Good news if you need to protect your customer lists from competitors: You can require employees to sign confidentiality agreements to block taking customer lists to the next job even if it’s theoretically possible for the competitor or someone else to put together the same information from other, publicly available sources.
Not every disability can be accommodated in a way that enables an employee to perform the essential functions of his job. Sometimes, the disability simply can’t be accommodated. When that’s the case, you may terminate the employee. If he sues, you must be ready to show what the job’s essential functions are and that it simply isn’t possible for the disabled employee, given his specific disabilities, to perform those functions.
The federal appeals court that covers Texas has come down on the side of an employer that fired a worker for insubordination for refusing to say a rosary. Reason: The employee never revealed that her religion prevented her from complying.
Garrison Contractors, a West Texas oil-industry construction company, has agreed to settle charges it retaliated against a female employee after she reported sexual harassment.
In conjunction with its 50th anniversary, the EEOC has compiled data showing that women and minorities have made significant yet still incomplete inroads in a changing employment landscape.
Public employees retain free speech rights under the First Amendment and can’t be punished for speaking out if they do so as citizens and not in their role as a government employee.
Under the Equal Pay Act, workers of one sex who perform substantially similar jobs are entitled to the same pay as their counterparts of the opposite sex. But it doesn’t take much to make jobs dissimilar enough to thwart direct comparisons. Keep this in mind when preparing job descriptions and explaining pay differences.
San Antonio-based Taprite Fassco has settled gender, disability and retaliation charges leveled by a female quality control employee. Taprite Fassco manufactures carbon dioxide regulators for soda and beer dispensers.
Before terminating someone who is disabled, make sure that you don’t inadvertently create a reason for them to sue you.
Texas law requires public employees who are fired by their employing agency to pursue internal appeals of that decision. Otherwise, they can’t sue in state court over alleged wrongful discharge for whistle-blowing. Government employers should make sure they raise that defense if they don’t have any record of the worker making an internal appeal.