DOL authorizes millions for oil and gas re-employment services

For anyone, losing a job is a difficult and scary time. When you work in the oil and gas industry it is even more disconcerting. With the industry's future up in the air, you might be wondering when or if you will get a new position. You may even started applying to jobs in different industries.

Switching careers isn't a walk in the park either. What skills translate? How do I sell myself when I don't have experience? What types of jobs should I apply for? Help.

Texas to receive funds for re-employment services

For those out of work in Texas, the United States Department of Labor has just awarded a $16 million dollar grant for re-employment services. This grant is specifically intended to help those who have lost their jobs in the oil and gas industry, especially those in rural areas.

There will be an initial release of $13 million with an additional $3 million to follow. The money will go to the Texas Workforce Commission and will assist 4,191 workers. Many of these workers live in communities that rely heavily on the gas and oil industry for employment.

Understanding your rights to your job

The industry is struggling. Employees are being laid off in record numbers. Both of those facts are true, but neither can be used as a pretext to terminate an employee against the law.

Amidst a tough time for everyone, it is important to remember that any layoff must still comply with state and federal laws. Employers cannot use these issues as an excuse to fire an employee based on a protected class.

Protected class workers fall under several categories; you cannot be fired based on any of them. These include:

· Race

· Color

· National origin

· Religion

· Age

· Disability

· Sex (including pregnancy)

· Gender

Your employer might try to weed out certain people due to the downturn in the industry, but they cannot do so based solely on any of these factors. Doing so would go against federal employment laws.

If you feel you have been fired simply because you are in one of these classes, then you do have recourse. Your best option is to seek the advice of an attorney who deals with employment laws. They can help determine what the best course of action for your specific situation is.

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