Texas Employment Law Update

Texas Employment Law Update

A Resource for Texas Employers

Category Archives: News & Commentary

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Has the Expanded Definition of Disability under the ADAA Gone Too Far?

Posted in Disability, News & Commentary
Daniel Schwartz at the Connecticut Employment Law Blog has an interesting post today about the effect the American Psychiatric Association’s proposed changes the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual could have to the Connecticut body of disability discrimination law.  While Connecticut is unique, according to Schwartz, in its definition of disability and expressly includes mental conditions listed in… Continue Reading

TXANS to Host 22nd Annual Conference and Exhibition

Posted in News & Commentary
The Texas Association of Responsible Nonsubscribers (TXANS) Texas’ leading proponent of sound and ethical practices relating to injury prevention and the provision of quality workplace injury benefits by non-subscribers to workers’ compensation.  TXANS is hosting its 22nd Annual Nonsubscriber Conference and Exhibition March 22, 2012 in Austin, Texas.  I’ll be speaking at the conference.   Some… Continue Reading

Antitrust Concerns Raised When Competitors Get Too Cozy

Posted in News & Commentary, Noncompetes and Restrictive Covenants
When competitors make agreements with one another about what they will charge, the territories they will divide, the customers each will sell or the employees they will hire, red flags should raise because antitrust issues may be implicated. Last year I wrote about the settlement several Silicon Valley technology companies reached with the US Department of Justice’s… Continue Reading

Quick Cites for Common Evidentiary Issues in Discrimination, Retaliation and Harassment Cases

Posted in News & Commentary
Yesterday I had the privilege to serve on a panel discussion of employment defense attorneys covering Title VII Litigation: Persistent Evidentiary Challenges.  We had lawyers from twenty-two states registered for the program.  If you have an evidentiary question involving a discrimination, retaliation or harassment claim, these materials may provide you a head start on your research or… Continue Reading

Court Strikes Employer’s Arbitration Agreement With Employee For Lack of Consideration

Posted in Arbitration, Case Summaries, News & Commentary
There are a few pockets in the state where lawyers representing employees still vigorously fight the arbitration agreements their clients signed with employers agreeing to arbitrate all disputes. One of the pockets is in El Paso, Texas as evidenced by the number of opinions out of the court of appeals addressing the enforceability of an arbitration… Continue Reading

NLRB Says Agreements to Waive Participation in Class Action Violate Federal Labor Law

Posted in Arbitration, Human Resources, News & Commentary
Wow!  That is all I could say after I read the recent NLRB decision holding that an employer’s requirement that employee sign mandatory arbitration agreements waiving the right to litigate claims in a collective or class action violates the National Labor Relations Act.   In the case styled D.R. Horton, Inc. and Michael Cuda, the… Continue Reading

New Federal Rules Takes Effect Prohibiting Hand Held Cellular Devices

Posted in Human Resources, News & Commentary
The current federal administration is making significant changes in employment law through its rulemaking and regulatory authority rather than seeking Acts of Congress.  Another example of this method of legislature-through-rulemaking is the new federal regulation taking effect on January 3, 2012 that prohibit all commercial motor vehicle drivers from using hand-held telephones while driving.  The new rules provide significant penalties for… Continue Reading

Year End Annoucements from the DOL and NLRB

Posted in News & Commentary
A lot, relatively speaking, happened while I took a few days off to celebrate Christmas.  The DOL published three new fact sheets on retaliation (here, here and here); the NLRB delayed its mandatory posting of employee rights and the Board passed its ambush election rules.  Hopefully this will be a quiet week and I’ll be posting again… Continue Reading

Motivating Employees at Christmas Through Rewards

Posted in Human Resources, News & Commentary
I read a thought provoking article by Colin Turner in Business Review Europe about the importance of rewarding employees at Christmas and how those rewards can motivate employees. The article emphasized the importance of rewarding employees not only for the service they have provided, but to reward them prospectively for the service the employer expects to receive. This… Continue Reading

Interesting Pilot Program for Employment Disputes from the Federal Courts

Posted in News & Commentary
The Federal Judicial Center has announced a new pilot program to streamline discovery in employment disputes filed in federal court.  The program, announced in November, would compel initial discovery for certain employment cases where an adverse action is alleged.  Under the program, parties would have to produce, as part of initial disclosures, commons discovery items that are… Continue Reading

Iphone App Helps Track Settlement Negotiations

Posted in News & Commentary
If you attend many EEOC meditations or the meditations of lawsuits, you know it is important to keep an accurate record of the parties’ respective settlement offers.  This is useful in trying to glean where the parties are going and whether there may be an overlap in their respective settlement positions.  Picture it Settled recently released a new… Continue Reading

New and Enhanced Tax Credits Available to Employers Hiring Unemployed Veterans

Posted in News & Commentary
Yesterday, the President signed a bill that is good for veterans and employers.  The law provides new and enhanced tax credits for employers hiring veterans.  The law, effective immediately, allows employers to claim certain tax credits for hiring unemployed veterans ($2,400 in the case of a veteran unemployed at least 1 month; $5,600 for a veteran unemployed at least 6… Continue Reading

Penn State’s Selection of Independent Investigator is First Step in Right Direction

Posted in News & Commentary
Penn State announced that it selected former federal judge and FBI Director Louise Freeh to lead an independent investigation of all aspects of the University’s actions related to the child sexual abuse allegations that have been reported.  While federal and state (two states) authorities are investigating the allegations, Penn State’s investigation is likely to be more… Continue Reading

Supreme Court of Texas Considering Important Issue of Privileged Communications Between Employer and its Insurance Company

Posted in Case Summaries, News & Commentary, Workers' Compensation
Recently, the Supreme Court of Texas heard oral arguments in an interesting case regarding the outer limits of the attorney-client privilege with respect to a workers’ compensation insurance carrier attorney’s communications with its insured.  The communications at issue were made between the carriers and the insured/employer during the administrative proceeding before the Texas Workers’ Compensation Commission over… Continue Reading

Texas is a Right to Work State! What the Heck Does that Mean?

Posted in Human Resources, News & Commentary
Several years ago I took the deposition of the business owner who hired several employees from a competitor in violation of a noncompetition agreement the employees had with the competitor.  As part of enforcing the agreements against the former employees, the competitor sued the new employer for tortious interference with contract because the new employer/business owner was aware of the noncompetition agreements and… Continue Reading

EEOC Charge Filings Hit Record Number for FY 2010

Posted in News & Commentary
If you have not experienced it already, the EEOC is very active under the Obama administration.  Proof of this heightened activity is evident in the most recent statistics released by the EEOC for the fiscal year ending September 20, 2011. Here is a summary of some of the highlights from the EEOC FY 2010 statistics (the Commission’s fiscal… Continue Reading

What Rights Does the Accused Have in Response to a False Harassment Complaint?

Posted in Harassment, Human Resources, News & Commentary
I have already written about the Herman Cain story and won’t opine further on it here except to say, I have no idea who is telling the truth in the he-said-she-said (and she-said; and she said) story.  The headlines do remind me about what little rights the accused harasser has when, as Herman Cain claims, a false complaint… Continue Reading

Penn State Scandal Has Lessons for Texas Employers

Posted in Human Resources, News & Commentary
The recent scandal at Penn State University is both shocking and troubling.  That high level officials of a such a prestigious university would allegedly overlook or cover-up allegations of the sexual abuse of a child is truly reprehensible.  Notwithstanding the intense media coverage of these events, each of those accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty.  But… Continue Reading