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No matter what you do for a living, we all have one thing in common: our love of pay day. Some of us take time to scrutinize over every line of the pay stub to make sure that everything is correct, because you’ve worked for it, right?

Sometimes, and more often than you’d think, employers are shorting their employees pay that was legally earned.

Although employers have some leeway about how and when they pay employees, strict federal law regulates the payroll process. These laws provide clearly defined rights for every employee in the country who collects a paycheck.

If you suspect the company you work for is not in compliance with the federal laws that govern pay rate, benefits, etc., you are not alone.

Most Common Wage Violations

Not Paying Required Overtime: According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employees who are paid hourly that work more than 40 hours in a given week must be paid 150% of their hourly wage for the additional hours. A common way this labor law is violated is when an employer pays on an every two week or once a month basis. Instead of considering each week as its own entity, the employer considers the total hours worked in the pay period when calculating overtime.

Inaccurate Pay At Termination: When an employee is terminated, in many cases they are entitled to the wages they are owed in full, such as vacation pay. Employees who resign are typically owed on the next pay day.

Minimum Wage Violations: Employers are required to pay their employees a rate that is equal to or greater than the state minimum wage. This number varies across the U.S.

Not Receiving Proper Tip Amount: Tipped employees, such as wait staff and others, are especially vulnerable to employers’ illegal acts, including, management participating in tip pools, charging wait staff for walk outs, deducting tips from employees base salary, etc.

How To Spot A Wage Violation

Every payday, you should take a moment to look over your pay stub to ensure that everything is correct, including the hours that you work (if you are hourly) and the salary you agreed upon, and so on.

Next, it is important that you understand completely your deductions and how often they are supposed to be taken out.

If you have requested any changes be made to your pay, such as changes to your benefits, a new address, upped your 401(k) contribution, check to see that the changes were properly processed.

Lastly, make sure you educate yourself as much as possible regarding state and federal laws concerning wage violations.

You should keep track of all hours worked, pay received and other important information because if a problem does arise, this information will prove extremely useful.

If you are unsure about what to do to rectify a wage violation with your employer, you can discuss your legal options with an experienced wage theft attorney.

How The Carlson Law Firm Can Help

If you believe that your employer is not paying you all of the overtime that you deserve, is improperly taking a portion of your tips, or you are receiving less than minimum hourly wage, it is in your best interest to consult a Wage Loss/FLSA attorney. Here at The Carlson Law Firm, our lawyers are ready to help you with wage and hour law violations. We handle claims throughout the state of Texas, as well as across the country.

We would be happy to discuss your claim in confidence, and provide free consultations to answer your questions and evaluate your claim.

If you were a student of DeVry University, you could be owed a refund.

The Federal Trade Commission has announced DeVry agreed to pay nearly $50 million to the agency for partial refunds to some students, as part of the for-profit college’s FTC settlement for deceptive advertising.

For years, DeVry marketed for new students touting a claimed high employment rate for recent graduates. DeVry ads made claims such as “90% of our grads actively seeking employment had careers in 6 months.” DeVry also claimed that graduates from DeVry would earn more than those graduating with bachelor’s degrees from other colleges or universities.

Advertisements making these claims appeared on television and radio, as well as online and in print and other media.

The Department of Education conducted an investigation, and according to the FTC complaint these representations “are false and unsubstantiated.”

According to the FTC, the amount of each refund will depend on how much you paid the school. Checks are to be sent by mail before the end of this summer.

Who Is Eligible For A Refund

– Anyone who enrolled in a Bachelor’s or Associate’s degree program at DeVry University between January 1, 2008 and October 1, 2015

– Students who paid at least $5,000 to the institution using cash, loans, or military benefits

– People who did not receive debt or loan forgiveness as part of this settlement

– Anyone who completed at least one class credit

But Wait, There’s More

As a current or former DeVry student you may have a claim against DeVry, even if you receive some cash or debt relief from the FTC settlement. Many states, including Texas, have consumer protection laws that prohibit businesses from making false, misleading, or deceptive representations.

In Texas, this is known as the Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act, often referred to simply as the DTPA. The primary purpose of the DTPA is to protect consumers against false, misleading, and deceptive business practices. The DTPA gives consumers the right to sue for damages.

How The Carlson Law Firm Can Help

If you chose to become a DeVry student because ads claiming a high employment rate or higher income for graduates, you may be entitled to compensation. The Carlson Law Firm is currently investigating claims against DeVry for current and former students. We believe you may be eligible for refunds and compensation, even if you receive some benefits from the FTC settlement program.

If you or someone you loved attended DeVry in reliance on DeVry’s representations of  a high employment rate or higher income for its grads, contact us today for a free, no obligation consultation.

The Carlson Law Firm works on a contingency fee basis, so we won’t get paid unless you do.

We are available to speak with you 24/7.

