The HR Specialist: Texas Employment Law

Sometimes, keeping quiet is the best approach. That’s certainly true when you discipline or terminate employees for poor performance. Bad-mouthing an employee won’t do any good and may mean a needless lawsuit if the employee’s reputation suffers.

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Do you have a rule that says employees who aren’t ready to return from FMLA leave when their time is up face termination? If so, consider providing at least limited flexibility under one circumstance.

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Employers shouldn’t worry too much about firing an employee they believe sexually harassed another employee. As long as you conduct an investigation and reasonably believe the employee broke company rules against harassment, a court likely won’t second-guess your judgment. You don’t have to be absolutely right… just honest.

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Under the FLSA, employees are entitled to overtime for hours worked over 40 in any workweek. However, the law doesn’t specify how a workweek is determined…

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Sometimes, workplace relationships deteriorate beyond repair. That’s especially true if an employee resorts to angry outbursts or even threats. That’s when it’s time to act.

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Employers contemplating simply giving employees tax-free cash to purchase health insurance on public exchanges will have to rethink that plan in light of new IRS regulations implementing the Affordable Care Act.

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Houston employers have a new local anti-discrimination ordinance to comply with. In addition to the classes protected by federal and state law, Houston now protects employees from discrimination based on familial status, marital status, gender identity and sexual orientation.

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Some employees don’t get help with their potential employment lawsuits until after the EEOC has tossed out their complaints. By then, it may be too late—unless the employer makes a common mistake and pushes for more details. Instead, let it go. That way, you might win the case even if the claim was potentially valid.

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Here’s something to consider before you choose not to be a part of the Texas workers’ compensation system. Employers that forego coverage—as they are permitted to do—leave open the possibility of unlimited liability and have few defenses available.

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If there is one thing that will get a federal judge’s attention, it’s name-calling that targets a particular race or ethnicity. While one comment may not be enough for a lawsuit, repeated name-calling almost certainly demonstrates hostility. That’s especially true if a supervisor makes the comments.

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