The HR Specialist: Texas Employment Law

A Popeyes Chicken franchise in Tyler has agreed to settle an EEOC disability discrimination suit filed on behalf of an applicant who had several years of experience in the restaurant business. The alleged reason he wasn’t hired: His HIV status.

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Employees alleging discrimination or retaliation for engaging in protected activity have to show they suffered an adverse employment action. Typically, that means they were fired, demoted or transferred to a less desirable position. But what if the employer simply removes responsibilities, even as the worker retains his title, pay and benefits?

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San Antonio-based Costa Solutions has agreed to pay 63 current and former employees $146,459 in back pay and overtime following a DOL investigation. Costa provides logistics and freight-handling services to retail business, including the H-E-B Grocery chain.

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Employees who report what they perceive as offensive sexual conduct to their employer may think they are engaged in so-called protected activity. That’s rarely the case. While the sexual activity they observe may indeed be offensive in the workplace, reporting it doesn’t mean the employee suddenly has protection from retaliation.

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Should Texas employers be so in­­clined, they may pay employees in Bit­­coins as long as both parties agree to the arrangement.

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You probably won’t be liable for a single incident of sexually oriented co-worker harassment if you punish the transgressor after you discover what happened.

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Here’s a warning about equal pay and the ongoing effects of past discriminatory decisions: Unless you fix the problem, an employee could file multiple lawsuits.

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If you “shoot the messenger” and punish an employee who points out your wage-and-hour mistakes, a judge just may smack you back with a huge monetary penalty. That’s what appears to have happened in a recent Texas case.

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These days, employers get many more applications for open positions than they can possibly interview. But each of those applicants is a potential litigant. If you use a complicated hiring process with two or more steps, be sure you can explain how each step relied on objective, unbiased assessments of applicant qualifications.

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A crane operator working at Texas A&M’s Kyle Field found himself out of work after he hoisted an Alabama Crimson Tide banner inside the stadium.

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