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Why Low-Wage Workers Are More Vulnerable to Being Cheated Out of Pay

Employers cheating their workers of pay is not a new trend and unfortunately remains an ongoing issue in spite of modern employment laws and standards. To make matters worse, those that are systematically cheated of their pay more than any other group are the ones that need the full amount of their wages the most: low-wage workers. A recent report from the National Employment Law Project found that more than half of the low-wage workers in New York City alone are cheated of their already minimal income and the average low-wage worker lost about $3,000 each year from not being paid overtime, minimum wage, and other employment standards. Some of the reasons why low-wage workers are more vulnerable than other groups to being cheated of pay include:

  1. Workers do not have the resources to fight back: Many low-wage workers are working paycheck to paycheck and do not have the resources to adequately fight back against employers who cheat them of their wages. Employers have this knowledge and use it to exploit workers they know are less likely to report them or legally fight back.
  2. Employers can more easily find loopholes to not pay employees fairly: Among low-wage jobs, there are more loopholes to get out of fairly paying workers, such as asking for additional work to be done off the clock or taking a portion of tips from workers in tip-based industries.
  3. Employees rely on their income and fear losing their jobs: For many employees, the wages they make, though often meager, are vital to their survival and often the survival of their loved ones. For this reason, many employees do not come forward or leave their job, even when they are being cheated, because they cannot afford to lose even an income that is being taken advantage of.

If you are currently being cheated of the wages you deserve by your employer for whatever reason, there is legal help for your situation. Williams Kherkher is dedicated to ensuring all of our clients obtain the wages they have worked for and additional compensation for the wrongs perpetrated against them. For more information about how to fight back for your rightful wages or to speak to any of our qualified Houston wage and hour disputes attorneys, please contact us at (713) 230-2200 today.


Austin firm slapped with discrimination lawsuit

A lawsuit was recently filed by a woman against her former employer in Austin on the suspicion that the firm discriminated against her, leading to her termination, a January 9 article of SE Texas Record stated.

According to reports, the American Eagle Protective Services Corporation was accused of violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prevents employers from discriminating against their employees based on their color, sex, religion, race, or national origin. A former security agent for the company, identified as Christine Reid, a Jamaican-American, was terminated from her job. The company allegedly discriminated against Reid after she underwent a major surgical procedure. Documents revealed that Reid is seeking to recover the total financial loss she suffered after being terminated, including all the fees related to the court proceedings.

It is a frustrating situation when you suspect that you suddenly lost your job after your employer wrongfully terminated you. However, if this happens to you in Houston, the Williams Kherkher lawyers could fight for your rights as an employee. Call us today at (713) 230-2200 to learn more about your legal options.


Texas employers sued for not giving overtime pay to workers

A class action complaint was recently filed by a man against his two employers due suspicion that he and other workers were not given their appropriate overtime pay, an SE Texas Record article reported on January 5.

According to reports, Michael Martin had filed the complaint in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas on behalf of the current and former employees of Technip USA, Inc., and NES Global LLC. Martin, who works for the two companies as a piping engineer, alleged that his employers did not pay him overtime pay for the excess hours that he consistently worked in a usual given week. The companies have been suspected of violating the Fair Labor Standards Act. A trial by jury is being sought by Martin, so he can possibly recover all the wages he lost during and after employment, which includes expenses incurred during legal procedures.

If you are a worker and you suspect that you are being denied overtime pay, working with a skilled attorney is important. Find out how an attorney of Williams Kherkher may help you in Houston today by calling (713) 230-2200 as soon as possible.


Corpus Christi company facing lawsuits over chemical leak

A Corpus Christi asphalt company is facing several lawsuits after the chemical from their facility contaminated the city’s water supply, an article of WILX 10 reported on December 17.

Officials reportedly warned area residents and business owners not to drink or use the water because it may have been contaminated by a chemical leak from the Valero-owned Ergon Asphalt and Emulsion Inc. Reports revealed that over six lawsuits were filed against Ergon and its owner after officials on December 14 were notified of the chemical leak. The lawsuits claimed that businesses in the area were badly affected by the leak and the company should be punished for exposing the public to toxic chemicals. A spokesperson for the asphalt company declined to comment on the lawsuit and said they have coordinated with state officials to restore safe water.

In the tough situation that your business is facing lawsuits, enlisting a skilled legal team is critical if you want to have the best legal defense possible. Find out how the attorneys of Williams Kherkher in Houston could work on your behalf today by calling (713) 230-2200.


Companies sue Amazon for selling fake products

A lawsuit was recently filed against electronic commerce firm Amazon.com, Inc. by three companies over suspicions that fake versions of their products were sold on the plaintiff’s site, a December 6 article of Reuters reported.

According to reports, Allstar Marketing Group, Ontel Products, and Ideavillage Products filed a trademark infringement claim against Amazon on December 5. The three companies are known for selling “As Seen on TV” products, such as Snuggie blankets, Magic Tracks racetrack toys, and Copper Fit compression sleeves. Their lawsuit was filed weeks after Amazon filed lawsuits against companies using their platform to sell fake products. Several accusations, including copyright infringement violations, were filed against Amazon. A spokesperson for Amazon did not issue a comment about the ongoing litigation.

The legal team of Williams Kherkher in Houston represents companies who suspect their business rights have been violated. If you are in such a situation, we will tirelessly work on your behalf to make sure you get the best results from your claim. Call us today at (713) 230-2200 to learn more about your options.


