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Texas A&M assistant professor alleges wrongful termination

For many professors, getting tenured at a university is a dream come true. Those in Houston with such coveted positions know that it means job stability and perhaps peace of mind. The process some people go through to get tenured can be detailed, and school personnel should handle the situation delicately to avoid an employment discrimination charge. One suit against a Texas university illustrates how employees could interpret their termination.

A former assistant professor at Texas A&M University in Galveston has filed a lawsuit against the school alleging several instances of discrimination. The man, born in India, claims that he was harassed and wrongfully terminated. Among his allegations are that the school loaded him with classes that others did not want to teach and granted extensions to other professors but not him. He also states that his papers were thrown in the trash and he was forced to move his lab. As a result, the man claims that these actions led to his termination.

Texas-based Buc-ee's files trademark infringement lawsuit against Frio Beaver

Consumers in Texas and the rest of the country often develop strong attachments to their favorite retail stores and establishments. For this reason, the logos and symbols that represent these companies are some of their most valuable assets, and they may even take it upon themselves to keep other companies from infringing upon their rights. Sometimes, these disputes lead to business litigation.

When Buc-ee’s opened a new convenience store in Texas City, 60,000 of its loyal fans lined up for the grand opening. Fans of the local chain have come to associate the store with its logo, which features a beaver mascot with a yellow background.

Texas assisted living home accused of deceptive trade practices

Many businesses must have a license in place in order to operate. Additionally, there are industry-specific standards that govern the way Houston companies work. An accusation of violating those standards could result in costly business litigation proceedings that can drain time and money. As one Texas assisted living facility is learning, it is important to have proper documentation and representation.

In winter of 2011-2012, freezing temperatures caused a sprinkler system in the assisted living facility to break. Court documents state that roughly 200 people lived on the upper floors of the building and went without protection from a fire for eight months. The fire marshal’s office and the attorney general’s office both indicated that the facility should make the repairs, which would have cost less than $3,000.

Drug makers worry warning label change could cost billions

A business that provides products or services to consumers should do everything possible to ensure protection against lawsuits. Many company owners in Houston may find that a misstep can quickly lead to business litigation. Providing adequate warning to consumers regarding the risks of an item or activity could prevent such legal action.

The Food and Drug Administration is stirring up controversy with the way certain warnings are delivered. Generic drugs, which comprise more than 80 percent of prescription medications ordered in the United States, do not have legal requirements to updated labels following news of its brand name counterpart causing harm until the brand name drug updates its label. Once the generic drug has an FDA-approved label, consumers are not allowed to sue a company based on failure-to-warn allegations.

Texas restaurant pays $650,000 in back wages after labor dispute

There are several ways a restaurant may choose to pay its serving staff. Some Texas venues run on the traditional practice of allowing servers to keep what they earn in tips, and others pool tips and divide the amount equally among the staff. A slight mistake in either method can lead to wage and hour disputes. As one incident involving a famous steakhouse illustrates, the consequences of failing to compensate staff according to federal regulations can be expensive.

The Big Texan Steak Ranch is known for offering a 72-ounce steak dinner as an eating challenge: The meal is on the house for anyone who can consume it in an hour. The restaurant is now making headlines after a 2011 audit revealed that some of the pooled tips had been used to pay for business costs. Additionally, federal investigators noted that there were several record-keeping and wage violations.

Texas woman may get 30 years for embezzling from bank

Many workers have, from time to time, violated an office policy. It could be as simple as breaking the dress code or failing to punch the clock in a timely fashion. Some Texans, however, commit blatant offenses such as embezzlement that not only carry consequences in the workplace but also have legal repercussions. As one recent incident illustrates, employees may steal from both their employer and the business’ customers.

For roughly six years, a woman worked as a banker at an East Texas business. During that time, she served as an officer for the organization. Over the course of her employment, she embezzled roughly $335,000 from the bank. According to investigators, the woman accessed the money from certificates of deposit and payroll accounts. She also fraudulently issued loans and even stole money from accounts that were dubbed “Christmas Club,” which customers of the bank used to save money for the holidays.

Report: Land sales in Texas nearly doubled in a decade

For many companies, an essential part of conducting business is having the right location for factors such as foot traffic or manufacturing facilities. Business owners in Harris County typically negotiate to find the right commercial real estate to give them a competitive edge. It is important for businesses to take into consideration how the space will benefit the company and how it will affect their bottom line. A booming trend in Central Texas is to purchase small tracts of land.

According to a spokesman for the Texas Realtors Association, there has been a nearly 100 percent increase in the amount of land purchases over the last decade. Several factors are driving that growth, from development opportunities for investors to companies that need the space for operations. When it comes to land sales, the smaller tracts in Central Texas have become the most popular.

Gender-based salary inequity argument doesn't stand in court

Equal pay for women can be a hot-button issue for many businesses. It is important for a Houston company to ensure that its practices fall in line with the regulations that set certain standards. At the center of many wage and hour disputes are women who claim that they make less than their male counterparts solely on the basis of gender. As a recent incident illustrates, those claims may not always be substantiated, and it is important to consider all the angles of the situation.

The former vice president of communications and consumer affairs sued her previous employer, Anheuser-Busch, on the grounds of discrimination. The woman, who was with the company for 20 years and became the organization’s highest-ranking female executive, also served as a strategist for the company. Her total compensation was roughly $1 million a year, which business leaders stated was comparable to what individuals at similar positions in other companies earn.

Negligence lawsuit falls flat due to Texas statute of limitations

When it comes to many matters in business, time is often of the essence. Many Houston companies work under tight deadlines and believe in providing service to customers quickly. When it comes to business litigation, working in a timely fashion is also important. Acting with expedience may save an organization money. One recent case demonstrates that when tens of millions of dollars is at stake, timing is everything.

A Texas law firm represented two competing companies looking to secure their intellectual property. One business obtained the patents they needed for their radio frequency-related devices, and the other organization took notice. The company filed suit against the law firm citing that its staff did not take into account that their representation was a conflict of interest. The suit alleged breach of fiduciary duty and material nondisclosure.

Proposed Houston ordinance fights employment discrimination

Privately-owned businesses may often operate under a different set of regulations than their public counterparts. In Houston, there are many companies that can exercise their discretions a little more freely than others, including whom they employ. When it comes to employment discrimination, however, there is some debate over what constitutes wrongdoing and what is simply a preference. One local lawmaker is looking to control discrimination policies for both public and private companies.

The Houston mayor has proposed an ordinance that would prohibit employers from discriminating against people in a variety of sectors, including city positions as well as private businesses and housing. The proposal takes into account discrimination based on marital status, race and sex. In a debate at a recent city council meeting, opponents were able to voice their opinions. For many, the issue of transgendered individuals choosing which bathroom to use struck a nerve. Others noted that they did not support the ordinance due to their personal religious beliefs.

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