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William Fulton Broemer

William Broemer’s Answers

1,204 total


  • Asked to sign a noncompete after working for company for 10 1/2 years. I am refusing to sign

    I have worked for his company for 10 1/2 years and has just been recently asked to sign a non-compete. This noncompete restricts me for working for a competitor for two years and within a 75 mile radius. If I refuse to sign is there a chance I ca...

    William’s Answer

    In Texas, an employer may make execution of a non-compete agreement a condition of (new or continued) employment. That includes temporary or seasonal employment. Employers can adopt a “sign it or leave” policy. That alone will not invalidate an otherwise enforceable non-compete agreement.

    In Texas, covenants not to compete are governed by Texas Business & Commerce Code §15.50. A link to the statute is provided below. Generally, if the non-compete agreement is directly related to the employment, restricted to the employee’s activities and a reasonable geographical area, and secured through valid consideration (which generally means continued employment or some sort of monetary incentive), it will be enforceable. The most cited Texas Supreme Court case on this subject is the case of Marsh USA v. Cook. A link to this case is provided below.

    Anyone (employer or employee) who is considering a non-compete arrangement should consult an experienced labor and employment attorney.

    http://law.onecle.com/texas/business/15.50.00.html
    http://law.justia.com/cases/texas/supreme-court/2011/2001724.html

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  • Can a fast food restaurant work employees without any water breaks aside from a 30 minute break in the first 3 hours.?

    Mcdonalds

    William’s Answer

    Neither Federal nor Texas law require employers to give employees breaks. If, however, you are a unionized employee, your collective bargaining agreement may mandate break times. Additionally, if you require breaks due to an established disability, you may be entitled to a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Here is a link to the Department of Labor's web page regarding breaks.

    http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/workhours/breaks.htm#doltopics

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  • Can an employer fire one half of a hired team

    they are threatening to fire both of us for me say a curse word during an argument with another employee.

    William’s Answer

    Texas is an employment at will state. Typically, unless an employee has an employment contract, or is employed under a collective bargaining agreement through a union, the employer can modify or terminate the employment at any time with or without cause for any non-discriminatory reason. However, an employer generally cannot alter or terminate employment for prohibited discriminatory reasons (such as racial discrimination), or in retaliation for certain protected actions (such as whistle-blowing). The description of the situation which you have provided does not include the elements of prohibited discrimination.

    Additionally, employers are not required to treat all employees the same, so long as the disparate treatment is not part of prohibited discrimination or retaliation (as described above).

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  • Can i sue my employer for harassment and wrongful termination?

    I am a veteran of the US Navy. I have been employed with my job since 2013. I work security for a university. They are trying to terminate me for not chasing a assumed suspect. who they thought was stealing a bike on campus. They told me i was su...

    William’s Answer

    Texas is an employment at will state. Typically, unless an employee has an employment contract, or is employed under a collective bargaining agreement through a union, the employer can modify or terminate the employment at any time with or without cause for any non-discriminatory reason. However, an employer generally cannot alter or terminate employment for prohibited discriminatory reasons (such as racial discrimination), or in retaliation for certain protected actions (such as whistle-blowing). The description of the situation which you have provided does not include the elements of prohibited discrimination.

    Additionally, employers are not required to treat all employees the same, so long as the disparate treatment is not part of prohibited discrimination or retaliation (as described above).

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  • I was accused of dropping a bag of marijuana at work and was taken in for questioning and was ordered to give a UA.

    HR had stated that they have a video of me doing so and i was the only one in the area. I was not and they wouldn't show me the video and made me do a drug test. I refused and they said if i didn't they will terminate me. I then resigned. I feel t...

    William’s Answer

    Now you're the Asian American who quit. An employer does not discriminate by permitting disgruntled employees to quit.

    If you believe the employer discriminated against you for being Asian, then you will get more informative answers from the attorneys here by providing examples of actual discriminatory conduct.

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  • Can I be forced to resign or be fired because my new wife is in human resources?

    I was hired through a referral by my at the time girlfriend; who works in HR. Her direct manager and the HR Director approved my hiring and we even signed a "anti harassment agreement" in the case of a break-up. The hiring manager has praised me t...

    William’s Answer

    An employee in Texas cannot be "forced" to resign. Either an employee resigns for reasons of his/her own choosing, or is fired. It sounds like you resigned for your own reasons.

    Texas is an employment at will state. Typically, unless an employee has an employment contract, or is employed under a collective bargaining agreement through a union, the employer can modify or terminate the employment at any time with or without cause for any non-discriminatory reason. However, an employer generally cannot alter or terminate employment for prohibited discriminatory reasons (such as racial discrimination), or in retaliation for certain protected actions (such as whistle-blowing). The description of the situation which you have provided does not include the elements of prohibited discrimination.

    Additionally, employers are not required to treat all employees the same, so long as the disparate treatment is not part of prohibited discrimination or retaliation (as described above).

