The HR Specialist: Texas Employment Law

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott recently sued employers and a labor organization in El Paso and Corpus Christi for allegedly forcing employees to become union members or pay union dues in violation of the state’s right-to-work law …

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A federal district court jury awarded a Subway restaurant employee $166,500 in a disability discrimination suit. After a trial in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, the jury concluded that Bobrich Enterprises Inc., which operates Subway restaurants in Dallas, violated the ADA by harassing a hearing-impaired employee …

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OSHA announced that it has fined BP Products of North America $92,000 for violations at its refinery in Texas City. The citations come as the result of a March 2005 accident that killed 15 people and injured 170 others …

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Employers that use the Fair Labor Standards Act’s fluctuating workweek method to calculate pay should take heart!  Making one innocent deduction mistake doesn’t mean you can never use the method again …

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You can’t just use a blanket statement (e.g., “granting time off will be expensive”) to deny a request for religious accommodation. You must be prepared to show the actual cost of the accommodation. That’s true even if giving someone the Sabbath day off means having to hire another employee to cover the time …

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In June, Gov. Rick Perry signed a bill that requires Texas businesses receiving taxpayer-subsidized, job-creation grants and tax abatements to certify that they will not knowingly employ undocumented workers …

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The U.S. Labor Department has filed a lawsuit against Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation in Dallas in an effort to recover more than $3 million the agency claims the company owes to more than 500 former and current employees. The Labor Department claims that Pilgrim’s Pride failed to pay employees for the time they spent putting on and taking off protective clothing before the start and after the end of their shifts …

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Q. We have a company policy requiring male employees to keep their hair cut short. One worker says we can’t force him to cut his hair because we don’t tell female workers to do the same. Is this true? …

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Q. Can we require a job applicant to cut his hair as a condition of employment even if he alleges that his religion forbids him from cutting his hair? …

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A court has ruled that an employee’s inability to go to work due to stress and anxiety about a pending termination or other performance issues may be considered a “serious health condition” under the FMLA …

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