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Ask Law Educator, Esq. Your Own Question
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 116834
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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Our company just gave us a random hair follicle tests. 3

Customer Question

Our company just gave us a random hair follicle tests. 3 employees refused however one employee that refused is the biological father of the owners wife. So the other two employees lost their jobs while the one with his kid kept his. I know the term is nepotism but is that legal. I'm in Texas by the way
JA: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Texas
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: No
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I have filed a wage claim cause he is cutting everyone's hours and not paying some overtime. I calculated $2,951
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 10 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Unfortunately, employment in Texas is at will and in private employment there is no such thing as nepotism I am sorry to say. Thus, failure of a drug test or refusal to take a drug test is grounds for termination, but it is up to the employer as to what action they take. THE GOOD NEWS is that if they did not fire the father of the owner's wife, then that evidence can be used in unemployment with the TWC to argue that the terminated employees should be entitled to unemployment benefits because the offense did not warrant termination and that is proven by the fact that they did not terminate all employees who refused the test. So other than using the information to appeal unemployment, legally the employer has a right to terminate who they choose.
As far as overtime, if he is not paying overtime as required under the Fair Labor Standards Act, you need to file a wage claim with the TWC Wage and Hour Division and you can seek up to triple the money due plus attorney's fees for illegal failure to pay overtime as required.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Can i still seek triple the amount if I have already faxed the claim
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 10 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
Yes, if you prove this is willful and malicious nonpayment of overtime, you can get triple the damages, if it was not willful and malicious, you can get double as liquidated damages.