Publications

TWFC Accepts Retaliation Charges Regarding Emergency Evacuations

March 31, 2006

FEMA may not be the only government agency with which Texas employers may have to contend while attempting to recover from hurricane storm damage and business interruption. The Texas Workforce Commission, Civil Rights Division (“TWFC”) could cause employers a tidal surge size headache as well. A little known provision of the Texas Labor Code, Section 22.002, makes it unlawful for an employer to “discharge or in any other manner discriminate against an employee who leaves the employee’s place of employment to participate in a general public evacuation ordered under an emergency evacuation order” — which would include Hurricane Rita evacuation orders issued by Governor Perry or by the mayors of Galveston, Houston, Beaumont, etc. The section contains an exception allowing discharge of emergency services personnel who leave their post during such a crisis.

The TWFC has issued a press release informing the public of Chapter 22’s prohibition, modified its Intake Questionnaire to add “emergency evacuation” as a basis for discrimination, and begun accepting discrimination charges for alleged violations!

There are no reported cases interpreting Chapter 22. Presumably, it will be interpreted similarly with other discrimination statutes, e.g., as long as the discharge was motivated by legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons—including economic necessity, business interruption, etc. — there would be no violation. Stay tuned!

Firm Highlights

Publication

Paid Sick and Safe Leave

When you think of Texas do you think of mandatory paid time off laws? How would Paid Sick and Safe Leave affect your HR policies? Join Kevin and Erin McNamara as they discuss this...

Publication

Flextime in the Workplace

Is flextime right for your office? How do you keep confidential information confidential when employees are working off site? Listen as Kevin Mosher talks to Bill Kelly, HR Director of Vinco, Inc., about piloting...

Experience

Fifth Circuit Decision Secured In Civil Rights Case

Dallas partner John Ross, obtained a favorable decision from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of his clients, El Paso Hospital District and two of its nurses, on civil rights, constitutional, and...

Publication

ADA Accommodations that Come with Fur and a Tail

Boa constrictors in the workplace?  Do we have to accommodate all employee pets?  Join HR attorneys Kevin Mosher and Laura Alaniz for a fun and informative discussion on pets in the workplace.   

Publication

Interviewing Tips and Tricks

Publication

The Trifecta: ADA, FMLA, and Workers Compensation

A look into ADA, FMLA, and Workers Compensation from both the HR and Risk Management side. How do they work together? Listen as Kevin and Senior Risk Manager of Patterson Companies, Maggie Hobbs discuss...

Publication

Is Sexual Orientation Discrimination Unlawful? Supreme Court to Decide!

Listen to HR attorneys Kevin Mosher and Stephanie Rojo discuss sexual orientation discrimination and transgender discrimination issues and the exciting cases before the Supreme Court.  Will SCOTUS find that federal law protects employees and...

Event

ABCs of Employment