This morning the government reported a record number of new unemployment benefit claims: 3.283 Million new claims.  Meanwhile, based on directive from Governor Abbott last week, the Texas Workforce Commission Unemployment Division is waiving the seven day waiting period for receipt of unemployment benefits and temporarily suspending the work search requirements for unemployment eligibility.

On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed the Families First Corona Virus Response Act.  The Families First Act requires small and midsized employers to provide paid sick leave benefits and expanded FMLA leave to employees needing time away from work due to COVID-19 reasons.  While the Act provide others benefits, the FMLA Expansion Act and

In a Texas unemployment benefit proceeding, the employee usually bears the burden of establishing an entitlement to benefits when the employee resigns.  The employer bears the burden to show disqualification for benefits when the employer initiates the termination.  However, when an employee offers more than two weeks’ notice of intent to resign and the employer

In a Texas case of first impression, Fort Worth Court of Appeals held that an employee on FMLA leave of absence is not entitled to receipt of state unemployment benefits reversing the Texas Workforce Commission’s administrative decision.  In Texas Workforce Commission v. Wichita County, Texas, a county employee applied for state unemployment benefits when

In Texas, employees and employers are entitled to a telephone hearing before a hearing officer if either party disagrees with an initial determination issued by the Commission in unemployment benefit and Texas Pay Day Act claims.  There are some occasions, however, where an employer may consider foregoing these telephone conferences –even if it means losing the unemployment

Most Texas employers handle claims for unemployment compensation in-house (i.e., they don’t use an outside lawyer).  A good resource to consult when handling these claims (and for answers to many Texas specific employment-related legal issues generally) is published by the Texas Workforce Commission titled "Especially for Texas Employers".  According to its introduction, 
 

Especially for Texas

Texas employees are ineligible for unemployment benefits if the are terminated from employment for "misconduct connected with the work."  Misconduct connected with the work includes "mismanagement of a position of employment by action or inaction, neglect that jeopardizes the life or property of another, intentional wrongdoing or malfeasance, intentional violation of a law, or violation of a policy

The Texas Supreme Court has issued an opinion this morning holding that noncompetition agreements supported by stock options and good will are not unenforceable as a matter of law.  I previewed this case here.  As I have time to digest the majority, concurring and dissenting opinions, I’ll provide more thoughts on this case. You