Hospital workers and employees of other patient care facilities have some of the most difficult jobs out there. The enormous amount of stress, pressure, and difficulty in performing these vital jobs has only been made worse this past year by the global pandemic that has swept across this nation. Given the huge amount of responsibility and the sheer importance of the jobs carried out by hospital workers, it is now more important than ever that COVID-19 safety procedures be followed. This is only possible if workers are allowed to freely report violations of COVID-19 safety procedures. Luckily, Texas law agrees. In this article I will discuss the very basics of the Texas Health and Safety Code and how it may be able to help you create a safer working environment. 

Under the Texas Health and Safety Code, employees of hospitals, mental health facilities, and treatment facilities are protected from retaliation by their employers if they make a report of a violation of law, which includes a violation of the code itself, a rule adopted by the code, or a rule of another agency. Moreover, if a time gap of less than 60 days is between when the report is made and an adverse action, which can be a termination, suspension, or a demotion, takes place, the law states that there is a rebuttable presumption that the adverse action took place because of the report.


Continue Reading The Texas Health and Safety Code: An Often Forgotten Tool in Helping Texas Workers

Even if you’ve never seen the TV show or read any of the books about Perry Mason, criminal defense attorney extraordinaire, you know the moment I’m talking about.  It happens at the end each episode or book.  Perry Mason is representing an innocent man or woman, but things are not looking good.  The District Attorney, Hamilton Burger is on the attack, presenting one damning piece of evidence after another.  But then Perry calls one more witness or recalls a witness from earlier in the trial and everything changes.  Under withering cross-examination, Perry breaks down the witness by pointing out inconsistencies, falsehoods, and ulterior motives.  By the end, the witness is a reduced to a quivering mass of raw nerves.  And then the witness confesses!  Or points to the real guilty party sitting in the back row of the courtroom.  The charges against Perry’s client are quickly dropped and Perry Mason once again emerges victorious.

Continue Reading The Case of the Missing Perry Mason Moment

In today’s world we cannot ignore that social media is a huge part of our everyday lives.  What you post is available for others to see.  Even if your social media accounts are private, your posts are available to be seen by your family, friends, and even coworkers once you’ve accepted or extended a “Friend Request.”

But, that’s my private life, right?  It can’t affect my employment, right?  Wrong.

Social Media and Applying for a Job


Continue Reading Social Media and Employment – “But that’s private, right?”

When someone gets treated unlawfully at their job because of that person’s race, age, gender, sex, sexual orientation, disability, religion, national origin, or color that person suffers more than just loss of income.  A person’s job is often tied to their identity, their reputation, their sense of worth, and sense of purpose.  Losing a job, not getting a promotion, not getting hired, or being subjected to severe or pervasive harassment causes very real pain and suffering.  It can strain friendships, estrange family members, break up marriages, and ruin lives.  Because unlawful employment discrimination causes that kind of actual damage, most employment laws allow a person to recover money for those things.  In employment law, these damages are called compensatory damages and can be recovered in lawsuits against private employers, state and local government employers, and federal agencies.


Continue Reading Mental Anguish Damages in Texas and the Fifth Circuit

“In this case, the plaintiff’s averments regarding the defendant’s billing practices are criminal in nature. For example, the plaintiff’s original complaint alleges that ‘BCH began requesting that the Plaintiff see multiple patients at the same time, bill units in empty time slots, and bill incorrectly. However, Plaintiff refused….’ Such practice could subject individuals to criminal

“Fuqua and Vontice were both assistant managers at the same Wal-Mart store. Vontice had an arguably worse history of work violations. Both were found to have improperly taken cash advances and both timely paid them back. . . .[E]ach was given thirty days to repay the money and obtain an hourly position at another store.

“[Plaintiff] claims that [coworker] was treated more favorable than plaintiff because [employer] did not terminate [coworker]’s employment for engaging in the same behavior that led to [Plaintiff]’s dismissal.” Walsh v. Stratos Offshore Servs. Co., CIV. A. H-11-2603, 2012 WL 3929870, at *3 (S.D. Tex. Sept. 7, 2012). Court denied summary judgment on the discrimination

“[O]ther employees . . . received similar performance critiques to hers but none was placed on a Performance Improvement Plan or had their employment terminated.” Edwards, 2013 WL 474770 at *3. “[T]here is at least a genuine issue of material fact regarding whether similarly situated employees were treated differently.” Id.

“[Plaintiff] can establish the third prima facie element, that she was subjected to an adverse action based on her disability, because [employer] readily admits that [Plaintiff] was terminated because she was unable to return to work without lifting restrictions at the time her FMLA leave expired.” Molina, 840 F. Supp. 2d at 1004.

“[Plaintiff] claims that [supervisor] gave her an ultimatum that, in effect, forced her to miss her regularly-scheduled physical therapy session in order to keep her job. Specifically, [Plaintiff] was told that if she missed the upcoming Wednesday for therapy, or any day for that matter, she would be fired. This allegation is sufficient[] . .