The HR Specialist: Texas Employment Law

Some employers mistakenly believe that having employees work on a contractual basis will save them from litigation. If they decide not to renew the contracts of workers considered “trou­­blemakers,” they figure they can avoid being sued. That’s a big mistake.

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The city of McAllen seems to be turning a page with the departure of an assistant city manager. The official had previously filed a sexual harassment complaint against a former city manager who retired in March.

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On June 19, declaring that “pub­­lic employees do not renounce their citizenship when they accept employment,” the U.S. Supreme Court held that the First Amend­­ment protects a public employee’s truthful sworn testimony, compelled by subpoena.

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A San Antonio ironworks has decided to drop its two-year-old fight with the EEOC over allegations that it harassed black workers.

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You may have read the recent headlines about a Facebook posting that unraveled a confidential settlement agreement between a prep school employee and the school. The employee’s daughter took to Facebook to brag that the family was planning a European vacation courtesy of the settlement …

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Q. One of our employees has requested to take leave from work periodically to receive treatment for a medical condition. Are we obligated to allow the employee to take leave intermittently?

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The city of Brownsville has filed its answer to a former police officer’s suit alleging the city violated the ADA when it fired her shortly after discovering she suffered from Sjogren’s syndrome, which causes headaches, dry eyes and joint pain and swelling.

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Federal courts are beginning to be more selective in the types of employment discrimination cases they consider. No longer can employees essentially “make a federal case” out of any workplace dispute.

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Here’s another reason to create a fair, impartial and consistent interview process: Your ultimate decision on who is hired or promoted is more likely to withstand legal scrutiny if you can show that each candidate interviewed faced the same questions and that each candidate’s performance was assessed by more than one interviewer.

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When a supervisor constantly ridicules an employee, watch out. The worker may have a hostile work environment claim if she can tie the demeaning comments to just one or two overtly sexual ones.

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