Texas Employment Lawyer

Texas Employment Lawyer

Discrimination, Retaliation, Wrongful Termination, and Unpaid Wages

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Dallas-Fort Worth Area (214) 528-6500
Austin (512) 271-5527
Eric P. Dama

Eric P. Dama

Trial Lawyer

We asked Eric P. Dama, a Trial Attorney in the Dallas office of Rob Wiley, P.C., to provide his open answers to a range of questions.  After reading, you will be more more versed with the advocacy that Mr. Dama affords.

1. What did you start practicing labor and employment law?

The prospect of representing another person’s interests and helping those who are going through the toughest and most stressful times in life really intrigued me.

2. What is the most important issue to you of being an advocate?

Giving my clients a voice.

3. Who is your favorite Supreme Court Justice?

Hugo Black.

4. What do you think is the most important part of a good case?

A likable client with a strong story to tell.

5. If you could write a new law, what would it do?

Not give companies so much leeway in dealing with terminating employees.

6. Besides Rob Wiley, P.C., what is the most interesting job that you have had?

I worked as a Journalist and Newspaper Staff Writer at The University of Oklahoma.

7. Who is your favorite celebrity?

Barry Switzer.

8. What skills do you value as an employment attorney?

Empathy and patience.

9. What is your favorite food?

Any shell food.

10. What’s the best part of living in Dallas?

Family and friends!

Eric P. Dama is a Trial Attorney in the Dallas office of Rob Wiley, P.C.  He graduated summa cum laude from The University of Oklahoma with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2011.  Mr. Dama went on and received his law degree from Baylor University School of Law in 2014.

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Employees who merely utilize materials of commerce in their job can satisfy the first prong of the Enterprise Test under the FLSA.

Posted in FMLA violations
Plaintiffs allege that Rite–Way was an enterprise covered by the FLSA because (1) its employees handled materials such as “mops, brooms, towels, soap, chemicals, vacuum cleaners, and other cleaning materials, supplies, and equipment” that had moved in interstate commerce, and (2) its annual gross volume of sales exceeded $500,000. Therefore, as held persuasively by the… Continue Reading

Evidence of temporary employees being brought on in Defendant’s position can create an issue of fact as to whether an employee was replaced by someone outside the protected class.

Posted in FMLA violations
Plaintiff contends that she “was succeeded by one or more of three new male MEs and so was replaced by someone outside her protected class.” There is evidence that Defendant had “three temporary or agency MEs” but didn’t know if they were actually hired and was not sure of their race. Defendant argues that evidence… Continue Reading

In claims seeking lost wages and compensatory damages, documents showing Plaintiff’s earnings while working for any previous employers are not relevant.

Posted in FMLA violations
Plaintiff’s earnings prior to her employment with Defendant are not relevant to this cause of action. Therefore, the temporal scope of the financial information relevant to Plaintiff’s case is limited to the time period during and after her employment with Defendant. Because Plaintiff was hired by Defendant in June of 2014, only Plaintiff’s earnings (and… Continue Reading

Employees who merely utilize materials of commerce in their job can satisfy the first prong of the Enterprise Test under the FLSA.

Posted in FMLA violations
Plaintiffs allege that Rite–Way was an enterprise covered by the FLSA because (1) its employees handled materials such as “mops, brooms, towels, soap, chemicals, vacuum cleaners, and other cleaning materials, supplies, and equipment” that had moved in interstate commerce, and (2) its annual gross volume of sales exceeded $500,000.Therefore, as held persuasively by the Eleventh… Continue Reading

Evidence of temporary employees being brought on in Defendant’s position can create an issue of fact as to whether an employee was replaced by someone outside the protected class.

Posted in FMLA violations
Plaintiff contends that she “was succeeded by one or more of three new male MEs and so was replaced by someone outside her protected class.” There is evidence that Defendant had “three temporary or agency MEs” but didn’t know if they were actually hired and was not sure of their race. Defendant argues that evidence… Continue Reading

Summary judgment is not properly granted if the nonmoving party has not yet had an opportunity to conduct discovery necessary to oppose the motion.

Posted in FMLA violations
In this case, Crawford moved for summary judgment on December 16, 2015—less than two months after the case was initiated. The Court has yet to issue a scheduling order or conduct an initial case management conference. Additionally, the parties have not yet begun discovery—on the issue presented in the motion or any other. (“The [parties]… Continue Reading

An employee who was misled about the availability of a promotion need not show that he or she actually applied for the promotion to establish that element of a prima facie case of a failure to promote claim

Posted in FMLA violations
Under these alleged facts, Wade has established a prima facie case for purposes of summary judgment. The Court disagrees with Home Depot that, under these alleged circumstances, Wade was required to apply through Career Depot. Although Home Depot did have a formal application process and Wade failed to follow that process, viewing the evidence in… Continue Reading

An employer that works in several cities and countries and is in the shipping industry is an enterprise engaged in commerce under the FLSA.

