Kalandra Wheeler
Texas Employment Lawyer Kalandra Wheeler

Discriminatory work dress codes are a contentious issue in many workplaces.  Dress codes may unfairly target certain groups of employees based on their gender, race, religion, disability, or other personal characteristics. These dress codes can take many forms, such as: requiring women to wear high heels, dresses, or makeup; banning visible tattoos; requiring or prohibiting specific hairstyles; banning certain garments, such as long skirts or dresses; or requiring uniforms that are not accommodative.

One form of discriminatory work dress code may target women. Workplaces may have requirements for women to wear high heels, makeup, skirts, or dresses. These requirements can be uncomfortable, impractical, and even dangerous in some cases. For example, wearing high heels can cause long-term damage to a woman’s feet or back, while wearing a skirt or dress can make it difficult to perform certain physical tasks. Additionally, these requirements can be a form of gender discrimination, as they reinforce the idea that women are expected to present themselves in a certain way in the workplace – gender stereotyping.

Another form of discriminatory work dress codes are those that target people of color. Some employers may require employees to wear their hair in a certain way, such as straightening it or keeping it short. This can be particularly harmful to Black employees, who may be forced to conform to Eurocentric beauty standards in order to keep their jobs. Similarly, employers may prohibit visible tattoos or piercings, which can disproportionately impact people of color who may have cultural or religious tattoos or piercings.

Discriminatory work dress codes can also impact employees who practice certain religions. For example, some employers may require employees to remove head coverings or religious jewelry, which can be a violation of an employee’s religious beliefs. This can make it difficult for people to practice their religion in the workplace and can even be a form of religious discrimination.

Additionally, strict dress codes may impact employees with disabilities.  Constrictive clothing or uniforms may be uncomfortable or obstructive for employees with certain disabilities.  

There are a number of reasons why dress codes persist in many workplaces. Employers may believe that these dress codes are necessary to maintain a certain level of professionalism or to uphold the company’s brand image. Some employers may implement dress codes for the safety of employees. Others may believe that these dress codes are simply a part of the job and that employees should be willing to conform to them in order to keep their jobs.

There may be a number of reasons for an employer’s dress code. However, it is important to recognize that dress codes can be harmful to employees, can unlawfully single out an employee or group of employees, and can even create a hostile work environment. When there is no legitimate business reason for a particular requirement, this can amount to unlawful discrimination. 

Employers should make sure that they take an inclusive approach to workplace attire. This can involve allowing employees to dress in a way that feels comfortable and professional for them, without imposing unnecessary requirements that may discriminate against employees based on gender, race, religion, disability, or other protected characteristics. Failing to take an inclusive approach can create a broader culture of discrimination and bias. 

Discriminatory work dress codes do still exist. If you are an employee facing an employer that has or is implementing a dress code that requires you to conform to gender stereotypes; leave your race, religion, or culture outside the company doors; or is unnecessarily restrictive due to a disability, you may have rights that are protected. There may be legitimate business reasons for certain aspects of an employer’s dress code, which may make determining whether the dress code is discriminatory. This is why we have experienced employment lawyers available for consultation to discuss your concerns related to the dress code, your job requirements, and the working environment to determine if your rights are being violated. Before you act, know your rights. 

Colin Walsh
Texas Employer Lawyer Colin Walsh

Just like Soylent Green, companies and government agencies are people.  They have rights, they have beliefs, they have purposes, and ambitions, dreams.  And just like Charlton Heston in another sci-fi classic, they can speak!  

In litigation, whether in state or federal court, the company speaks through what is known as a corporate representative deposition.  Under the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, a corporate representative deposition is taken under Rule 199.2(b)(1).  If the case is in federal court, the applicable federal rule of civil procedure is Rule 30(b)(6).  Under both rules, an entity is required to designate and prepare an individual or several individuals to speak on behalf of the company regarding topics enumerated specifically in the notice of deposition served by the other party.  

