Also Serving El Paso.
Under both state and federal law, American workers have many important legal rights. You should be able to earn a living for your family, free from any form of unjust discrimination or harassment. Still, in far too many cases, employees are mistreated in the workplace. Whether it’s by company owners, supervisors, middle management or fellow workers, any unlawful mistreatment must be stopped.
I highly recommend Flores Tawney & Acosta law firm. They handled my wrongful termination case quickly and professionally. The staff was always helpful & knowledgeable of my case status. James and Connie are experienced and were well qualified to handle my type of case. I am grateful that they were able to get my case settled.
— Sasha M.
At Flores, Tawney & Acosta P.C., our Las Cruces employments attorneys and El Paso employments lawyers fight for the rights of those who have suffered from discrimination or harassment in the workplace. If you suffered an injustice at your job in Las Cruces or in any of the surrounding communities (including West Texas), our attorneys are standing by, ready to help.
Protecting the Civil Rights of Workers in Las Cruces
Our attorneys handle all types of workers’ rights claims. We have extensive experience handling these cases in both New Mexico and Texas state courts as well as in federal courts. Some of the specific types of employment claims cases that we have handled include:
- Race discrimination: Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers are prohibited from treating individuals differently based on their color or race.
- Gender discrimination: Title VII also protects workers against discrimination based on their gender. To be clear, this law protects both men and women from any adverse treatment based on their gender.
- Pregnancy discrimination: The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 considers any employer discrimination that is related to a worker’s pregnancy (or any related medical conditions) to be unlawful sex discrimination.
- Age discrimination: Likewise, applicants and workers can not be mistreated solely on the basis of their age. This is a growing problem for older workers.
- Failure to accommodate a disability: Under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, workers with disabilities are entitled to ‘reasonable accommodations’ at their workplace. If an employer fails to offer reasonable work conditions for disabled workers, they can (and should) be held legally liable.
- Sexual harassment: On-the-job sexual harassment is a violation of an employee’s civil rights. You should not be subject to harassment from your boss, indirect superior or any other employees at your jobsite.
- Wrongful termination: If an employer removes you from your position for an unlawful reason, whether it is because of discrimination or simply the breach of a contract, you can take legal action to recover damages.
- Employer retaliation: Finally, employers are also prohibited from retaliating against a worker who either 1) exercised their civil rights or 2) considered exercising their civil rights. Employers may not take adverse action against you (in any form) simply because you stood up for yourself. If they do try to intimidate you out of using your legal rights, you need to speak to a lawyer immediately.
El Paso Employees’ and Las Cruces Employees’ Protected Rights
Federal and state labor laws set forth requirements regarding how a worker is to be compensated, when they can be terminated, and their various protected rights, such as filing a claim for workers’ compensation. Our lawyers are available when any of your rights have been breached:
Right to be free of discrimination and harassment
You have the right to work in a place of employment that is free of discrimination and harassment, even if you’re not the one being discriminated against/harassed. If you are treated less favorably due to your race, religion, pregnancy status, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age, or genetic information, your rights are being breached.
Right to work in a workplace that is safe
While all workplaces may have some hazards, unreasonable workplace hazards that present a risk to worker health and safety are not acceptable. Not only do you have the right to work in a safe workplace, but you also have the right to report unsafe conditions to the appropriate authority without retaliation.
Right to fair and legal wages for your work
Both the federal and the state minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, and as a worker in Texas, you have the right to make at least this wage per hour. You also have the right to be paid time and a half for any hours worked over 40 in a seven-day period. Further, you have the right to certain leave types (such as protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act) without retaliation.
Right to not be retaliated against for certain protected activities
You have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim if you are harmed on the job, to report a safety violation or file a discrimination claim, to exercise your right to vote, and engage in other protected activities as an employee in El Paso. Not only do you have the right to do these things, but you also have the right to do them free from any retaliation from your employer.
Right to equal pay
Equal pay has historically been a serious issue; men and women have not always been paid equitably in the workplace. Equal pay laws hold that men and women receive equal pay for equal work; all forms of pay are covered by this law.
The above list is not inclusive; if you think one of your rights has been violated that is not listed above, please call our law firm for more information.
What Are My Rights if I’m Wrongfully Terminated in Las Cruces or El Paso?
Most employees’ biggest fear is that if they bring a claim against their employer, file a workers’ compensation claim, report discrimination, etc., they will be terminated from their position. You also have the right to be protected from wrongful termination. This means that if you are an at-will employee, your employer can terminate you without cause, but they cannot terminate you for exercising one of your protected rights. Nor can you fired because of any form of discrimination.
If you believe that you have been wrongfully terminated, it is important that you act quickly to document as much as you can about the wrongful termination and various interactions you’ve had with your employer and learn more about the process of bringing a claim for wrongful termination. New Mexico and Texas law permits a person to file a claim with a state or federal agency.
If you are filing a claim with a state agency, you should contact the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions, which maintains a work-sharing agreement with the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (therefore, you do not need to file your complaint with both agencies). By calling the department and explaining your situation, you will receive free guidance regarding whether or not you have a case that is actionable, and if so, what steps to take next.
After a complaint is filed, you and your employer will have the option of participating in a mediated session. If the case is not mediated for whatever reason, then a formal investigative process will ensue. At the conclusion of the investigation, your case will be reviewed by the division director and they will decide whether or not there is probable cause to show that the law may have been broken.
If there is probable cause, your case will move to conciliation, which if unsuccessful, will result in your case being heard before the New Mexico Human Rights Commission. If a determination of no probable cause is given, you have the right to appeal the decision, but must do so within 30 days.
Our lawyers strongly recommend that if you believe that you were wrongfully terminated, you hire a skilled employment lawyer for representation. Our law firm can guide you through the process of filing a complaint with the appropriate authority, producing evidence, mediating your case, understanding remedies available to you, and more.
Contact Our Office Today
If you believe that you were discriminated against by your employer, you need to speak to an attorney today. At Flores, Tawney & Acosta P.C., our team has extensive experience handling a wide variety of workplace civil rights cases. To set up a free, no-obligation review of your claim, please call our Las Cruces employment lawyers or El Paso employment lawyers today at 575-222-1000.
We serve clients throughout New Mexico and Texas. See a full list the many areas we serve.