The HR Specialist: Texas Employment Law

An Austin. TX.-area amusement park allegedly took a developmentally disabled janitor for a ride then booted him out of his job. According to an EEOC lawsuit, the man had worked for the company satisfactorily for four years despite having suffered a traumatic brain injury as a child.

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Dallas District Attorney Susan Hawk, who admits she has a history of mental illness and drug abuse, checked herself into an inpatient treatment facility. Now, she maintains she is back on the job and fully capable of performing it. Not everyone agrees.

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You may have heard that the Department of Labor has been focusing some of its enforcement efforts on low-wage service industries, particularly restaurants and fast- food outlets. That’s true. But federal courts are also stepping in to ensure that low-wage employees get every penny they are entitled to. That’s what recently happened when the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in a tip-pooling case that the employee who makes coffee in the back (the barista) should not be participating in the restaurant’s tip pool.

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A recent case found that a mere one-year age difference wasn’t generally enough to show age discrimination.

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Phased implementation of the ACA has kept employers busy over the past few years. Here’s your cheat sheet and some tips for what’s ahead.

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In the all-out battle to recruit and retain the best qualified, most highly motivated and loyal workforce, more organizations are experimenting with taking a radically flexible approach to monitoring employees’ vacation and personal leave—or even abandoning such tracking entirely.

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Once you have an accommodation in place for a disabled employee, don’t suddenly take it away. If the accommodation has been working, that may spur an ADA lawsuit.

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The battle to collect the largest EEOC verdict on record continues. A U.S. district judge has overridden a confidential settlement involving a Texas land deal that would have re-directed over half a million dollars away from a class of 32 intellectually disabled former employees of Hill Country Farms.

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The Texas Supreme Court has ruled that simply complaining to one’s boss  about allegedly illegal activity is not whistle-blowing protected by the Texas Whistleblower Act. Employees must inform law enforcement.

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A truck driver who is required to maintain U.S. Department of Transportation certification can’t sue his employer for disability discrimination if terminated without first pursuing remedies through the DOT. Until he’s done so, he isn’t “qualified” for the position and can’t sue for alleged disability discrimination.

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