San Antonio Employment Lawyer

 Reputable San Antonio Employment Law Attorneys Protecting the Rights of Employees & Employers in Texas

If you’re a worker in Texas, whether you’re an executive, construction worker, or engineer, it’s important to know that your rights as an employee are protected under both state and federal law. These laws guarantee that you have the right to a fair wage, protection against discrimination, and to not be wrongfully terminated, among other things. And as an employer in Texas, it is your responsibility to ensure that your employees’ rights are protected and upheld at all times. At The Galo Law Firm, we’ve been helping both employees and employers with all their employment-related issues for over 30 years. Our experienced team of lawyers specializes in handling employment dispute cases and is dedicated to achieving the best possible outcome for our clients. If you’re looking for an employment lawyer in San Antonio, contact our skilled employment law attorney for a consultation. Our San Antonio employment lawyer is passionate about defending workers’ rights and has the skills and expertise necessary to win your case. Our labor law attorney provides guidance and support to clients on a wide range of employment law issues and employment agreements.  At The Galo Firm, we fight aggressively to ensure that your case is successful, and we make sure to give equal importance to each case that comes through our door.

Two coworkers of different ages collaborating and working together on a laptop.

Employment Relationships

Employment law covers the relationships between employers and their current, prospective and former employees, as well as independent contractors. Both federal and state laws control various aspects of the employer-employee relationship, including each side’s rights and obligations. Because of the complexity of the employment relationship, this area of law involves issues as diverse as discrimination, record keeping, taxation and workplace safety. There are also different types of employment relationships. Employment relationships can be based on a contract, or they can be “at-will.” If the employment relationship is based on a valid contract entered into by the employer and the employee, the terms of that contract will govern the relationship. By contrast, an at-will employment arrangement can be terminated at any time, with or without reason, by either the employer (as long as the reason does not constitute illegal discrimination) or the employee. With all these factors to consider, it is clear why employment law is such a complex area.
If you have an employment law concern, contact an employment law lawyer at The Galo Law Firm P.C. in San Antonio, Texas who can provide advice and representation in a range of workplace-related matters.

Federal Regulations on Employment Relationships

Numerous federal laws apply to employment nationwide. Some laws affect only employers over a certain size, while others have different restrictions. The following is a quick summary of the major federal employment laws: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended:

  • Applies only to employers who, for 20 or more calendar workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year, have employed 15 or more employees
  • Prohibits employers from discriminating because of or on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth or a related medical condition) or national origin

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA):

  • Applies only to employers who, for 20 or more calendar workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year, have employed 15 or more employees
  • Defines disability with respect to an individual as “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual; a record of such an impairment; or being regarded as having such an impairment”
  • Defines major life activities to include, but not limited to, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, working and major bodily functions such as functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine and reproductive functions
  • Is designed to prohibit discrimination against workers with disabilities
  • Provides that if an individual with a disability can perform the essential functions of the job, with reasonable accommodation, that person cannot be discriminated against on the basis of the disability

Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA):

  • Applies only to employers who, for 20 or more calendar workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year, have employed 20 or more employees
  • Applies only to employees who are 40 years old or older
  • Prevents employers from giving preferential treatment to younger workers to the exclusion of older workers when it comes to hiring, pay, benefits such as health insurance, job assignments and promotions
  • Does not prevent an employer from favoring older employees over younger employees

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA):

  • Applies to businesses that gross $500,000 or more per year and to other specific types of businesses
  • Provides that qualified employees who work more than 40 hours in a week should receive time-and-a-half pay for the overtime
  • Does not provide regulation as to the number and duration of breaks an employer must allow, but individual states may do so
  • Specifies minimum wage requirements

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA):

  • Applies only to employers who, for 20 or more calendar workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year, have employed 50 or more employees for each working day
  • Applies only to employees who have worked for the employer for at least 12 months and 1,250 hours in the year preceding the leave
  • Provides that employers must allow employees to take up to a 12-week unpaid leave of absence during any 12-month period for qualified family and medical reasons
  • Preserves qualified employees’ positions for the duration of the leave
  • Employees generally cannot be punished or demoted for taking valid FMLA leave
Two employees shaking hands over a desk.

Employee Rights in the Workplace

All employees have basic rights in the workplace. Those rights include privacy and freedom from illegal discrimination. In addition to federal law, each state has enacted laws to protect the rights of workers. A job applicant also has certain rights even prior to being hired as an employee. Those rights include the right to be free from discrimination based on age, gender, race, national origin or religion during the hiring process.In most states, employees have a right to privacy in the workplace. This right to privacy can include one’s personal possessions, including handbags or briefcases, and storage lockers accessible only by employees.

