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How Your Business Should Respond to an Employee Discrimination Complaint

If a current or former employee files a claim of discrimination against your business, it is usually for the following reasons: Gender discrimination Age discrimination Racial discrimination Disability discrimination Be sure to take the following steps whether or not a court trial occurs. Seek Legal Advice If you receive a formal complaint from the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), or your state’s human rights agency, seek a business lawyer specializing in employment law. An employment lawyer only deals with situations like yours and will have the experience to handle it well. Respond Immediately Many business owners make the mistake of ignoring allegations that they do not consider to be valid. If you don’t respond to an EEOC or state complaint with a position statement outlining your side, or any other requested information, you risk further legal action. Wait for a Determination An EEOC or state human rights investigator will decide on the validity of the claim after acquiring background information from both sides. You and the complainant will likely receive one of two responses. A Letter of Determination will state that discrimination likely occurred. You will have an opportunity to participate in the EEOC-sponsored conciliation process, which requires both parties’ voluntary participation. A Dismissal and Notice of Rights will state that there is not enough evidence to determine a violation of the law. This notice informs you and the complainant of the complainant’s right to sue in federal or state court. Prepare for the Determination If you receive an invitation to participate in conciliation, it is advisable to accept it to avoid going to trial. During mediation sessions, both sides can resolve matters relating to employment reinstatement and damages and keep the terms of their agreements private. Although you will not be able to control the other party’s acceptance of terms, it is in your best interest to remain as open as possible during negotiations. If mediation fails, the EEOC may decide to pursue litigation in court. There is also a strong chance that the complainant will seek a court trial if the EEOC issues a notice of dismissal with a right to sue. At trial, a jury will either decide you must pay a hefty fine or punitive damages or dismiss the charges. Fortunately, you will likely have the opportunity to negotiate a settlement before the jury trial, which can take months to schedule due to backups...
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Insurance Laws Specific to the State of Texas

Each individual state in the United States has its own specific laws and regulations regarding insurance, usually highlighting what types of insurance and what minimums of coverage are mandatory for residents to have. Though it varies by state, we find commonalities between many states. The most prominent state insurance laws tend to cover auto insurance, as people are the most at risk for accidents and injuries on the road. Additionally, health, home, life, and long-term care insurance can also have regulations and mandatory minimums set by the state. It is important for residents to have knowledge of these requirements in order to avoid facing penalty, which is typically a fee. For instance, in the state of Texas, historically there has been a fee that is collected from individuals who do not have certain types of insurance, or do not meet the minimum requirements set by the state for their insurance policies. This fee is collected when they file their taxes, and is called the ‘Shared Responsibility Payment’. This fee is collected from those who can afford to, but choose not to purchase state required insurance. Auto Insurance While auto insurance is not technically required for drivers in Texas, Texas law does require that drivers show proof that they can pay for the accidents they cause. Many drivers ensure their abilities to do so by purchasing auto liability insurance. Auto liability insurance ensures that drivers will have coverage when needing to repair or replace the other driver’s vehicle, other damaged property, and/or the injured party’s medical expenses. Texas law requires that drivers have at least $30,000 of coverage for injuries, up to $60,000 total per accident, and at least $25,000 of coverage for property damage. This basic plan requirement is commonly referred to as 30/60/25 coverage. Most insurance policies will cover damages and expenses when you, someone in your family, or someone borrowing your car with permission are at fault for causing an accident. Though these are just the requirements for auto liability insurance coverage, drivers may want to consider buying more liability coverages. In instances where a multi-vehicle accident is caused (which is common on busy Texas highways), the other driver’s car is totaled, or injuries exceed the $30,000 minimum requirement for coverage, the driver who caused the accident may have to pay the rest of the coverages out of pocket. This puts people at great financial risk, as...
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