Law Offices of

Glen D. Mangum

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Labor and Employment Law

The Law Offices of Glen D. Mangum, located in San Antonio, Texas, is an established law firm with over 30 years of experience in resolving both employees’ and employers’ labor and employment law issues.

Labor and Employment Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I’ve been treated unlawfully by my employer?
In the state of Texas, as in most states, the general rule of employment law is the “employment at will” doctrine. The “employment at will” doctrine holds that, in the absence of an enforceable agreement that the employer will employ the employee for a specified period of time, the employment relationship is “at will,” which means that either party may terminate the relationship at any time, even without notice, for any reason, even for no reason, without incurring any legal liability to the other.

Congress and the Texas Legislature have enacted several statutes restricting an employer’s ability to terminate employees at will, but the application of those statutes can sometimes be fairly limited.

A corollary of the “employment at will” rule is that an employer can not only completely terminate the employment relationship at will, but can also establish and/or alter the terms and conditions of the employment relationship at will. Again, the only restrictions on an employer’s right to establish or alter the terms and conditions of employment are statutory, so any claim of unlawfulness must fall under one of the prohibited statutory bases.

What actions of my employer might be unlawful?
The primary restraint on employer actions are the statutes that prohibit discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age or disability.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. Section 2000e, et seq., which is a federal statute, prohibits discrimination by employers because of an employee’s race, color, religion, sex or national origin.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967; 29 U.S.C. Section 621, et seq., another federal statute, prohibits discrimination on the basis of age, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. Section 12101, et seq., makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against someone because of a disability.

In Texas, the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act, which may be found at Chapter 21 of the Texas Labor Code, also prohibits discrimination in employment based on the same factors as federal law proscribes.

Both federal and state law prohibits retaliation by an employer against an employee who complains about discrimination. If you are employed by a public entity, you may also be protected under state law from retaliation for blowing the whistle on unlawful activities engaged in by your employer, and most employees are protected from being discharged or discriminated against for filing a worker’s compensation claim.

Employees of public entities may also enjoy protections afforded by the Constitutions of the United States or the State of Texas.

What kinds of actions by my employer might be unlawful?
Many decisions or actions of an employer, from the decision to hire or not hire an individual, to job assignments, decisions concerning pay or benefits, decisions to demote or promote, disciplinary actions, and discharge decisions, may be the subject of a claim by an employee against his or her employer. An employer may also commit an unlawful employment practice by harassing its employees, or by creating a hostile working environment, based upon one of the prohibited factors.

What remedies are available to me if I prove that my employer has acted unlawfully?
Depending upon the particular claim asserted, employees who prove that their employer has acted unlawfully are generally entitled to reinstatement, back pay, damages, attorney’s fees, and court costs. Generally speaking, an employee is also entitled to a jury trial of his or her claim.

How do I go about making a claim that my employer has acted unlawfully?
The best answer to this question is to consult an experienced labor and employment lawyer as soon as you suspect that your employer has acted in an unlawful manner.

However, generally speaking, claims of discrimination must first be presented either to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (the EEOC) or to the Texas Workforce Commission’s Civil Rights Division before such claims may be presented to a court. In Texas, you must make a formal complaint to the EEOC within 300 days of the date of the discriminatory act, or to the TWCCRD within 180 days. While you may present your complaint to the EEOC or the TWCCRD and participate in the subsequent investigation of your complaint without legal representation, it is not a good idea. The manner in which you present your complaint or in which the investigation is conducted may affect which issues you can subsequently raise in a lawsuit.

What if the problem I’m having with my employer doesn’t seem to fit into one of the categories of unlawful employment practices you’ve described?
Again, the best answer to this question is to consult an experienced, knowledgeable employment lawyer. An experienced employment lawyer, through consultation with you, may be able to discover facts that could constitute unlawful actions by your employer that you are not even aware of.

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Contact Info

Law Office of Glen D. Mangum

315 E. Euclid Ave
San Antonio, Texas 78212
Phone: 866-435-3854

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The information contained in this web site is intended to convey general information. It should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. It is not an offer to represent you, nor is it intended to create an attorney-client relationship.
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