In theory, it goes like this: the party seeking the deposition of the entity—in my cases, that is the plaintiff—sends a draft notice to opposing counsel listing the topics on which we want the corporation to speak.  The entity’s attorneys—usually the defendant in my cases—then consult with their client and find one or more people can speak with knowledge on the topics provided.  We then work out a mutually agreeable date.  The deposition is taken and at the end we all join hands and sing.  In practice, it can be, but is not always, a bit more contentious.  

Here is the story of how a recent defendant tried to avoid, then delay having a corporate representative deposition and lost.

On December 13, 2022, I sent Defendant a draft copy of the 30(b)(6) deposition notice and requested dates for that deposition to take place. The next day, Defendant’s counsel responded that she had forwarded the draft notice to her client and that they are working on finding representatives for the topics.  On December 20, Defendant responded, offering to stipulate to certain things, or, alternatively, should we not make such stipulations, to designate a corporate rep for most of the topics listed in the notice, but fully objected to some other topics.

On December 22, 2022, we responded, rejecting the proposed modifications, stipulations, and combining of certain depositions. We then requested a deposition date by the end of the day.  Later that night, on December 22, 2022, we served our 30(b)(6) notice.

On January 9, 2023, at 5:31 pm, with just one business day left before we had to take another deposition in the case, Defendant filed a motion to stop the entire deposition, objecting to all of our topics.  

We responded on Friday the 13th and requested an expedited ruling.

On Tuesday, January 17, 2023, at about 9:30 in the morning, the Court denied Defendant’s motion and ordered them to appear at the deposition the next day.  Defendant tried once again to delay the deposition by filing objections to the order.  But objections don’t halt a discovery order.  Defendant did not show up at the deposition, in defiance of the court order.  A few hours later, the judge denied Defendant’s objections to the previous order.  Now Defendant is on the hook for the costs associated with them not showing up at the deposition.

The point of this story is twofold.  First, we fight for our clients and hold defendants accountable for not fulfilling their discovery obligations.  Second, defendants in employment cases can and do abuse discovery.  It’s a big problem and a lot of attorneys are not able to fight it because of the time and resources involved. 

If you have been unlawfully terminated and are considering your options, you should contact an attorney.  The board-certified attorneys at Wiley Walsh, P.C. may be able to help by discussing your case and providing a candid assessment.  We can be reached at wileywalsh.com or by calling 512-271-5527.

And now to end with what I’m pretty sure is from another Charlton Heston sci-fi classic:  https://youtu.be/qolk_rDA9xU

Jairo Castellanos
Austin Employment Lawyer Jairo Castellanos

Summary: On January 5, 2023 the Federal Trade Commission has published a proposed rule that would ban employers from forcing their employees to sign non-compete agreements. While, this is still only a proposed rule, it signals a growing concern over the harmful effects that non-competes have on the American workforce. 

On January 5, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission has published a proposed regulation that would in essence bring non-competes to an end. Under this new law an employer would be prohibited from entering into an agreement with its workers “that prevents the worker from seeking or accepting employment with a person, or operating a business, after the conclusion of the worker’s employment with the employer.” Specifically, this proposed law would prohibit employers from entering or even attempting to enter into non-compete agreements, maintaining a non-compete agreement, or representing to a worker that they are subject to a non-compete agreement unless it has a good faith basis to do so. Of pinnacle importance is the fact that this proposed law has a retroactive effect that would mandate that employers rescind any non-competes it may have with its work force within a certain period of time. 

Moreover, in order to ensure that an employer would not be able to bypass this new law by simply pigeonholing a non-compete into another provision of their agreement, the FTC has proposed the adoption of a “functional test.” In essence this test would measure whether the provision would prevent a worker from seeking employment elsewhere after they leave their current employer. The proposed law outlined two examples in which this may occur. First, a non-disclosure agreement that is drafted in such a way that it would preclude a worker from seeking employment in the same field, Second, a contractual term in which a worker is required to pay for training costs if the worker’s employment is terminated before a specific period of time. 

Lastly, this proposed law would preempt any state laws, unless they give greater protections against non-compete clauses. This means that states such as Texas, which allow non-competes, would be unable to continue with the practice. 

