker’s Use Of The Phrase “Heil Hitler”

Some employees think that any workplace complaints over inappropriate conduct or statements are protected from retaliation — meaning that the employer cannot retaliate against them for making such complaints. But, the law is actually far different, as illustrated by a … Continue reading

Posted in EEOC, Houston Retaliation Law, Retaliation

EEOC Takes Aggressive Positions On Homosexual Rights In The Workplace Under Title VII

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) sometimes announces its position on legal issues under Title VII. While the EEOC’s pronouncements are not binding on courts, they often have consequences on employers anyway because the EEOC is the government agency that … Continue reading

Posted in Discrimination, Dodd Frank, Houston Employment Law

Fifth Circuit Holds That A Manager’s Threat To Reduce An Employee’s Pay In Retaliation For the Employee’s Hiring Of A Transgendered Employee Was Not An Adverse Employment Action That The Threatened Employee Could Sue Over

In a case decided in December 2015, Brandon v. Sage Corp., 808 F.3d 266, 270 (5th Cir. 2015), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit addressed a retaliation claim brought by the plaintiff Brandon, the former Director of … Continue reading

Posted in EEOC, Houston Retaliation Law, Retaliation, Uncategorized

New Fifth Circuit ADA Decision Illustrates The Pro-employee Impact Of The Amendments Congress Passed To The ADA

In 2011, Jacobs Field Services North America, Inc. offered Michael Cannon, a mechanical engineer with 20 years’ experience, a field engineer position at a Colorado mining site. But very shortly thereafter, Jacobs rescinded the offer after learning Cannon had a … Continue reading

Posted in Disability, Discrimination, EEOC, Houston Employment Law, Human Resources

Five Questions That Individual Employees Should Ask Before Hiring A Houston Employment Lawyer

Hopefully you will never need an employment lawyer in Houston. Luckily, there are many great Houston employment lawyers, and they work at firms all over the city. Some of them rank highly on Google search results, and others do not. … Continue reading

Posted in Houston Employment Law, Houston Executive Lawyer, Houston Retaliation Law

Confidentiality Agreements Used By Many Employers Draw KBR A $130,000.00 Fine From The SEC — Is Your Company At Risk Too?

Mark Oberti writes: On April 1, 2015, the SEC took action against — including a $130,000.00 fine — a company over concerns that the company was preventing its employees from potentially blowing the whistle on illegal activity. The action is … Continue reading

Posted in Dodd Frank, Whistleblower

Texas Supreme Court Hands Victory To Employers In The Evolving Law Regarding Non-Competition Agreements

Mark Oberti observes: On Friday, August 29, 2014, the Texas Supreme Court delivered another victory for employers seeking to enforce post-employment restrictions against former employees who seek to go to work for competitors. In Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Drennan, No. … Continue reading

Posted in At Will Employment, Houston Employment Law, Houston Executive Lawyer, Non Compete Agreements