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  • I was laid off from my job due to budget cuts and I was the highest paid.

    I was having issues with my boss for the past year prior to my layoff. I believe my layoff was more personal than business, as another employee in the department only made .10 less an hour than I and I had more experience and knowledge than the ot...

    William’s Answer

    This question involves two issues: 1) hostile work environment and 2) wrongful termination.

    1) Hostile work environment: A “hostile work environment” is a legal term of art which applies to a workplace where there is a systematic attempt to harass, threaten, and even endanger one or more employees. A boss who is demanding, inconsiderate, rude, or just a plane old jerk is not, generally, evidence of a hostile work environment. To prove a hostile work environment, the employee must establish that continuing unwelcome comments or conduct based on sex, race, or other legally protected characteristics (such as disabilities), unreasonably interferes with the employee’s work performance, and/or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment. Below are two links to web pages which provide information on workplace harassment and hostile work environments. Hopefully the information provided on these web pages will help you evaluate your situation.
    http://www.dol.gov/oasam/programs/crc/2011-workplace-harassment.htm
    http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/understanding-workplace-harassment-fcc-staff

    2) Termination: Texas is an employment at will state. Typically, unless an employee has an employment contract, or is employed under a collective bargaining agreement through a union, the employer can modify or terminate the employment at any time with or without cause for any non-discriminatory reason. However, an employer generally cannot alter or terminate employment for prohibited discriminatory reasons (such as racial discrimination), or in retaliation for certain protected actions (such as whistle-blowing). The description of the situation which you have provided does not include the elements of prohibited discrimination.

    Additionally, employers are not required to treat all employees the same, so long as the disparate treatment is not part of prohibited discrimination or retaliation (as described above).

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  • What type of documentation is needed for payroll deductions for company issued equipment?

    I work for a cable contractor. I am being charged $1000 for cable equipment that my company says I didnt return. They do not have any form documentation with my signature for equipment that was issued to me.

    William’s Answer

    Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), an employer may make certain types of payroll deductions from an employee’s paycheck without the employee's specific written consent. Permissible deductions include the cost of tools, safety equipment, and uniforms; disciplinary deductions (such as “fines” for tardiness, rule violations, or poor work); deductions to cover the cost of items lost or damaged by the employee; and deductions to cover ordinary cash register shortages not caused by some type of misappropriation.

    For non-exempt employees, deductions may never cause the employee to earn less than the minimum wage and may never cut into pay for overtime hours. Any employer may not lawfully make deductions which reduce the employee’s pay below any statutorily required minimum wage or overtime premium that is due. Following any deductions, employers must pay at least the statutorily-required minimum wage and overtime premium finally and unconditionally, or “free and clear.” The allowable deductions under the FLSA for non-exempt employees include:
    (1) meals, lodging, and other facilities furnished to the employee;
    (2) tip credits;
    (3) voluntary wage assignments;
    (4) loans and wage advances;
    (5) vacation pay advances;
    (6) uniforms and uniform cleaning costs;
    (7) employee-owed payroll taxes;
    (8) union dues;
    (9) court ordered garnishments or statutorily-required wage attachments; and
    (10) cash shortages due to misappropriation.

    Most other types of deductions require the written consent of the employee.

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  • Is it illegal to terminate one on the basis of bringing up potential fraud issues to the CEO? At will employment state.

    Felt uncomfortable and harassed by supervisors at work. Decided to go to CEO and requested that our conversation remain confidential and that I was coming to him in fear of being retaliated against by my supervisors. I also pointed at potential fr...

    William’s Answer

    Texas is an employment at will state. Typically, unless an employee has an employment contract, or is employed under a collective bargaining agreement through a union, the employer can modify or terminate the employment at any time with or without cause for any non-discriminatory reason. However, an employer generally cannot alter or terminate employment for prohibited discriminatory reasons (such as racial discrimination), or in retaliation for certain protected actions (such as whistle-blowing). The description of the situation which you have provided does not include the elements of prohibited discrimination.

    Additionally, employers are not required to treat all employees the same, so long as the disparate treatment is not part of prohibited discrimination or retaliation (as described above).

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  • Greetings

    I was fired from my job on 6/19/2015. I worked from home providing customer service. My job title was Chat Support CS, working for Teletech I filed for unemployment and was denied because I was told that I refused a "direct order". ...

    William’s Answer

    Texas is an employment at will state. Typically, unless an employee has an employment contract, or is employed under a collective bargaining agreement through a union, the employer can modify or terminate the employment at any time with or without cause for any non-discriminatory reason. However, an employer generally cannot alter or terminate employment for prohibited discriminatory reasons (such as racial discrimination), or in retaliation for certain protected actions (such as whistle-blowing). The description of the situation which you have provided does not include the elements of prohibited discrimination.

    Additionally, employers are not required to treat all employees the same, so long as the disparate treatment is not part of prohibited discrimination or retaliation (as described above).

    See question