The HR Specialist: Texas Employment Law

Seventy current and former landscaping employees will rake in $106,818 following a U.S. Depart­­ment of Labor investigation of their Midland employer’s wage-and-hour practices.

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Dallas-based DuPriest and Sons Holding will pay $24,000 to settle EEOC charges that it violated the ADA when it laid off a longtime employee after he informed his supervisor he would need regular kidney dialysis.

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Many employers have in­­ternal grievance procedures for em­­ployees who feel they have been discriminated against. But what if, while the complaint is pending, the employee files a complaint with the Texas Com­­mis­­sion on Human Rights?

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The NLRB continues to force new requirements on employers from all directions. Its latest salvo comes in its ruling in IronTiger Logistics. The NLRB says resulting new requirements represent an effort at increased civility and common sense in the negotiation process. However, the legal foundation for the ruling is suspect.

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Some may see this as part of the Obama administration’s alleged “war on Christmas.” In reality it was a simple enforcement action. The DOL recently played the Grinch by filing a lawsuit against a Dallas company that installs and removes Christmas lights.

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Employers that adopt a proactive approach to stopping and preventing future racial hostility at work are best positioned to win hostile work environment lawsuits. Ignoring obvious signs of workplace trouble won’t make it go away and will only encourage further harassment.

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In most states, workers are employed on an “at will” basis, meaning employers may terminate workers at any time for any legal, nondiscriminatory reason. However, at-will status doesn’t mean you won’t get sued. Here’s how to minimize your exposure to wrongful-termination claims.

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Here’s an important reminder for employers when an employee alleges discrimination. Regardless of the merit of the original claim, remind supervisors they can’t retaliate.

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Employees who complain about alleged discrimination are protected from retaliation—up to a point. Frivolous complaints don’t count.

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Here’s a cautionary tale about tolerating a racially hostile comment, yet then agreeing that the comment was outrageous. Employers can’t have it both ways. Either the comment was grounds for discharge or it wasn’t really that severe.

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