The HR Specialist: Texas Employment Law

A federal jury in Houston has awarded $105,000 to Maria Ruiz, a teenage dry cleaning employee, plus payments of $5,000 to other female employees. The EEOC filed the suit in July 2007, alleging that Nazar Ali, the owner and manager of a dry cleaning company, sexually harassed the female employees he supervised …

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Texas came in second only to California in Fortune magazine’s annual list of the 100 best companies to work for. Winners headquartered in Texas were National Instruments and Whole Foods, Alcon Laboratories, The Container Store, Shared Technologies …

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Your organization probably has a sexual harassment policy and provides training on how it works. But does your policy give employees more than one way to lodge a complaint? It should. Here’s why …

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How do you handle internal discrimination complaints? If you use an ad hoc process, sometimes taking notes or preparing a report, you may be missing out on an important litigation advantage later. Develop a routine investigation process …

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Texas employers that opt out of the state workers’ compensation system often adopt separate insurance plans to cover employees’ on-the-job injuries. Those plans usually provide no-fault benefits and are governed by ERISA. That doesn’t mean, however, that employees can’t sue under other state laws …

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Good news: Your managers and supervisors aren’t individually liable for violating either the Texas Whistleblower Act or the Texas Labor Code. That means your personal assets aren’t on the line …

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A former treasurer of Local 900 of the Federal Independent Texas Union (FITU) was recently ordered to serve a 21-month prison sentence for embezzling $164,268 in union funds. The FITU represents employees at Lockheed Aerospace Corp. in Fort Worth …

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A Texas appeals court had dismissed a lawsuit filed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) on behalf of nine chimpanzees and monkeys. The court said the primates don’t have an independent right to sue …

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Q. What information must be included in an OSHA Log 300 and when must it be posted? …

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Q. My company has a policy prohibiting all workers from discussing their pay with other employees. Is this legal? …

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