The legal battle over the deadly flaws in Takata airbags has moved one step closer to resolution on Thursday, as several automakers reached a proposed settlement that would compensate owners of almost 16 million vehicles for money they lost due to the massive recall of Takata air bags.

Certain Toyota, Mazda, Subaru and BMW vehicles equipped with Takata air bags that could explode in a crash are included in the $553 million deal aimed at covering economic losses.

Owners are eligible for financial assistance in getting their vehicles fixed and up to $500 in compensation under the terms of a new consumer settlement with several automakers.

The money is meant to reimburse them for car rentals or other expenses — like lost wages, towing charges or child care — incurred while waiting for their cars to be repaired.

Those injured because of the exploding air bags are already eligible for compensation under a separate fund.

The settlement would also require the automakers to step up their efforts to locate owners and educate them about the need to complete the recall repairs. As of April 28, only 32% of Toyota owners, 31% of Subaru owners, 18% of Mazda owners and 16% of BMW owners affected by the recall had completed the repairs, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The Takata air bag inflators sold to several automakers have been found to have a serious defect that has claimed the lives of many.  The defect was found in the inflators that were made with a propellant that can degrade over time.  This causes the inflator to rupture when the air bag deploys, launching pieces of scrap metal at the driver or passengers in the vehicle. This fast launch of debris has caused serious injuries and deaths.

Takata Airbag Lawsuits

If you or a loved one were injured or killed by these defective air bags, you could be in a position to take legal action. The Carlson Law Firm is prepared with award-winning lawyers that are passionate about personal injury and helping victims. Contact The Carlson Law Firm for a free consultation to see if you have a case.

The Food and Drug Administration announced that Johnson & Johnson is required to add new warnings to its diabetes drug, Invokana, highlighting the risk of foot and leg amputations.

The announcement came after final results from two separate clinical trials showed leg and foot amputations occurred about twice as often in patients with type 2 diabetes treated with Invokana, than those who were given a placebo.

People with diabetes are already at risk of having lower limbs amputated because of circulatory and nerve damage that the disease does over time. However, the FDA noted that results of one clinical trial showed that over the course of a year the risk of amputation in patients treated with Invokana was equivalent to 5.9 out of 1,000, compared with 2.8 out of 1,000 for patients given a placebo.

A second trial showed the risk of amputation was equivalent to 7.5 out of every 1,000 patients treated with Invokana compared with 4.2 out of every 1,000 patients given a placebo.

Invokana is a medication designed to treat patients suffering from Type 2 diabetes by helping to remove excess blood sugar through urine.

The drug has also been linked to Acute Kidney Failure and other complications such as Ketoacidosis, which wasn’t always listed as a possible side effect.

Ketoacidosis develops when the pH balance of a patient’s blood drops significantly due to the body’s inability to regulate the natural production of ketones. When the condition develops in type 1 diabetics, a spike in blood sugar levels typically occurs. Blood sugar levels generally only increase slightly in type 2 diabetics and the symptoms may not develop until the ketoacidosis becomes severe.

Ketoacidosis symptoms may include:

Since linking Invokana and other SGLT2 inhibitors to serious complications such as ketoacidosis, the FDA has required the class of drug manufacturers to make changes to their side effect warning labels adding the risk of diabetic ketoacidosis.

Have You Sustained Injuries or Severe Discomfort Due to Medications?

If you have suffered harm due to any medical devices or medications, such as Invokana®, it is important that you retain experienced legal advocacy right away.  At The Carlson Law Firm, our Killeen product liability lawyers understand how difficult life can become when a person suffers health problems due to a certain product or medicine.  That is why we are here to provide victims with quality representation.  When you call our firm, we take the time to understand the details of your case and may be able to help you pursue financial compensation for your harms, lost wages, and emotional distresses.

Get in touch with a Texas product liability attorney from The Carlson Law Firm today for your free consultation. We represent clients across the nation.

According to a report released by the Economic Policy Institute, employers are stealing billions of dollars from American workers’ paychecks each year.

The failure to pay workers what they are legally entitled to is more commonly known as wage theft. Wage theft is practices such as not paying proper overtime, requiring working off the clock, denying legally required meal breaks and the miss-classification of  workers as independent contractors.

Most commonly wage theft is a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which provides for a federal minimum wage and allows states to set their own (higher) minimum wage, and requires employers to pay time and a half for all hours worked above 40 hours per week.

Wage Theft By The Numbers

According to the report with looked at the 10 largest states in the country, between 2013 and 2015, 4.1% of respondents reported that their hourly rates were less than minimum wage. With all factors considered, a total of $8 billion dollars is stolen from 2.4 million people annually via wage theft.

Who Are The Victims Of Wage Theft?

