The HR Specialist: Texas Employment Law

The DOL generally takes a dim view of any attempt to negotiate away employees’ rights under the FLSA. For example, unions can’t say “no thanks” to the minimum wage or overtime pay during collective bargaining. However, there’s a difference between losing rights through the bargaining process and accepting a settlement that resolves conflicting wage claims.

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FMLA leave can cause major headaches for supervisors. After all, they have to make sure the work gets done while an employee is out. That can be especially difficult if they’re trying to hold off on hiring and get by with current staffing levels.

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According to the FLSA, even if you don’t know someone is working overtime, you can be sued if you underpay. The good news is you can crack down on unauthorized overtime by punishing an em­­ployee for failing to follow your clearly articulated no-unauthorized-overtime rule.

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A former Lufkin Industries employee is suing the oil field equipment manufacturer, alleging he was fired for complaining about racial discrimination.

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For employers, the best way to win discrimination lawsuits is consistency. When you enforce a workplace rule, do so for everyone who violates that rule—every time. That makes it difficult for an employee to cry discrimination over a discipline dispute.

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Under the FLSA, employees are supposed to be re­­lieved of all duties during meal periods. If they’re not, then meal breaks are considered paid time. That doesn’t mean employers can’t prohibit some meal break activities without having to pay employees.

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Everyone who is qualified should have a chance to participate in your training programs.

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Three employees of Midland-based crude oil producer Blue Ridge Resources have agreed to settle a national-origin harassment lawsuit against the company. Blue Ridge will pay the three men $43,000 for failing to train their supervisor and investigate the men’s complaints.

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A former employee at AT&T’s Houston facility has filed a racial discrimination complaint against the telecommunications giant, claiming he was fired by a boss who was motivated by racial bias.

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You can’t stop all romantic entanglements at work, but you can and should make sure the post-affair fallout doesn’t disrupt the workplace.

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