Texas Employment Law Update

Texas Employment Law Update

A Resource for Texas Employers

Category Archives: Human Resources

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Employers Using Biometric Systems to Track Hours Must Dot Their I’s and Cross Their T’s

Posted in Human Resources, News & Commentary
Many employers have adopted various technologies for tracking employee worktime.  One type commonly used is the biometric timekeeping system (e.g. fingerprint or retina scanners) that employees use to clock-in and clock-out of work.  A recent putative class action filed in Illinois should act as a reminder that such biometric systems may be subject to state… Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit Holds Employer’s No Photography Rule Violated the NLRA but Other Standard Policies Were Lawful

Posted in Case Summaries, Human Resources
Last week the Court reviewed, and largely reversed, a National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB or Board) order finding that four policies contained in a Company’s employee handbook violated the National Labor Relations Act (the Act). The case is important because the challenged policies are similar to policies contained in many employee handbooks.  Moreover, an employee… Continue Reading

Use the New Overtime Rules to Correct Misclassified Workers

Posted in Human Resources, Wage & Hour
This week the DOL announced changes to the white collar overtime exemptions that take effect December 1, 2016. Every employment lawyer with a newsletter, blog or soapbox has written some summary of the new regulations. And while the regulations only effect the executive, administrative, professional and high compensated exemptions, Daniel Schwartz, a Connecticut employment lawyer… Continue Reading

DOL Announces Details of Final Rule Changing Regulations on the Overtime Exemptions

Posted in Human Resources, News & Commentary, Wage & Hour
Last night the U.S. Department of Labor announced details of its long-awaited Final Rule on changes to the regulations interpreting the overtime exemptions to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  The FLSA is the federal law requiring most employers to pay minimum wages and overtime to nonexempt employees.  The Final Rule raises the minimum salary an exempt… Continue Reading

Austin, Texas Passes Fair Chance Hiring Ordinance for Private Employers

Posted in Human Resources, News & Commentary
The City of Austin, Texas has joined the long list of municipalities nationally that have adopted ordinances restricting employers ability to make inquiries into an applicant’s criminal background and to act on that information.  Under Austin’s new Fair Chance Hiring Ordinance, an employer with fifteen or more employees in the City of Austin may not: publish… Continue Reading

HR Directors Beware: You Too Can be Sued for FMLA Violations

Posted in Case Summaries, Human Resources, Leave of Absence
A recent case from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals should remind HR Directors (and supervisors) to be particularly vigilant in handling employee FMLA leaves of absence. In Graziadio v. Culinary Institute of America, the appellate court reversed a trial court victory for the employer and the two individual supervisors (one of whom was the HR… Continue Reading

From the Archives: Spring Break Edition II

Posted in Human Resources
In today’s From the Archives: Spring Break Edition, we go back to a 2011 post to remind employers why it is a good idea for managers and supervisors to stick to a neutral reference policy when providing employment references on former employees.  In Managers and Supervisors Should Follow Their Employer’s Neutral Reference Policies, I mentioned a company… Continue Reading

12 Signs You May Have a Wage and Hour Problem (and Should Call an Employment Lawyer Now)

Posted in Human Resources, Wage & Hour
There has been an explosion of wage and hour collective actions failed against Texas employers in the last five years.  This has been particularly prevalent in the oil field services sector.  If you are a Texas employer, and using any of 12 pay practices below, you should consult with an employment lawyer to ensure you… Continue Reading

NLRA Application to Common Company Policies

Posted in Human Resources, Labor-Management Relations, Uncategorized
The National Labor Relations Act protects employees’ right to form unions, collectively bargain and otherwise engage in collective activities for their mutual aid and protection.  Collective activities for mutual aid and protection usually relate to wages, hours, working conditions and other terms and conditions of employment.  These activities apply to union and nonunion employers.  In… Continue Reading

Texas Governor Signs Open Carry Law –Employers Have Time to Prepare

Posted in Human Resources, Legislation
Beginning in 2016, licensed individuals can openly carry handguns on their person. Prior to the implantation of the law, Texas law required that license holders carry their handguns in a concealed manner.  HB 910 authorizes individuals with a license to carry a handgun to openly carry their handguns in all locations that allow the licensed… Continue Reading

