The HR Specialist: Texas Employment Law

Employers at a post-Hurricane Katrina job site recently agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by the family of a Texas construction worker who died while doing repair work at a warehouse in Louisiana. Bobby Patton was working on a hurricane-damaged roof when he fell through an unmarked skylight to the concrete floor …

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Performance evaluations are important tools to help employers gauge whether employees are performing at expected levels. They can help organizations spot talent and leadership potential, while identifying areas where employees need extra training and support. Evaluations also can protect employers from frivolous lawsuits filed by employees who claim they’ve been demoted, fired or otherwise unfairly treated when the real reason was poor performance …

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Texas employers frequently face problems associated with retrieving company property from disgruntled former employees. Let’s use a hypothetical scenario to answer questions on whether or when you can make payroll deductions for the missing property …

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In May, the Texas seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 4.1% (from 4.2% in April and 5.0% a year ago), its lowest point since 1976. Texas employers have added 239,000 jobs over the past 12 months …

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Religious discrimination can take many forms, including, apparently the forced singing of "Happy Birthday" to that embarrassed-looking guy sitting with his buddies in the booth by the window.

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The FMLA guarantees a qualified employee up to 12 weeks’ unpaid leave and the right to return to the same job (or a substantially similar one) after the leave ends. But employees don’t always return …

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The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires that employees who work more than 40 hours a week receive overtime for the extra hours. But many jobs and positions are exempt from FLSA OT rules …

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Most organizations realize they have to take reasonable steps to stamp out sexual harassment. Their efforts have probably done a lot to wipe out the most blatant examples,  but what about more subtle harassment? …

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An employee who has been performing well and then seems to act out of character may be suffering from a disability or a serious health condition. But suggesting a disability when there isn’t one is NOT a good idea …

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Workplace violence is a serious problem, and employees who have been fired may sometimes overreact …

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