What action can I take against a former employer?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What action can I take against a former employer?

I felt he was reluctant but hired me on after an hour long interview that consisted of a few questions about my work experience but the rest was about my religious views and sexual orientation. The first day I worked they did not provide me with any information on how to clock in just said that it would be fixed. I show up my second day after the weekend and before I could take my jacket off he called me to his office, insulted my coat and asked if we were going to have a problem with my septum ring. I mentioned during out talk that I was picking up a second job during some evenings to supplement the fact I wasn’t going to get paid from them in almost a month. As soon as he heard this he told me it wasn’t going to work and asked for his stuff back and dismissed me. It is now the day after that payday and I have not received any payment for the time I spent training for a job I was excited to have. I contacted them on many occasions to find out about getting my paycheck and they just say they will take care of it and brush me off.

Asked on December 21, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

1) Training time is work time: you must be paid for it, and if they will not pay you, you could sue them for the money, such as in small claims court, as your own attorney or "pro se" to minimize costs.
2) IF you believe (and believe you could reasonably convince someone) that the real reason you were fired were your religious views, you could contact the EEOC or state department of labor about filing a religious discrimination claim.
3) Sexual orientation, however, is not protected under federal law or your state's law, so you could be legally fired for that. You could also be fired for the septum ring (employers may fire employees over piercings, tatoos, etc.) or because you have a second job (an employer can decide it only wants employees who work only for it).

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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