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Stephen Lewis Townsend

Stephen Townsend’s Answers

16 total


  • Do i need legal representation?

    i recvd letter notice of potential prosecution about me filing for unemployment still after working. said a felony due to amount.

    Stephen’s Answer

    Without knowing all of the facts, I would recommend seeking legal representation if you are going to be prosecuted for a felony.

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  • Can proof of sexual and verbal harrassment be relevant to my Tribunal Hearing based on "Misconduct" from my former employer?

    I have 1 1/2 yers of emails plus a written journal pertaining to sexual and verbal harrassment that I received from former employer and I want to use this along w/ former employees who can attest to my treatment in order to win my case against emp...

    Stephen’s Answer

    By tribunal hearing, I assume you mean unemployment hearing. That proof could be relevant to your unemployment hearing. You may also have a discrimination case, which is different from the unemployment claim. If you were harassed and discriminated based on your gender you may have a discrimination claim. If you complained of it, and they fired you in retaliation of it, then you may have a retaliation claim. In order to pursue these discrimination claims, you need to contact the EEOC.

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  • I have a question my boss humilated me by postin this on my facebook page were everyone could see it...

    its considered slander to me

    Stephen’s Answer

    Very little facts. What was posted would be important to whether it was slander. I agree with the post on notifiying your HR department. I would caution you that, if your company has a policy against facebook, or misuse of computers during worktime, you may make sure you are not in violation, as in your facebook posting shows activity during work hours.

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  • My employment was terminated for taking some time off to recuperate from a work-sustained injury. The employer claimed that I qu

    My employment was terminated for taking some time off to recuperate from a work-sustained injury. The employer claimed that I quit my job even though I followed protocol by calling the call-in line for absentee schedule. I applied for unemployment...

    Stephen’s Answer

    Wrongful termination in Texas can occur if you are fired after seeking Worker’s Comp benefits. Did you begin the Worker’s Comp process for your work sustained injury?

    Also, FMLA leave may apply to your situation. Once you needed the time off to recuperate, if you qualify for FMLA, then you may have been required to be notified of your FMLA rights.
    The EEOC is correct. They will not be able to help on the Worker’s Comp retaliation or FMLA. If you feel this is based on your race, gender, disability, national origin, or religion, then you would need to file an EEOC charge. Sometimes the Worker’s Comp retaliation claims have underlying disability claims.

    To proceed with a civil action, you should contact an attorney in your area. Without more facts, you may or may not qualify for the Worker’s Comp retaliation or FMLA violation causes. You should meet with a lawyer to discuss those facts and see if those claims, or even other options, apply. Which claims apply can dictate which court may have jurisdiction.

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  • Workplace discrimination only, or also libel and fraud?

    If my employer issues a written warning that is 100% lies, and if I can prove it, have they also committed libel and fraud, and can they be charged as such?

    Stephen’s Answer

    To expand on Christine C McCall's excellent analysis, unfortunately in Texas an employer can issue a warning full of lies. Proving it may help your unemployment claim, but unless there is an underlying issue of discrimination based on race, gender, age, national origin, or religion, you will not be able to bring a suit. We see employees treated unfairly a lot, but seldom does it rise to discrimination or some sort of libel. Sometimes it is a symptom of other unlawful discrimination (i.e. race, etc.)

    I recommend you contact the EEOC if you feel this was based on race, etc., or in retalliation of a complaint based on race, etc. A great place to look for free information for employees in Texas is the Texas Workforce website. It sounds like the details of your case would be better reviewed by an attorney that can sit down and talk to you, see the reveiw, and get more facts before giving you an ultimate decision.

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  • Do I need an employment lawyer?

    After being threatened by a Board of Directors member at the Municipality where I was acting General Manager, and the rest of the Board not investigating the situation I felt I had no choice but to resign. I have filed for unemployment but really...

    Stephen’s Answer

    If you are not employed under contract or part of a union, there may not be much you can do to get your job back. If the threats are of a nature that attacked your age, gender, race, national origin, or religion, you may have a discrimination claim. If you feel that is the case, you need to contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commisison (EEOC). If the threats were violent, there may be other causes of action.

    Texas is at will employment, meaning you can quit or be fired at any time. The burden in getting unemployment is different than that of a wrongful termination based on discrimination. Another good place to look is at the Texas Workforce website. They also have a lot of free information for employees.

    Good luck to you. I would definately approach an employment lawyer in your area. Many have free initial consultations. Sometimes a short blurb is not enough to convey all the facts. At least if you meet face to face with a lawyer, he can give a more in-depth analysis of your case.

    Hope that helps.

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  • My boss has called me a child molester because of my involvement with the childrens ministry at my church. Is this legal?

    My boss has told me numerous times I need to give up my time I work with my church for my job. Also he has called me numerous times a child molester because of my involvement with the childrens minsitry at my church. Also I have not had any train...

    Stephen’s Answer

    Federal and State laws protect employees from unlawful discrimination based on race, age, gender, national origin, and religion. Since Texas is an employment at will state, you can quit or be fired for any reason except for the protected ones. If you feel like you are being discriminated or harassed because of your religion, you need to contact the EEOC and file a complaint. If the boss is telling others that you are a child molestor, it could be defamation.

    Limited to the facts you supplied, I would recommend seeking a lawyer in your town for a consultation. Many lawyers provide a free initial consultation.

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  • Is it legal to cut hours to avoid overtime?

    My husband works for a company in Texas, where he works from 8-5 Monday thru Friday. He is then on call at nights and on weekends. My question is, if he works his shift and comes home and then is called out to make a delivery, is it legal for them...

    Stephen’s Answer

    Texas is an employment at will state, so an employer can change an employee's hours, with or without notice. What they cannot do is change the work week used to calculate payment of wages, which doesn't seem to be the case based on your factual question.

    Also, the employer cannot discriminate based on age, sex, race, national origin, religion, or disability. If he feels he is being denied overtime for a a disrminating reason, he should contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

    Without knowing the entire set of facts surrounding your husband's situation, I would recommend looking at the Texas Workforce site. I am including a link. They have many of the commonly (and even uncommonly) asked questions regarding pay and employment.

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  • How do i find out about a pending eeoc case

    discrimination, retaliation, and harrassment

    Stephen’s Answer

    If you are the charging or responding party, you can call your EEOC investigator.

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  • Ex-Employer is hacking into my personal cell phone.

    I just quit a company 3 days ago. Our company did not supply us with company phones. The IT Department when I started working there, helped me set up my company email, on my personal smart phone to get email. I never signed anything pertaining t...

    Stephen’s Answer

    When you quit, did you get the IT Department to remove the company email account? If the company email account was still on there, or even just the connection to it, it would probably give you errors. I'm sure your company disabled your email access on their end, and if your phone is trying to connect to their servers, it would get security error messages. As far as phones freezing up, it could be the cause, but there are thousands of reasons phones lock up.

    Other than your phone freezing up with that message, are there any other indications your ex-employer is hacking into your phone?

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