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The HR Specialist: Texas Employment Law

The Houston-based Houston Ear, Nose & Throat Clinic will pay a former employee $17,390 after it failed to reinstate her to an equivalent position following FMLA leave.

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Can employers fire drug addicts? Or are they disabled and protected under the ADA and the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act (TCHRA)? That depends on individual circumstances and the definition of “current” addiction.

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In a stark reminder that the FLSA carries personal liability, three executives at Belton-based High Performance Ropes of America were convicted of felonies for their part in a scheme to exploit undocumented workers.

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The PDA outlaws treating pregnant women worse than employees who aren’t pregnant. However, it doesn’t require affirmative steps to help them deal with complications. Employers are complying with the law if they give pregnant women the same time off or temporary light work assignments they give other temporarily impaired workers.

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Here’s good news you can use to warn employees against misusing company computers and other technology for their own benefit, to compete or to commit fraud: Employees can’t argue that because they received the equipment to use, they are authorized to access information for purposes unrelated to business.

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There is a fine line between a rational discussion of cultural differences and stereotyping. If you are tempted to educate employees on appropriate workplace behavior, stick with a straightforward description of what behaviors you want to see, not how they differ from other cultural norms.

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Layoff or firing? Probationary or permanent em­­ployee? Using the wrong employment-related terminology with an employee can expose your company to costly lawsuits.

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It just got more complicated to calculate the overtime pay you owe a misclassified employee. In Black v. SettlePou P.C., the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a district court’s ruling concerning the proper methodology for calculating damages when an employee is misclassified as exempt.

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Don’t assume that just because your company is not located in Texas, you can’t be sued in the state. As long as your company employs someone in Texas, that’s enough.

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The state of Texas filed a federal suit against the EEOC, disputing guidance that discourages employers from instituting total bans on hiring convicted felons.

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