The HR Specialist: Texas Employment Law

In tight times, employers must explore every cost-saving option. After looking at several ways to balance the budget, you may decide you need to trim the workforce. Don’t be surprised if a laid-off em­­ployee sues.

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Don’t let an angry manager turn routine FMLA leave into expensive and time-consuming litigation. Make sure all supervisors understand their FMLA obligations—and that they have no choice but to cheerfully allow em­­ployees to exercise their rights.

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Sometimes, it’s clear that un­­less an employee shapes up, she’ll have to be fired. Argu­­men­­ta­­tive, insubordinate employees who balk at even minor requests fall into that category. Carefully document in­­fractions so when termination time comes, you have specific examples.

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Smart employers use past per­­for­­mance rankings as the major criterion for laying off employees during a reduction in force. The reason is obvious: Since the rankings predate the layoff decisions, they’re almost impossible to challenge.

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Here’s an important concept to remember when disciplining managers: They are responsible for what goes on below them on the organization chart, whether they know the details or not.

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The U.S. Department of Justice and the EEOC have an­­nounced a settlement with two Texas state agen­­cies, resolving pay discrimination allegations at a state department that no longer exists.

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Chuy’s Panaderia Bakery, which oper­­ates two locations in Austin, has agreed to settle charges of failing to pay the federal minimum wage to 101 employees.

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The Occupational Safety & Health Administration has issued a memorandum setting out criteria for removing employers from the Severe Violator Enforcement Pro­­gram (SVEP), the government’s watch list of most dangerous workplaces.

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A federal trial court has reaffirmed that employers have the right to expect employees to be truthful. It said it’s fine to punish an employee who was reasonably suspected of dishonesty—even if it turns out the employer was wrong.

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In Nitro-Lift Technologies, L.L.C. v. Howard, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Oklahoma Supreme Court failed to adhere to a correct interpretation of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA).

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