In short, this is a fantastic step in the right direction. It is estimated that roughly one in five American workers are subject to a non-compete. This is despite the fact that some states like California have long banned their implementation. Additionally, the FTC has estimated that passing this proposed law would increase wages by nearly $300 billion dollars a year and expand the career opportunities for about 30 million Americans. 

As an attorney that has defended many employees from alleged breaches of non-competes this is a welcomes sight. Often times, non-competes are in place merely to stifle the mobility of the workers. In Texas, these provisions are often times written in an overbroad manner that basically freezes workers out of particular industry. While these sorts of clauses are not allowed under the Texas Business Code, since Texas law mandates that court shall rewrite the agreements for the employers if they are deemed invalid, employers have little incentive to crafting narrowly tailored non-competes. Moreover, since the threat of litigation and forcing a worker to pay thousands of dollars in legal fees to defend a case is always present, it could be a situation that the employer can have their way without winning in court. 

At the moment though, it is far too early to celebrate this development. The FTC has merely proposed this rule, and it has opened a 60-day period where it seeks public comments on this proposed rule. Already many businesses have begun flooding the FTC with their disdain over this proposed rule, and a full-fledged effort to crush it have started. This is not even taking into consideration the legal challenges that will occur if this proposed rule passes. 

There are many times where on is able to express and have their voices heard like with voting. Here, we are presented with another such example. In order to keep striding towards a more equitable workplace, these types of protection are invaluable. That is why I believe that is important to have your voices heard and comment in favor of this proposed law. This can be done online at https://www.regulations.gov/docket/FTC-2023-0007/document.

Finally, at this moment, non-competes in Texas are still valid and enforceable. If you have any questions as to what your non-compete means, it is important to contact an attorney that specializes in employment law. Here, at Wiley Walsh, P.C. we specialize in labor and employment law. Feel free to contact us for a consultation. 

Harjeen Zibari Trial Attorney

When you leave a job, there are some obvious things you take with you: your mug in the break room, your family photos on your desk, your good pens that you bought from home that everyone likes to steal. There are some things you usually need to leave: your company computer, your access badge, your office phone. However, some people might think that they can take the actual work product that they created for their job while employed. This is where you can enter some really murky territory.

This blog will explore employee work product, which is a concept within employment law. Work product is not to be confused with Intellectual Property, which is a separate area of law. 

Put simply, work product is anything that an employee creates for their employer during the course of employment. The default rule, absent some other provision in an employment contract, is that your employer owns whatever work product you created for them while employed. For example, if you wrote a really stellar, lengthy, and involved report while working somewhere, that employer owns that report, even after you leave. You might still use it as a writing sample and boast about it on your resume, but you should not delete the file from the company’s database or transfer the credits to yourself. If you work in product development and created the recipe for your employer’s best-selling menu item, your employer owns the recipe to that item, not you. Again, you might boast going forward that you came up with and developed that recipe, but it still belongs to your employer. They will continue to offer that product after you leave and use the recipe that you created even in your absence. 

What about work product created beyond the scope of your job duties? Say you were voluntold to create a handbook for a program you don’t run because the company wants it to be more organized. Even if you create something beyond the scope of your job duties, if you created it for your employer while employed, it belongs to them. 

But what about the things that have nothing to do with your employer? Say you’re a talented seamstress and work for a clothing brand to create their garments. And because you’re so talented, you make your own clothes at home outside of work hours using your own sewing machine. Your personal items created at home on your personal equipment belong to you, even if it requires skill similar to the skills you use at work. But an employer very well may try to claim the opposite, especially with jobs that don’t have defined work hours, an office away from home, or separate equipment provided by the employer. It is worth consulting with an attorney to protect yourself in a scenario like this. 

Work product can be a really frustrating concept. After all, why should someone else own the things you’ve worked so hard on? The good news is work product provisions can be negotiable—the above just explains general default rules. Also, real life is rarely as concrete as the examples given above.  

If you are in a work product dispute with an employer, or otherwise want to protect your work product, schedule a consultation with one of our talented Texas Employment Attorneys today. Or, if you have received a contract from a potential employer and want to know how that contract may govern any potential work product you create, schedule a Document Review.