Employees also have a right to privacy in their personal telephone conversations. Employees have very little privacy or right to privacy, however, in their messages on company email and their Internet usage on the employer’s computer system.

There are certain pieces of information that an employer may not seek out concerning a potential applicant or an employee. An employer may not conduct a credit or background check of an employee or a prospective employee unless the employer notifies the employee or applicant in writing that it intends to do so and receives authorization to do so.

In addition, most private employers may not require an employee or a prospective employee to submit to a polygraph (lie-detector test). There are very narrow exceptions to this rule if the employee is suspected of being involved in an incident that caused economic loss or injury to the employer or if the employee is being considered to drive an armored car, work for a security company, work with controlled substances or work in national security.

A group of employees standing and discussing paperwork together.

Employer Obligations and Protections

As an employer, it is essential to understand that you have a legal obligation to ensure that your employees’ rights are protected. This means providing them with a fair wage, a safe work environment, and equal employment opportunities. Failure to do so could lead to potential lawsuits, loss of revenue, and damage to your company’s reputation. At The Galo Law Firm, we understand the complexities and nuances of employment law. Our team of experienced attorneys can help you navigate through the legal issues you may face as an employer. We can assist you in developing and implementing policies and procedures that are in line with state and federal employment laws, ensuring that your employees’ rights are protected while minimizing legal risks for your company.

Employment Issues We Handle in San Antonio, TX

At our law firm, we handle a wide range of employment law issues, including but not limited to:

Wrongful Termination

In the state of Texas, employers have the legal authority to terminate their employees under the doctrine of “employment-at-will,” which means that an employer can dismiss an employee at any time and for any legal reason, without prior notice or cause. However, there are certain exceptions to this rule that prohibit employers from using unlawful justifications for terminating their employees. These prohibited reasons are based on state and federal laws and acts that protect employees from wrongful termination. Therefore, employers cannot dismiss their employees for discriminatory reasons such as:

  • Membership of a Protected Class such as race, age, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, and disability status.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Filing a workplace claim against your employers, such as a worker’s compensation or Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration (OSHA) claim.
  • Refusing to commit an illegal act for your employer.
  • Engaging in a ‘protected activity’ such as reporting harassment or violations in the workplace.
  • Whistleblowing.

Any termination that violates these laws and acts may be considered wrongful termination, and the affected employee may have legal grounds to pursue legal action against the employer.

Sexual Harassment

Under both state and federal laws, sexual harassment is expressly forbidden in the workplace. This can encompass a wide range of behaviors, including but not limited to: making inappropriate comments, telling sexual jokes, sharing sexually explicit photos in the workplace, making unwanted physical contact, coercing someone into sexual activity in exchange for a promotion, or fostering a hostile work environment.If you have experienced workplace sexual harassment or retaliation for reporting such behavior, it may be in your best interest to seek the assistance of an employment lawyer in San Antonio who can help you pursue justice.

Wage and Hour Disputes

To ensure fair compensation and timely payment of employees, state and federal laws have been put in place. These laws dictate how employers should pay their workers and what benefits they are entitled to receive. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) mandates that workers be paid overtime, which is at least their regular rate plus a half, for any hours worked over 40 per week. If you have concerns about your wages or hours, it may be beneficial to seek the advice of an employment lawyer.

Discrimination

In Texas, discrimination based on protected characteristics strictly prohibited by both federal and state laws. This applies to all aspects of employment, including hiring, promotion, pay, and termination.  These characteristics include race, age, disability, gender (including pregnancy and gender identity), and religion or belief system. There are federal acts such as the Equal Pay Act (1963) and Civil Rights Act (1964) that aim to protect employees from discrimination. At the state level, the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination in the workplace on the basis of membership in a protected group.

Employment Contracts

Our legal team is equipped to assist you with the creation and interpretation of labor and employment agreements. Whether you are an employer seeking to draft a comprehensive contract, or an employee seeking to ensure that your payment, bonuses, termination clause, and leave benefits align with your verbal agreement, our attorneys can provide you with the necessary guidance and support. We can also help you to comprehend the terms and conditions of any contract, ensuring that you are fully informed of your rights and responsibilities.

Schedule a Consultation Today with Our San Antonio Employment Law Attorney

Employees have a variety of rights in the workplace, through both federal and state law. Employers, however, also have rights and protections under the law. It is important for both employers and employees to be aware of their legal rights and the duties they owe to each other.
If you are an employee and you feel your rights have been violated by your employer, get in touch with an employment lawyer at The Galo Law Firm P.C. in San Antonio, Texas to ensure that your rights are protected.

DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.

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