The majority of workers who are more prone to experiencing wage theft are those who are employed in non-union workplaces. Immigrant and native-born workers alike have their wages stolen, however low-wage workers are more vulnerable because those are the workers who are most afraid of losing their jobs if they file complaints.

Industries With The Most Reports Of Wage Theft:

Service

Agriculture

Janitorial

Garment Production

Long Term Care

Home Health

Retail

Poultry Processing

Is There A Solution?

The Department of Labor had stepped up investigations and prosecution of wage violations, recovering tens of millions of dollars for worker, however the problem remains largely hidden.

In some states, including Texas, bills have passed that have made it possible for employers to be criminally prosecuted for denying their employers wages they are owed.

There are two main routes that workers can take to try to recover wages that were stolen. The first is direct action; getting a group of workers together to confront their boss or tell the business’ customers what is happening. The second route is through class action lawsuits against large employers.

Where Can Workers Turn To For Help?

Many advocates for the prevention of wage theft believe education is key when it comes to putting an end to this issue. Workers may suspect that there is a problem, but because of a lack of education on this topic, many don’t know where to turn for help.

There are over 200 worker centers throughout the country, small grassroots organizations that are at the forefront in wage enforcement actions. Many of these organizations are working on passing state and local legislation in an attempt to put an end to wage theft.

Click here to find a workers’ justice organization near you.

How The Carlson Law Firm Can Help

If you believe that your employer is not paying you all of the overtime that you deserve, is improperly taking a portion of your tips, or you are receiving less than minimum hourly wage, it is in your best interest to consult a Wage Loss/FLSA attorney. Here at The Carlson Law Firm, our lawyers are ready to help you with wage and hour law violations. We handle claims throughout the state of Texas, as well as across the country.

We would be happy to discuss your claim in confidence, and provide free consultations to answer your questions and evaluate your claim.

Contact The Carlson Law Firm today for a free, no obligation, case evaluation. We care, we can help.

 

The Carlson Law Firm is currently investigating an incident during which a couple was driving along a roadway in Nassau County, NY when suddenly and without warning all six airbags inside their vehicle deployed.

The force of the explosion caused the driver of the vehicle to veer off the road into a tree.

The driver suffered a fractured sternum and the passenger experienced a brain bleed and broke a total of 18 bones.

The passenger, a licensed medical doctor, is no longer able to work due to the extent of her injuries.

She is currently working with physical therapists to learn to walk again.

The couple was driving a 2009 Acura TSX, 1 of nearly 42 million vehicles that are currently under recall due to faulty Takata airbags.

When subject to electrical interference from other vehicle components, a short-circuit can cause inadvertent airbag deployment of the front airbags, side curtain airbags, and/or seat belt pretensioners while driving.

“Knowing that at any time your vehicle, which is meant to keep you safe, could actually harm you is a terrible thing to have to consider,” said Managing Partner Craig Carlson. “Our client has lost her ability to work, and the quality of her life has suffered immensely, which is why she deserves proper compensation for her losses.”

“We are working towards getting her what she deserves,” Carlson added.

An injured couple was awarded a confidential 7-figure settlement following a serious auto accident, thanks to the hard work of a team of attorneys at The Carlson Law Firm.

In 2014, a husband and wife were travelling through an intersection on FM 3470 in Killeen, TX when a second vehicle failed to yield the right of way and struck the unsuspecting couple.

Despite the significant damage to the vehicle, their airbags failed to deploy. It was believed that the wife suffered no serious injuries, however, within two days, she was taken to the hospital where she succumbed to an initially undiagnosed brain bleed.

The Carlson Law Firm quickly sprang into action, investigating multiple angles of the case, from the auto accident, to medical malpractice, to product liability.

“Our firm is well-equipped to handle larger cases that may have a variety of claims because we have the experience and the man-power,” said Managing Partner, Craig Carlson. “We have an advantage that other firms don’t”.

“This was a case where a family lost a wife, a mother, a sister, an invaluable member of their family. While no amount of money can take away the pain they are feeling, being able to hold one of the responsible parties accountable is justice in action,” Carlson added.

Restaurants not paying employees in accordance to federal law is becoming a major concern throughout this county.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, wage theft is estimated to be a $30 billion a year problem.

FLSA Lawsuits In The News

Well-known hotel chain The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co, was forced to pay $1.8 million to settle claims that it skimmed tips of its food and beverage service employees at its Kapalua, Maui location.

Court document show that over and eight-year span, employees did not receive the full proceeds from service charges on transactions.

Several states including New York, Washington and Hawaii have made it illegal for resort and restaurant establishments not to inform customers that most of the money they leave for a mandatory customer charge does not actually go to their waiter or waitress.

Similarly, 55 servers employed by Chili’s Restaurants who were forced to share tips with kitchen expeditors as part of an illegal tip pool were awarded a verdict in their favor by a unanimous jury.