Kalandra Wheeler
Texas Employment Lawyer Kalandra Wheeler

We do the work because we love the work.  We chose to become plaintiff’s employment lawyers because we want to fight to protect the rights of hardworking individuals.  We have ups and downs. There will be great successes and victories.  On the flip side, in this fight, we will also take some tough punches and hard falls.  However, each day we get up again, ready to fight another day. It’s never-ending. There will always be employers that will violate the law. There will always be employees that have been unlawfully wronged. There will always be defense attorneys representing companies and their interests at the expense of employees.  This is why we continue to fight.  

This fight is not an easy one. Plaintiff’s employment attorneys see and hear the worst of the worst. We hear the sordid details of hostile workplace experiences. We witness the financial hardships created by loss of employment. We hear the heartbreaking stories depicting the emotional impact an employment dispute has taken on a person. We even hear stories of strained marriages and families breaking up in the midst of—and because of—the stresses caused by these disputes. We carry this heavy burden with not only one client, but with multiple clients. We carry this burden because these are the details we must know to best represent our clients.

In addition to the time we spend with clients learning about their cases and the damages caused, we have calls to make and answer, disputes with opposing counsel, matters to research, letters to write, motions and briefs to draft and respond to, deadlines to meet, hearings and trials to prepare for, and courts to appear in.  

In all of this, we must acknowledge that as attorneys we are still people.  Attorneys are not superheroes with endless reserves of a superpower we’ll just call “legal fortitude.”  

It is no secret that the daily grind for an attorney can take its toll on a person.  One of the most commonly known problems existing for practicing attorneys is alcohol abuse. However, attorneys must also be mindful of signs pointing toward depression, anxiety, and even drug dependency.

The pressures placed on practicing attorneys make it important to remember and practice self-care. There must be some modicum of balance between one’s life inside the office and that outside the office. There may also be the need to seek the services of qualified professionals. Professional services may include rehabilitation and addiction treatment, meeting with a psychologist or therapist, or even retaining a professional that assists with time management and organization.  If matters have not progressed to the point of seeking the professional services of a psychologist or therapist, making other adjustments may be beneficial in creating balance and reducing stress. These changes could be committing to a developing a habit of a regular workout schedule, disconnecting from work by taking classes or participating in activities or hobbies that that are not work related, or spending quality time with family and friends.  

The key take away is that attorneys are not superheroes. If you, or a lawyer you know, are in need of assistance there are services available. One resource available to lawyers in Texas is the Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program (TLAP).  TLAP’s mission is to provide counseling, referrals to appropriate resources and professionals, and facilitate contacts with volunteers trained in providing peer assistance when appropriate.

We are not meant to operate as attorneys 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Just like we tell our clients, you are more than just your job. There is a difference between who we are and what we do.  What we do – practice law.  Who we are – mothers, fathers, daughters, brothers, hospital volunteers, painters, runners, dancers, theatregoers, troupe leaders, travelers and much more. We are meant to have balance and structure; we are meant to be more than one thing. This is how we stay healthy mentally and physically and are able to continue the work that we do and best help clients.  Sometimes attorneys do need a little help.  Just like anyone else. 

We are employment attorneys taking care of ourselves so that we may continue to care for our clients. 

Marcos De Hoyos
Texas Employment Lawyer Marcos De Hoyos

For many, the World Cup is the sporting event of the decade, and for good reason. It is a moment where countries and cultures from around the world gather for a singular purpose: to watch soccer. Already, the current World Cup has had plenty of drama: Japan defeating two World Cup champions only to be knocked out in penalty kicks; Morocco defeating Spain to be the only African team in the Quarterfinals; and Mexico not qualifying for the Knockout Rounds for the first time since 1978. Despite the dramatics, however, this World Cup differs from the ones before it, primarily due to the controversy that has surrounded its location: Qatar.

As many may be aware, Qatar won the bid for the 2022 World Cup. FIFA had already been in deep controversy due to the location of the 2018 World Cup (Russia). This year, however, there has been a massive and blatant affront on human rights. The working conditions within Qatar to build the stadiums were abhorrent. Migrant workers who primarily constructed the stadiums for the World Cup endured appalling labor violations that should not be overlooked. These violations included, but are not limited too, national origin discrimination, unpaid wages, and illegal recruitment practices.

