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The HR Specialist: Texas Employment Law

It’s an awkward workplace problem: Despite short-staffing, the work is still getting done. It’s a sure sign a function might have too many employees. You can consider layoffs to cut costs and increase efficiency. But do it the smart way.

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When posting job openings, don’t focus solely on educational re­­quirements. Instead, be sure to clarify that job experience is also required—and provide specific examples.

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Judges don’t want to waste their time on frivolous litigation; they’ll usually act fast to dismiss sham lawsuits. That’s especially true when it is obvious the employee is complaining about what, at most, constitutes a slight inconvenience, like a shift change.

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A federal judge has ordered AA Foun­­dries to take steps to stop workplace racial harassment after the San Antonio manufacturer lost a lawsuit filed by the EEOC. A jury awarded $200,000 to three black employees who accused a plant superintendent of routine racial harassment.

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The U.S. Department of Justice has reached a settlement with the city of Selma, ending a lawsuit that alleged violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

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Sometimes, employees fake or exaggerate injuries in the hopes of getting paid time off. If you suspect that’s going on, don’t get angry and put vindictive roadblocks in the employee’s way. Instead, treat him the same way you treat everyone else.

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You don’t have to create permanent light-duty work for injured workers, as the following case shows.

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OSHA has slapped Symmetry Turf Install­­ations with two citations for serious safety violations after one of its employees died of heat stroke.

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The U.S. Supreme Court and federal agencies look askance at employers that don’t train employees and supervisors how to prevent, detect and report harassment. As a practical matter, such training is essentially required.

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Seventy current and former landscaping employees will rake in $106,818 following a U.S. Depart­­ment of Labor investigation of their Midland employer’s wage-and-hour practices.

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