When it comes to employment in the state of Texas, it is governed by the doctrine of at-will employment. This means that for many employment disputes, employees will have no recourse. There are occasions when businesses hire or promote bad employees into supervisory or management positions.
We asked Kalandra N. Wheeler, a Trial Attorney in the Dallas office of Rob Wiley, P.C., to provide her sincere answers to a range of questions. After reading, you will be more more abreast with the understanding and competency that Ms. Wheeler brings.
1.Why did you start practicing labor and employment law?
I wanted to be able to help people that otherwise might not find help. Labor and employment laws affect most of society. And – whether our results help one or many – our work and efforts as employment lawyers touch people in a real way in their every day lives.
2. Who is your favorite Supreme Court Justice?
3. What do you think is the most important part of a good case?
The client. Good facts and evidence are definitely important. But good clients are a lawyers’ most valuable asset. A good client: (1) is invested in their case; (2) works or worked hard for their employer; (3) can tell their story clearly and concisely; and (4) is someone that a jury will find sympathetic and relatable.
4. If you could write a new law, what would it do?
The Texas Workplace Anti-Bullying law. I hear the stories, the ones told by employees looking for help. And in far too many of those stories the law offers no solution. Every employee that goes to work and works hard to do the job they are hired to perform should be able to do so without abuse, harassment, and bullying. There is no justification for bullying, not in our schools, and not in our workplaces.
5. Besides Rob Wiley, P.C., what is the most interesting job that you have had?
For a year before law school, I worked as a lube tech for Jiffy Lube. I spent hot summer days, working on hot cars, changing oil or flushing transmissions or radiators. I never had a customer come back with a complaint.
6. How do you market yourself differently than others?
I tell clients what they need to hear, not necessarily what they want to hear. Before a client begins down any path toward resolving an employment dispute, they need thoughtful, honest advice. I am a believer in justice and everyday people deserve competent representation in an arena that is difficult for non-lawyers to navigate.
7. What do you do when you’re not practicing law?
I spend time with family and friends. I read true crime books. I sew and draw.
8. How would you describe the color yellow to someone who could not see?
It’s not the intense heat of the sun during the month of August, but instead the softness of the sun on your skin just as the seasons change from Summer to Fall. It’s warm. And soft to the touch. It’s fresh squeezed lemonade with a hint of sugar. Slightly cool, inviting, and happy.
9. What’s your favorite legal TV show?
Law & Order: SVU
10. If you could argue any case in history, what would it be?
The Karen Silkwood case. But really, I think that would be more about arguing and trying a case alongside Gerry Spence for the learning experience.
Kalandra N. Wheeler is a Trial Attorney in the Dallas office of Rob Wiley, P.C. She graduated from The University of Houston with a bachelor's degree in political science. Ms. Wheeler went on and received her law degree from The University of Arkansas.
During the 2020 United States presidential campaign, President Joe Biden pledged to appoint a Black woman to the United States Supreme Court should there be a vacancy. Now, in 2022, this pledge may become a reality with Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who has a track record…
It’s great when you love your career, job, boss, and coworkers. But, how do you handle the toxic employment relationship?
Usually, with at-will employment, the exit is as simple as giving notice, shaking hands and saying goodbye. With at-will employment, employees have the right to end…
“Oh, look Elaine, the black and white cookie. I love the black and white. Two races of flavor living side by side in harmony. It’s a wonderful thing isn’t it?”
Jerry, Seinfeld, The Dinner Party — Season 5, Ep. 13 (1994).
In 1994, I would…
“I was told that my braids were unprofessional.”
“I was told to cut off my locs.”
“I was told that my hair doesn’t fit the ‘company culture.’”
Ladies and gentlemen, race-based hair discrimination is still alive and well in 2021, and Black employees are being told…
Her story: “I work at a small convenient store outside of town. I don’t know what to do. I can’t quit my job; it took me forever to find a job that works with my schedule. I am a single mother, and I have to take…
For some workers, the application for unemployment compensation filed with the Texas Workforce Commission is an easy and seamless process. They submit their application, they are granted benefits, and all is well. Unfortunately, that is not the case for all employees seeking unemployment benefits. Many employees will find themselves…
In litigation, the American Rule means that in a legal dispute, both parties are responsible for their own attorneys’ fees. No matter who the victor, each party pays their own way. For two large companies with sufficient funds to litigate a matter, this rule may not be very harsh.…
Black History Month is a time to remember sacrifices and a time to celebrate advancements and achievements that paved the way for others. Certainly, the education and celebration of Black Americans should not be confined to one month. However, the month of February offers an opportunity to commemorate the past and look toward the future.
When looking to the past, there is no denying that the United States was a country built without wages, a country built on slave labor. Africans were ripped from their homes, brought to America, then sold and bought to work for nothing.
There was no ownership in what they built. There was no reaping benefits of what they sowed. There was merely endless labor for no wages, no rewards. Everything they did and made was for the profit and benefit of others – monetized by others to build a nation.
In this day and age, no one in the U.S. could imagine a scenario where they would work without pay and be chained and whipped into submission.…
“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Discrimination is real. Denying systemic racism, doesn’t make it nonexistent. In 2020, we’ve seen a resurgence of people actively fighting against race discrimination in large numbers. Police violence against Black Americans reignited a fuse. Protestors have taken their voices to the streets, have launched social media campaigns, and have organized to fight injustice where it thrives with hopes of real change.
Racial injustices can permeate every aspect of a person’s life. It can be four Black, young adults being pulled over by the police when they’ve done nothing wrong, only to have an officer say, “where are you coming from” and “can I search your vehicle.” It may be realizing you are being followed in a department store. It may be someone saying, “yeah, I have a problem with that Black teacher.” It can even be seen in the hiring, firing, and promotional practices of employers. …