The HR Specialist: Texas Employment Law

The Office of Foreign Labor Certification is expected to publish new regulations aiming to modernize the U.S. Department of Labor’s electronic permanent labor certification system.

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Public employees who speak out about matters of public importance are protected from retaliation. But retaliation doesn’t include an employer’s complaint about the employee to a licensing board.

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The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has handed arbitrators the power to decide if arbitration agreements are valid. The appeals court ruled that it was legitimate to ask whether an arbitration agreement applied to an employee’s pre-existing Fair Labor Standards Act claim, but that it was a question best answered not by a judge, but by an arbitrator.

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Some managers fear disciplining a worker who has complained about discrimination or other allegedly illegal conduct. Quite reasonably, they worry that punishing an employee after he or she complains may precipitate a retaliation claim.

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A former employee of Baylor Scott & White Health, which owns hospitals throughout North and Central Texas, is suing the company, alleging that her September 2014 firing was discriminatory.

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For the sixth time in the last 10 years, Houston-based Oscar Renda Contractors faces OSHA safety violations involving unsafe trenching practices.

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La Espiga de Oro, a Houston-area tortilla bakery, faces $106,700 in fines for multiple safety violations following an inspection by OSHA investigators who descended on the plant after receiving tips about unsafe working conditions.

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A home health care company called Your Health Team, based in Kaufman, Texas, didn’t show much in the way of teamwork when it fired a home health aide after learning she was pregnant.

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As long as you get expert legal help creating a valid arbitration agreement, Texas courts will probably enforce it.

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In June, the EEOC proposed new regulations concerning Title VII’s national origin provisions. National origin discrimination complaints comprise about 11% of the charges the EEOC receives each year. The new proposed EEOC regulations target job segregation, human trafficking and intersectional discrimination.

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