Indeed, many of the migrant workers interviewed by Equidem, a human rights and labor rights charity, claimed that they faced significant exploitation, discrimination (primarily national origin-based), and abuse (many reported physical, mental, and verbal abuse). Many also reported unpaid wages, wages lower than what was originally promised, and failure to pay for overtime or end-of-service benefits. There was indeed a bevy of human rights violations that went into constructing the stadiums for the 2022 World Cup.

Though Texas’ following of at-will employment is draconian, employees do have protections in place to ensure that they do not experience the actions seen in Qatar. To begin, if one were to experience discrimination in the workplace (whether national origin, race, sex, disability, or age), then one would be protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, or the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. If one is not paid the wages to which they are entitled to, then one can file a claim under the Texas Payday Law. Similarly, if one is an hourly employee and they are not paid for the work they committed in overtime, then one is able to file a claim under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Lastly, if one experiences a workplace hazard, then they can file a claim with the Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration (“OSHA”). Once can also file a Whistleblower claim with OSHA if there is a workplace hazard, they report it, and are subsequently terminated.
The World Cup is an extraordinary event that one should feel free to enjoy and participate in. With that being said, the infractions and human rights violations that occurred in Qatar should not be ignored and should be acknowledged and addressed. One should have the right to work in an environment that is free of discrimination and danger. If you find yourself in such a situation where you feel your rights are being violated at the workplace, then it would be prudent to consult with an attorney and see what, if any, options you may have.

Kalandra Wheeler
Texas Employment Lawyer Kalandra Wheeler

We are in the midst of the holiday season. As the holidays roll by, businesses everywhere are having their year-end holiday parties. Millions of people everywhere are going to restaurants, bars, and banquet halls to mix and mingle, to celebrate victories, and to close out the year. With these celebrations, often times there’s alcohol being served and consumed.

Some people dread the holiday office parties: the socializing, the drinking, and dancing.  Others love the holiday office parties: the socializing, the drinking, and dancing. No matter the camp in which an employee resides, it is the hope that employees are attending these parties responsibly. After all, the holiday office party is still a work event.  

The office party is not a place for employees to forget the rules against unlawful discrimination and harassment. The office party is not a free-for-all.  It is not “Vegas Baby,” where “everything that happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” Instead, the aftermath of an office holiday party gone wrong can come with significant consequences, giving new meaning to “out with old, in with the new” in 2023.  

A bad holiday party when exiting 2022, can mean holiday party liability when entering 2023.

Some people handle their liquor well.  They drink responsibly. Others may not do so well with spirits. They may overindulge leading them to behave in ways they should not when they are around their coworkers.  Employers take this risk when gathering large groups of people.  Risks are multiplied when those large groups are provided alcohol.  Controlling employee behavior amongst a smaller group of employees may be much simpler and less risky that an event where hundreds of employees are in attendance.  

Employees should know that whether it is in the office or outside the office, they should not be made to suffer unlawful discrimination or harassment. 

The holiday party may be a time where some employees start speaking about religious beliefs and practices. An employee or group of employees may then erroneously think it is okay to criticize someone else’s religious beliefs or treat another employee differently because of their religion. 

The holiday party and alcohol may give an employee courage to say every discriminatory thing they’ve thought about other races, religions, women, or a subordinate to whom they secretly didn’t want to provide a reasonable accommodation for a disability.

The holiday party and alcohol may result in employees forgetting important things like laws against sexual harassment and the consent requirement. There may be a supervisor flirting with his or her subordinate, another employee groping a team 

Jairo Castellanos
Austin Employment Lawyer Jairo Castellanos


 With Layoffs on the rise, it has put a palpable amount of pressure on workers around the country. Turning a season of cheer into one of stress and uncertainty. There are many laws that are in play that govern how an employer must go about a mass layoff. In this blog, I would like to go over a few of these laws. 


