The federal Family Medical Leave Act is often associated with maternity leave here in Texas. However, FMLA leaves are available for many reasons in addition to pregnancy or the pregnancy of a spouse. Under this law, workers of covered employers may also take 12-weeks of leave annually for an adoption or foster placement, a medical emergency or serious health condition, or to care for a relative who is ill.
Many employment law disputes here in Houston stem from confusion about the classification of an employee. Employees have different rights than independent contractors, and while these differences are simple enough, they can become very complicated due to a number of factors. One issue is that workers who should legally be considered employees are often misclassified as contractors. Another issue applies to those who truly are contractors, and that is that they may have an employment relationship with two companies--one with a staffing company and another with the company for which they are actually completing work.
As Texas residents who have been called to jury duty know, it just never seems to come at a convenient time. However, it is one of our responsibilities as citizens and it is something that we generally must do when asked. Many people who are called to jury duty have many questions about the effect it will have on their jobs. Can you be fired for taking time off for jury duty? Does your employer need to pay you for jury duty?
A couple of weeks ago, we discussed an interesting pension move that Texas-based AT&T was asking federal officials to allow, and now this week news has broken about another telecommunication's company and its pension plan.
Houston sports fans likely remember when the NHL's Derek Boogaard died in May 2011 in a drug and alcohol related accident. The hockey enforcer, 28, was one of the league's highest paid players and many were saddened by his untimely death while he was still participating in the league's substance-abuse program.
Houston residents who have pension plans may or may not know that those plans are governed by the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act. Also known as ERISA, this group of laws requires employers and plan administrators to act in the best interest of employees when administrating retirement funds.
Houston viewers of NBC's "Today" saw Ann Curry's tearful last segment on the morning infotainment show yesterday. Various news media reports suggest that she was demoted from the show at Matt Lauer's request. Curry took over as Lauer's co-anchor about one year ago, and in recent months ABC's "Good Morning America" surpassed "Today" in the ratings for the first time in 16 years.