The HR Specialist: Texas Employment Law

Employees know that their employers can’t retaliate against them for filing EEOC complaints, complaining about discrimination or engaging in otherwise protected activity. However, it doesn’t follow that employees are free to taunt their supervisors by pulling the protected-activity card …

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Texas contract law grants great leeway to employers that create incentive payment plans, especially when it comes to how employers calculate what payment is due employees. Essentially, if the incentive plan says the employer has the right to interpret the agreement language and its decision is final and binding, courts won’t interfere unless the employer interprets it in bad faith …

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A federal district court judge recently awarded $15.6 million to a former American Airlines employee who claimed a co-worker harassed her. Jamie Abrams alleged that she had received numerous “malicious, obscene, harassing, threatening and interfering phone calls” of a violent and sexual nature, occurring several times daily …

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The U.S. Labor Department has announced that Dow Chemical of Freeport paid $861,647 in back wages to 648 operating engineers as a result of a federal investigation …

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The U.S. Labor Department has published proposed FMLA regulations, which may change the way employers handle FMLA leave. The dual-purpose proposal includes changes to certain existing FMLA regulations and new military family leave entitlements …

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The Texas Supreme Court recently decided that employers that have workers’ compensation insurance and are sued for gross negligence could also insure for any damages a court may award for that negligence. If you don’t know whether your employers’ liability policy covers additional damages, now is a good time to check the policy …

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The U.S. Labor Department recently announced that McLane Co. Inc., a Temple wholesale distributor of food and grocery products, has paid $1.56 million to 570 current and former employees for wage and hour violations …

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

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