It seems as if mass layoffs have been predominating on the news recently. By way of example, Meta has announced that it would be reducing its staff by about 13%, and let’s not forget that Twitter let go of approximately half of its staff. But they are not alone. Indeed, various major companies such as Peleton, Seagate, Go-Puff, Snap, and Microsoft, have all announced similar reductions. If you have been part of these unfortunate cutbacks, the very first thing you need to do is make sure that your rights were not violated in the process. 

 The first law that I would like to discuss is the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (“WARN Act”). Generally speaking, this applies to companies that have employed 100 or more employees, who have worked there more than six months, in the past 12 months. If the requirements of the WARN Act are triggered, then the employer must provide each covered employee with at least 60-day notice of when the layoff is set to occur. A failure to do so, may result in stiff penalties against the employer, and it may make you entitled to receive the wages you would have received in that 60-day period.  Now, the tricky issue is that the WARN Act’s requirements are only triggered if certain elements are present. 

 Second, there is the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (“OWBPA”). As an amendment to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”) the OWBPA applies to all employers that employ 20 or more workers. If your employer is doing a group layoff, as defined, then it must provide workers over the age of 40 with certain protections. If there is a severance agreement, that agreement must contain: (1) a provision allowing the worker at least 45 days to consider the offer; (2) a benefit to which the worker is not already entitled to; and (3) a provision that allows that worker at least seven days to revoke their consent from the agreement. Moreover, the employer must also provide a list of who made the decision to terminate the employees, the factors used in determining who would be laid off, and a list of the individuals who were selected and not selected for the reduction with their position and age. A failure to adhere to these requirements may mean that any waiver found claims found within the severance agreement is void.   

 Third, one cannot forget about the promises that have already been made by the employer. Examples of this include severance obligations made in an employment contract. If an employer does not honor its promises it could lead to a breach of contract claim or one of several common law causes of actions. These causes of action can include promissory estoppel, fraud, quantum merit, and more. 

 Ultimately, when it comes to how a layoff situation will impact you it can be a daunting task. There are various laws at play that may be applicable in your situation. At Wiley Walsh, P.C. we specialize in employment, and we are more than happy to go over your situation so that we can assess what we are able to do for you. Feel free to contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys.


Harjeen Zibari Trial Attorney

The World Cup is always an exciting time; it offers us an opportunity to come together and watch nations compete to see who reigns supreme in the world’s most popular sport. I don’t want to brag, but I played soccer for 18 years, so I get extra excited for the World Cup. (Now, whether I played well is a whole other story, and that’s not the topic of this blog.)

Although this is the Men’s World Cup, issues regarding the disparate treatment of the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) linger in the background. 

You might know that the USWNT is one of the best in the world, with the best record of any international women’s soccer team. In fact, the entire time it’s existed, the USWNT has never been ranked lower than second internationally. The team has won the Women’s World Cup four times (in 1991, 1999, 2015, and, most recently, in 2019), and also has four Olympic Gold Medals (1996, 2004, 2008, and 2012). In comparison, the U.S. Men’s National Team (USMNT) is currently ranked 16th internationally, and the highest it’s ever been is 4th. The U.S. Men’s Team has never won the World Cup or the Olympics, although to its credit, the team has won the CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football) Championship three times in a row.

 However, despite the U.S. Women’s Team’s successes, they suffered from a staggering pay gap and differences between salary structures that were the subject of controversy for years. Most notably, the men were paid handsomely per game appearance, meaning that if they qualified and advanced in tournaments, they would get paid more. The women, on the other hand, were just paid straight salaries, and did not get credit for how far they consistently advanced in tournaments. And when they did win tournaments, the prize pools for women’s leagues are notoriously smaller. 

 However, in May of this year, the United States Soccer Federation, the United States Women’s National Team Players Association, and the United States National Soccer Team Players Association entered into a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) to finally offer equal pay for equal work. This CBA came on the heels of several USWNT stars, including Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan, reaching a $24 million settlement of their own claims against the U.S. Soccer Federation regarding the disparate pay between men and women.