Posted in FLSA violations
“‘Commerce’ means trade, commerce, transportation, transmission, or communication among the several States or between any State and any place outside thereof.’ Plaintiff’s complaint alleges that Defendant itself has offices in four states and five countries. In addition, PetroMar’s business involves shipping in the oil and maritime industry, and its employees were sent to work on… Continue Reading

Alleging the underlying facts and the key players at issue is enough to sufficiently state a claim for violation of the Equal Protection Clause due to race-based termination and sexual harassment.

Posted in Race Discrimination, Sexual Harassment
“In the complaint, the Plaintiffs allege that (a) they are members of a protected class; (b) they were subjected to intentional discriminatory treatment during their employment with SLU; (c) similarly situated white employees were treated differently; (d) they were terminated due to their race; (e) Gandolfo was subjected to unwelcome sexual harassment that was willfully… Continue Reading

Alleging that an employee regularly worked over forty hours per workweek and was not paid time-and-a-half is sufficient to give rise to a plausible claim for relief under the FLSA.

Posted in FLSA violations
“Defendant suggests that Plaintiff’s complaint fails because he does not allege the total amount of unpaid wages that he deserves.  An FLSA plaintiff is not, however, required to plead the precise amount of unpaid wages to which he is allegedly entitled.” Murphy v. Multi-Shot, LLC, 2014 WL 4471538, at *2 (S.D. Tex. Sep. 10, 2014)… Continue Reading

To prove constructive discharge, Plaintiff must demonstrate a greater severity or pervasiveness of harassment than the minimum required to prove a hostile working environment.

Posted in Hostile Work Environment
“Plaintiff contends that DHS, through its discrimination and harassment, constructively discharged him. Plaintiff resigned in September 2008. Given that it has determined that a genuine dispute of material fact exists as to Plaintiff’s hostile work environment claim, and in light of other conduct by Defendant’s employees, the court concludes that a genuine dispute of material exists… Continue Reading

regular pattern of frequent verbal ridicule or insults sustained over time can constitute severe or pervasive harassment sufficient to violate Title VII.

Posted in Hostile Work Environment
“In the interrogatories, Plaintiff states that Wood called him a “wetback”on five different occasions: (1) April 21, 2008; (2) May 29, 2008; (3) June 21, 2008; (4) July 10, 2008; and (5) August 8, 2008. Wood also told Plaintiff that “Salvadorans are liars” on July 8, 2008. Given the number of times these racial comments were… Continue Reading

To establish the third element of a prima facie case for retaliation under Title VII, a plaintiff must ultimately present evidence that there is a causal link between the protected activity and the adverse employment action.

Posted in Retaliation
“A review of her pleadings reflects that [Employee] has alleged that she has worked for [Employer] since 1988, she encountered no problems in the workplace until she was listed as a witness in [Co-worker]’s complaint in July 2008, and, shortly after being listed as a witness in the legal action [Co-worker] filed in state court… Continue Reading

A time lapse of five (5) to six (6) months does not negate a causal connection between an employee’s engagement in a protected activity and her discharge.

Posted in Retaliation
“The Fifth Circuit has suggested that an extended gap of time between the plaintiff engaging in a protected activity and an adverse employment action can cut against a finding of retaliation. Mayberry v. Vought Aircraft Co., 55 F.3d 1086, 1092 (5th Cir. 1995) (noting that an interval of several years between the adverse action and engaging in a protected… Continue Reading

Testimony of an employer’s statements evincing retaliatory animus are regarded as direct evidence, and no further inference to determine retaliatory intent is required.

Posted in Retaliation
“The Court finds that [Supervisor]’s unambiguous statement that Plaintiff ‘didn’t do anything wrong, but [he] filed that Complaint,’ recalled by both Plaintiff and a co-worker, amounts to direct evidence of retaliation sufficient to defeat summary judgment. Had [Supervisor] said something more along the lines of, ‘I did not vote to promote you because you filed… Continue Reading

Evidence demonstrating the falsity of the defendant’s explanation, taken together with the prima facie case, is likely to support an inference of discrimination even without further evidence of the defendant’s motive.

Posted in Retaliation
“When asked why Plaintiff’s position was eliminated, as opposed to one of the workers in the maintenance department, Childress testified that the District was ‘making decisions based on cost savings.’  Plaintiff points out that none of the other employees laid off as a result of the reduction in force were terminated after the 2010 through 2011 academic… Continue Reading

When evaluating whether the adverse employment action was causally related to the FMLA protection, the court shall consider the temporal proximity between the FMLA leave and the termination.

Posted in FMLA violations
“In the case at bar, Plaintiff suffered injury on August 2, 2010. Shortly thereafter, Defendant was made aware that Plaintiff had suffered an injury to his arm and would be at least temporarily unavailable for work. Plaintiff provided and continued to provide all relevant medical paperwork to his employer. Plaintiff further informed Defendant that he would… Continue Reading