In the face of a global pandemic, workplaces as we know them have drastically changed. Working from home has become common place, jobs that were undervalued in our society are now seen as essential, and workplaces once seen as safe now have increasing health and safety risks. The circumstances in this essentially unprecedented time serve as an important reminder to why we fight for the rights of workers and why it is so important to continue advancing that fight. 

As employment lawyers, we meet folks everyday who have been subjected to harassment, discrimination, and retaliation in the workplace. We meet individuals who have been denied overtime pay or reasonable accommodations. We meet individuals who have been fired because they blew the whistle or engaged in protected activity to improve their working conditions or pay. These are the people we fight for. 

Unfortunately, in this time of workforce reductions and mass layoffs, these illegal practices oftentimes only increase. We have already seen this happening. Employers are denying reasonable accommodations to workers who suffer from underlying health conditions that put them at high risk. Employers are terminating workers who complain about health and safety concerns. Employers are denying leave to workers who need to care for themselves or a family member. Employers are conducting layoffs in a discriminatory manor, selecting workers based on their race, religion, national origin, sex, age, or other protected categories. 

Our Firm has been fighting against employers who engage in these types of illegal practices for 20 years. The circumstances may be unique, but the battle is the same. We remain dedicated to helping employees who have been denied the rights to which they are entitled under the law or to help them stand up and assert those rights. 

If your employer has denied you a reasonable accommodation or leave to which you are entitled, if your employer terminated you because you complained about health and safety concerns, if your employer conducted a layoff that affected you in a discriminatory manor, or if your employer retaliates against you for fighting for change, I hope you contact us to meet with a Texas Employment Lawyer.

This situation will not last forever, but it will likely have substantial long-lasting implications. And, unfortunately, there is no guarantee it will not happen again. That is why we must not only fight for immediate individual results, but we must continue the fight for systematic change. We need strong laws to protect workers’ rights. We need universal paid sick leave and a living wage for all workers. We see workers all across the country standing together to demand change. Workers as varied as sanitation workers, grocery clerks, and those in the so-called gig economy are going on strike to demand safe working conditions. That is how true progress happens.

 

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Photo of Julie St. John Julie St. John

We asked Julie L. St. John, an experienced Trial Attorney in the Houston office of Rob Wiley, P.C., to impart her candid answers to a range of questions. After reading, you will be more more informed on the well-respected reputation that Ms.

We asked Julie L. St. John, an experienced Trial Attorney in the Houston office of Rob Wiley, P.C., to impart her candid answers to a range of questions. After reading, you will be more more informed on the well-respected reputation that Ms. St. John carries.

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

Because I care about the rights of employees and believe all workers should be treated fairly. 

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

Guarantee a living wage for all workers.

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

I worked as the beer cart girl at a golf course in college. 

4. What’s the best part of living in Houston?

Houston is clearly the best city in Texas, way better than Austin or Dallas. The people are wonderful, and the food is delicious. The only downside is the traffic, which is why I refuse to go outside of the loop (with a key exception for Ikea).

 5. If you were not practicing labor and employment law what would you be?

I would start a gardening/landscaping company with animals that do the work. The goats would eat the weeds, the pigs would till the ground, and the chickens would keep the bugs away.

6. Why did you decide to become a lawyer?

To have another tool to use to fight for things I believe in. I’ve always wanted to change the world.

7. What do you do when you’re not practicing law?

Travel, watch Ohio State football, and work to make my cat instafamous.

8. What’s your favorite legal movie

The Pelican Brief because it features Tulane Law!

9. Have you ever learned something from one of your clients?

I learn something from almost all of my clients. Most importantly, courage.

10. Who do you most admire as a lawyer?

Kalandra Wheeler

Julie L. St. John is a Trial Attorney in the Houston office of Rob Wiley, P.C. She graduated from Ohio State University with her bachelor’s degree in 2007. Ms. St. John then graduated from Tulane University School of Law in 2017.