Proper Planning Now Can Lead to Complaint-Free Company Holiday Party

Posted in Human Resources, News & Commentary, Uncategorized
I’m sitting here trying to come up with an idea for this year’s family holiday card.  Last year’s theme was “Silent Night”.  But while I think about what I need to be doing to prepare for the holidays, I’m reminded that many employers are also planning their company end-of-year parties.  So, from the archieves are 9 tips to consider when… Continue Reading

Light Duty Policies Limited to On-the-Job Injuries Going the Way of the Dinosaur

Posted in Human Resources, News & Commentary
As I wrote several months ago, light duty programs limiting participation to employees recovering from on-the-job injuries are being increasingly scrutinized by the EEOC (See post here) and that we have likely seen the end of those polices.   The Washington Post reports today that UPS, despite having a case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court… Continue Reading

Ebola Discovered in Texas: What Employers Need to Know

Posted in Human Resources, News & Commentary
As every national news program has announced, the Ebola virus has been diagnosed in a North Texas patient. This is the first diagnosed case of Ebola in the United States.  According to reports, the Liberian national traveled from Liberia through Brussels, Washington D.C., to Dallas, Texas where he was eventually diagnosed with the virus.  Given that… Continue Reading

Adrian Peterson Situation Spotlights Dilemma Employers Face Frequently.

Posted in Human Resources, News & Commentary
Our family has a fantasy football league and my 13 year old son Benjamin drafted Adrian Peterson in the pre-season draft. Earlier this week when the Minnesota Vikings activated Peterson to play this weekend, Benjamin was faced with a decision many employers have to make; whether to allow an employee who has been charged, but not… Continue Reading

NFL Could Take a Lesson from Human Resources in Conducting Investigations

Posted in Human Resources, News & Commentary
Yesterday TMZ released shocking video of former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice knocking his then-fiancée out in a casino elevator. Roger Goodell, the NFL Commissioner had, following the league’s investigation, given Rice a two-game suspension for the incident of domestic violence. Following the release of the in-elevator footage, Goodell suspended Rice indefinitely from the league.  You… Continue Reading

What’s the Difference Between “I Don’t Recall” and “That Never Happened”?

Posted in Human Resources
Recent video clips posted at Page One Kentucky of the deposition of Kentucky State Rep. Will Coursey in a sexual harassment suit emphasize the difference between “I don’t recall” and “That never happened/I never said that.”  First, the clip.  As this clip demonstrates, there is a difference between “I don’t recall” whether something happened and “That never… Continue Reading

Investigation Closure Letters “Close the Loop” on Workplace Investigations

Posted in Discrimination, Harassment, Human Resources, Retaliation
One thing often overlooked in conducting workplace investigations is reporting back to the complaining party at the end of the investigation. I have seen many cases where the employer conducted a thorough investigation and took prompt remediation action but never communicated to the employee that it had done so.  From the employee’s perspective, he or she… Continue Reading

Which Employees Should Receive the Most Rigorous Background Check?

Posted in Human Resources, News & Commentary
Employers conduct variety of background checks on employees and applicants depending on the level of hire and the duties performed. Of the background checks that employers conduct, which category of employees should receive the most rigorous background checks –the CEO, Comptroller, Treasurer? All worthy choices.  As the Edward Snowden NSA leak teaches, those who have broad access… Continue Reading

Texas Law Limits Employer’s Ability to Prohibit CHL Employees From Possessing Firearms in Company’s Parking Lots

Posted in Human Resources, News & Commentary
Since the shooting this weekend in Newtown, Connecticut, I have received several questions regarding a Texas employer’s right to ban or prohibit firearms on company property.  Without debating the wisdom of such a decision or the likelihood that the mentally ill who generally participate in mass shooting will abide by those restrictions, Texas law generally… Continue Reading

States Legalizing Recreational Marijuana Possession Have Little Effect on Texas Employers

Posted in Human Resources, News & Commentary
Last month Washington and Colorado voters passed state laws authorizing the legalization of recreational marijuana use. Given that there are pockets of the United States where the medical or recreational use of marijuana is legal or tolerated under state law, some Texas employers have asked whether it has any effect on their drug testing or… Continue Reading

Health Care Reform: What Lays Ahead with the Affordable Care Act

Posted in Human Resources, News & Commentary
Now that the election is over and most of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) is likely to take effect, some employer will want to revisit the new obligations and requirements of the Act.  On November 30, 2012, our firm is presenting a complimentary webinar titled "Health Care Reform:  What Lays Ahead with the Affordable Care Act?"  My… Continue Reading