 The CBA ensures, amongst other things, that the Men and Women’s Teams will offer the same base pay with the same bonuses per appearances. Also, the teams will split commercial revenue share 50/50, meaning they share the revenue from ticket sales, sponsorships, and ads. Additionally, the teams will pool the prize money earned from their respective World Cup appearances. This is particularly topical because the men just won an estimated $13 million for finishing at the Knockout Stage in Qatar. 

 The story of soccer players in the United States is bittersweet: it took years of the women advocating for themselves to finally reach equality, even as the absolute best in their (literal) field. However, this Collective Bargaining Agreement is the first of its kind and has hopefully set a precedent between men and women athletes nationwide—maybe even beyond. It also shows the power of Collective Bargaining Agreements, and how much of a difference workers can make when they advocate together and for each other. 

 But you don’t have to be a gold medalist or a world-record setter to be worthy of equal pay. You don’t even need to be a part of a union. Federal law acknowledges that employees in the same workplace must be paid substantially the same for the same work, regardless of gender. The Equal Pay Act of 1963 provides protections for you in the workplace, and acknowledges various forms of compensation, not just salaries. Overtime pay, bonuses, insurance, vacation and holiday pay, benefits, and other costs covered by your employer must be equal amongst employees in similar positions, regardless of your gender identity. 

 If you suspect are being paid less than others in your workplace due to your gender, contact our talented Texas Employment Lawyers today.

Jairo Castellanos
Austin Employment Lawyer Jairo Castellanos

Summary: Despite the fact that we have all grown up with the ideal that everyone should get their day in court, the sad reality is that fewer and fewer cases are going to trial. In large part this is because the rise of motions for summary judgment and other dispositive motions. 

There are few ideas that are as cornerstone to our legal system than one’s ability to get their day in court. Despite this notion, the ability of a plaintiff to get their day in court is becoming rarer and rarer each year. By way of example, according to an American Bar Association study only about 0.8 percent of cases were decided by a jury trial in 2013. By now that number may very well by lower. 

 While the study outlined various theories of why this may be the case, one of the biggest obstacles outlined in the study was the tendency of cases to be disposed by a dispositive motion. In fact, the study stated that motions for summary judgment alone, one of the various types of dispositive motions, are the procedural vehicle that dispose of about 20 percent of cases filed in federal court. That is why I would like to focus on motions of summary judgment for the purposes of this blog.

Broadly speaking, a motion for summary judgment is a party asking a judge to get rid of a case because no reasonable jury could find in the favor of the other party. At this phase of the inquiry, the judge is not allowed to weigh the evidence. In fact, in reviewing entry of summary judgment, the judge considers the evidence presented in the motion and response in the light most favorable to the party resisting the motion. Moreover, the judge must credit evidence favorable to that party if reasonable jurors could and disregarding contrary evidence unless reasonable jurors could not. In short, the judge must take as true all evidence favorable to the party resisting the motion for summary judgment.

While someone reading the above cited standard would think that these types of motions are rarely granted, the numbers do not lie. The fact of the matter is that these motions are growing in popularity and are being filed more and more by defendants in employment cases. As such, they are an incredible danger to getting your day in court.

In order to best protect your case from these types of motions there are steps you can take. The first is simple. Act fast. Many of the deadlines that are the subject of motions for summary judgment such as statutes of limitations are rather short. That is why if you believe you have a case, you should contact an attorney as soon as you can. Second, gather all the documents that you believe may be helpful for your case so that you are able to help your attorney put their best foot forward. Third, it is imperative to seek out an attorney that specializes in labor and employment law. This is because each type of law has its own type of quirks that can change what is the best way to approach matters. Probably, the best way one can see how important this small step is, is by taking note who employers are retaining to represent them in employment disputes. In large part, employers are retaining attorneys that specialize in labor and employment law. 

 Here, at Wiley Walsh, P.C. we specialize in labor and employment law. More importantly, we only represent workers. We are the type of law firm with the knowledge and skills to be a zealous advocate so that you won’t become part of a statistic. At Wiley Walsh, P.C., we can fight on your behalf with the legal expertise that this type of cases demand. Feel free to contact us for a consultation.