Texas woman files wrongful termination against employer

A Texas woman who previously worked as a general manager of a Canadian company based in Beaumont, recently filed a lawsuit against her ex-employer due to allegations that she had suffered financial problems after being wrongfully terminated from her job, an article of SE Texas Record reported on November 30.

In the lawsuit filed by Christi Hartsfield, her former employer “Fastenal Company of Moose Jaw” wrongfully terminated her in 2014 after she had requested a co-employee to show up on a conference call to represent her. Hartsfield alleged that drastic employment actions were done to her and she had been repeatedly discriminated for being a woman. Hartsfield, who had claimed that the wrongful termination also resulted in her having difficulty to find a similar job, is seeking to recover all the finances she lost including all the expenses incurred in the trial.

The Houston attorneys working with Williams Kherkher fight for the rights of employees who strongly believe that they have been wrongfully terminated by their employer. If you think this has happened to you, we may possibly help you recover your losses by pursuing damage claims against them. Call us today at (713) 230-2200 to learn more about your options.


Toyota could pay $3.4B in class action lawsuit

Japanese automaker Toyota may agree to settle over $3.4 billion after losing in a class action lawsuit in the U.S. filed on behalf of various Toyota vehicle owners who have claimed that their vehicles are prone to corrosion, an article of Autoweek reported on November 14.

Reports said a class action lawsuit filed against Toyota claimed that the previous models of Tundra, Tacoma, and Sequoia vehicles have been manufactured with insufficient “rust protection.” The lawsuit claimed that the overall structure of the affected vehicles have been compromised as it became more susceptible to corrosion. There were reportedly more than 1.5 million vehicles are affected by the problem and it would need approximately $15,000 to repair each vehicle. In addition to the repair cost, $90 million is also being sought from Toyota to cover inspection cost of the affected vehicles.

In the situation that you are considering filing a class action lawsuit, working with a skilled legal team is important since you are going to deal with companies that are supported by intimidating legal counsels. Get in touch with the Williams Kherkher legal team in Houston today by calling (713) 230-2200 to learn more about your options.


Yahoo! riddled with lawsuits after huge data breach

The California technology company Yahoo! is facing 23 lawsuits months after they announced the data of millions of users was illegally accessed in late 2014, an article of Business Insider reported on November 9.

Reports say the data breach, which was revealed last September, is expected to affect the financial status of Yahoo! in the future after dozens of lawsuits were filed against them. The Sunnyvale-based search engine giant provided the SEC with more information regarding the data breach, which affected 500 million accounts. In a statement, Yahoo! said the issue is currently under investigation and they are working with various federal agencies regarding the matter. The 23 plaintiffs who are seeking a class action status was also confirmed by the company. Though the massive data breach could result in fewer people using Yahoo! products, CEO Marissa Mayer expressed her happiness for existing users who are loyal to the company.

In the tough situation that you were harmed as a result of the Yahoo! data breach, enlisting an experienced attorney is critical to help you recover your losses. Find out how the Houston business attorneys at Williams Kherkher may tirelessly work on your behalf today. Call (713) 230-2200 to discuss your case with us.


Biggest Threats to a Company’s Security Could Come From Within

John Carlin, Assistant Attorney General for National Security, recently shed light on the threat of insider theft following the arrest of a Maryland man accused of stealing government secrets. While companies make it a priority to implement rock-solid defenses against security breaches from the outside, they often don’t have programs that are as strong in place for insider threats. According to the charges, the individual in question was an NSA contractor that impermissibly took home confidential code. Although the case is government sealed and explicit details were not released, Carlin did comment that the unauthorized disclosure or theft of sensitive information directly impacts the ability to protect against risk.

Carlin, who represents the Department of Justice, placed emphasis on the importance of putting proper precautions in place against those you trust; while companies cringe at the thought of an insider betrayal happening right under their nose, Tom Fanning—CEO and president of energy firm The Southern Company—says that organizations should place as much emphasis on safeguarding against people as is placed on protecting devices and servers. To prepare against such insider attacks, it is recommended that companies always “expect and prepare for the worst,” along with being meticulous in controlling what level of access each employee is allowed.

Compromised cyber-security and theft of trade secrets presents a major risk to companies and governments everywhere. If your company is experiencing internal theft of confidential information, don’t hesitate to call Williams Kherkher at (713) 230-2200 to discuss the details of your case.


Apple Ordered to Pay $302.4 Million for Patent Infringement

In an ongoing lawsuit between Apple and communication technology company, VirnetX Holding Corp., a jury has most recently ordered the former to pay the latter $302.4 million after it declared that Apple’s FaceTime feature infringes on VirnetX’s secure communications patent. This is not the first time the two companies have gone toe-to-toe with each other in a court of law; the drawn-out lawsuit began in 2010, when Apple was found guilty of infringing upon four patents and was ordered to pay VirnetX $368.2 million. The suit was thrown out by the U.S. Court of Appeals, along with a re-trial that doubled Apple’s fine to $625.6 million in July.

The case will now go the Federal Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals, where the court will decide if Apple has engaged in patent infringement according to standards set by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the District Court of Texas. For VirnetX to be awarded the fine, Apple must be found guilty on both standards.

VirnetX obtains most of its revenue from licensing the patents it holds, levying similar lawsuits against Microsoft and Cisco. Patent infringement is a subset of intellectual property law that is prohibited by law. If you suspect another party has engaged in patent infringement against your company, reach out to Williams Kherkher at (713) 230-2200 to discuss your case in further detail.