Category Archives: Recent Developments

Texas Adopts the Uniform Trade Secrets Act

Historically, trade secret issues in Texas were a matter of common law.  As previously discussed on this blog, the Texas legislature finally considered adopting the Uniform Trade Secrets Act this year.  The proposed Act is quoted in the prior blog article. The legislature passed the Act, and the governor signed it into law on May… Read More »

Dallas Court of Appeals: The Texas Workforce Commission’s Improper Processing of a Charge of Discrimination Is Not a Jurisdictional Bar to Suit

The processing of a Charge of Discrimination by the EEOC or the Texas Workforce Commission can present a number of vexing issues in employment discrimination cases.  The Dallas Court of Appeals addressed one of these issues in Dallas County Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences and Medical Examiner Department v. Ray (published opinion dated May 16,… Read More »

McAllen Federal Court Finds Direct Evidence of Race and Sex Discrimination Against a White Applicant

Judge Michaela Alvarez of the Southern District of Texas decided a motion for summary judgment case involving allege race discrimination and sex discrimination in Fischer v. City of Donna, No. 7:12-CV-242 (May 14, 2013). The plaintiff, who is a white female, applied for the position as city manager of Donna, Texas.  She was not hired.  Instead,… Read More »

Fifth Circuit Rejects Title VII Claims Based on Public Displays of Affection by Co-Workers

The Fifth Circuit considered sex discrimination and retaliation claims in Kummerle v. EMJ Corp., No. 12-10869 (5th Cir. May 16, 2013) (unpublished).  In affirming the district court’s dismissal of the case, the Fifth Circuit offered an analysis that may be disturbing to plaintiffs. The facts are simple.  The plaintiff’s male supervisor and a female co-worker… Read More »

Houston Federal Court Issues Rulings Concerning Notice in an FLSA Collective Action

The Fair Labor Standards Act governs claims for unpaid overtime.  The FLSA also allows for the certification of a collective action, which is a form of class action in which multiple employees can join as plaintiffs.  As part of the collective action process, the court authorizes a notice that is sent to prospective class members. … Read More »

The EEOC Revises Its Guidance on Specific Disabilities Under the ADA

The EEOC has jurisdiction over claims of disability discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act.  The EEOC has issued specific guidelines for certain disabilities.  The EEOC has now revised those guidelines.  The revised guidelines are: Cancer in the Workplace Diabetes in the Workplace Epilepsy in the Workplace Intellectual Disabilities in the Workplace These guidelines provide… Read More »

The NLRB Finds Another Facebook-Related Violation: The Bettie Page Decision

The NLRB once again considered the application of section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act in the non-union context when it decided Design Technology Group, LLC d/b/a Bettie Page Clothing on April 19, 2012.  This case follows the Board’s prior decision in Hispanics United, which applied section 7 to employee comments on Facebook. The… Read More »

Fifth Circuit Addresses Damages in an Age Discrimination Case

The Fifth Circuit considered an age discrimination case in Miller v. Raytheon Co., No. 11-10586 (5th Cir. May 2, 2013) (published).  The most interesting aspect of the decision is the Fifth Circuit’s rulings on the various categories of damages. The facts are fairly straightforward.  The plaintiff worked for Raytheon for around 30 years in supply… Read More »

Corpus Christi Court of Appeals: Charge of Discrimination Was Sufficient to Cover “Pattern and Practice” Claim

The Corpus Christi Court of Appeals considered the sufficiency of a charge of discrimination in a race discrimination case in Rincones v. WHM Custom Services, Inc., No. 13-11-00075-CV (Tex. App. — Corpus Christi May 2, 2013) (memorandum opinion). The plaintiff was an employee of WHM working at Exxon’s facility in Baytown.  The plaintiff took a… Read More »

Houston Federal Court: Age Discrimination Plaintiff Presented Sufficient Evidence of Pretext

Judge Sim Lake of the Southern District of Texas considered an age discrimination claim in Paulissen v. MEI Technologies, Inc., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59175 (S.D. Tex. April 25, 2013). The plaintiff, who was 47 at the time of her hiring, was controller of MEI Technologies.  About a year after her 69-year-old supervisor was replaced by… Read More »