The Law Of The Land

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law that provides a range of rights to employees, including a minimum wage, rules for handling tips, and overtime pay eligibility.  More than 130 million full-time and part-time workers are currently protected by the Fair Labor Standards Act in the United States. Violations of the FLSA can be prosecuted by the federal government, or employees may take direct action against employers in court.

Groups of employees that are “similarly situated” are permitted to come together to bring a “collective action” against their employer under the FLSA. The rules and regulations associated with the FLSA can be confusing, especially if you believe your employer has broken the law and you are attempting to file a claim. It is wise to contact an unpaid wages, tips, and overtime FLSA attorney for guidance.

Tipped employees, such as wait staff and others, are especially vulnerable to employers’ illegal acts, including:

Allowing management employees to participate in tip pools, i.e., taking a cut of the tips

Charging waiters and waitresses for walk-outs who do not pay their bill

Deducting tips from the employee’s’ base pay

Paying less than minimum wage to certain classifications of employees

Failing or refusing to pay overtime when required

Altering time cards to inaccurately reflect hours worked

How The Carlson Law Firm Can Help

If you believe that your employer is not paying you all of the overtime that you deserve, is improperly taking a portion of your tips, or you are receiving less than minimum hourly wage, it is in your best interest to consult a Wage Loss/FLSA attorney. Here at The Carlson Law Firm, our lawyers are ready to help you with wage and hour law violations. We handle claims throughout the state of Texas, as well as across the country.

We would be happy to discuss your claim in confidence, and provide free consultations to answer your questions and evaluate your claim.

Last month, the Supreme Court let stand an opinion issued last year by a lower court saying that GM could not escape lawsuits filed before its bankruptcy, a move the automaker made in an effort to limit payouts from malfunctions caused by faulty ignition switches.

GM announced a series of recalls in 2014 after news began to surface that a defect which allowed the switches to unexpectedly switch from the “run” position to “off” or “accessory,” shutting off the engine and knocking out air bags and the power-assisted steering and power brakes.

The faulty ignition switch eventually led to more than 30 million recalls, 1,000 lawsuits and $900 million in criminal fines for General Motors, named New GM after bankruptcy.

At this point, there have been at least 124 deaths and 275 other injuries attributed to faulty GM ignition switches.

Now, hundreds of death and injury lawsuits against GM can now move forward after years of being stalled. It is likely that the amount GM will have to pay in the form of compensation to the victims and their surviving family members will continue to grow. GM could be held liable for medical costs, funeral expenses and the cost to replace damaged property.

Experts estimate the total of outstanding claims against GM is around $10 billion, which is four times the amount the company has already paid in fines and penalties.

While the ignition switch recall wasn’t announced until 2014, court documents show that the automaker knew about the issue as early as 2012.

Common Injuries Caused By Faulty Ignition Switches

When an airbag is defective or fails to properly deploy, the results can be devastating. Common injuries include but aren’t limited to:

In many instances, airbag injuries often lead to death.

How The Carlson Law Firm Can Help

If you were involved in a serious collision where the airbag should have deployed but did not, you may have a legal claim. Recalled vehicles include: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, Pontiac and Saturn.

It is in your best interest to contact a skilled personal injury attorney. The team at The Carlson Law Firm has handled hundreds of GM’s cases. Contact us today.

It’s no surprise that motorcyclists are much more vulnerable to serious injuries when involved in a crash than other drivers, which is why motorcycle safety is an increasing concern.

The latest vehicle mile travel data show motorcyclists are about 27 times as likely as passenger car occupants to die in a motor vehicle traffic crash and 6 times as likely to be injured, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

In an effort to shine a spotlight on the importance of sharing the road with riders, May has been dubbed Motorcycle Awareness Month.

NHTSA says it’s especially important for motorists to understand the safety challenges faced by motorcyclists such as size and visibility, and motorcycle riding practices like downshifting and weaving to know just how to anticipate and respond to them on the road.

Tips For Sharing The Road With Motorcyclists

  1. Passenger vehicles should allow for a greater following distance behind a motorcycle.
  2. Drivers should pay close attention for motorcycles at an intersection. Failure to yield the right-of-way to a motorcyclist is the most frequent driver error in collisions involving a motorcycle and another vehicle.
  3. Driver should never try to share a lane with a motorcyclist.
  4. Motorcyclists should avoid riding in poor weather conditions.
  5. Motorcyclists should avoid positioning themselves in a driver’s blind spot.
  6. Motorcyclists should use a turn signal for every lane change and turn.

How The Carlson Law Firm Can Help You

Our firm is committed to reducing motorcycle injuries and promoting motorcycle safety through education and awareness, however accident still happen and riders continue to be injured daily. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in a motorcycle accident, we can help!

Our team of experienced personal injury attorneys will help guide you through the process of filing a personal injury claim.

Contact The Carlson Law Firm today.