The HR Specialist: Texas Employment Law

In a union workplace, the collective bargaining agreement outlines rights for both employees and the employer. It also defines the powers an arbitrator may have if called on to interpret the contract. If the arbitrator goes too far, a court can reverse his or her decision.

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The ADA and the FMLA work together to give options to employees with drinking problems, with the goal of helping them get sober and stay that way. If one of your employees needs treatment for alcoholism, consider both laws when approving time off or altering his schedule.

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A former Houston Chronicle reporter has filed a sex discrimination complaint against the newspaper claiming she was illegally fired for failing to inform her bosses that she was moonlighting—as a stripper.

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When an employee or applicant wants to initiate a race or national-origin discrimination case, the first step is filing an EEOC complaint. The forms include boxes to check, designating the kind of bias alleged.

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Your organization will be sued at some point. That’s why you should make sure every employment decision is backed by good judgment. Document the decision for later use.

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Remind managers who take job applications that they can’t automatically turn away applicants with disabilities. That can cause a lawsuit that could result in huge punitive damages.

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One of the best ways to tell if applicants have the skills to perform specific tasks is to directly ask how they’ve used those skills in the past. These sample questions can help hiring managers spot 10 important “soft” skills:

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The first step to controlling overtime costs is to establish a sound policy forbidding unauthorized extra work for hourly employees. But a “no unauthorized overtime” policy is just the beginning. You must also enforce the policy for all nonexempt employees, and make sure managers understand why it is important.

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Port Arthur-based Performance Blasting and Coating must pay $170,622 in back overtime pay to 314 current and former painters and sandblasters, following a U.S. Department of Labor investigation.

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Do you require employees to complete after-hours training that will ben­­efit your operations but isn’t directly job-related? If so, you must pay them for their time, unless you can show that participation is truly voluntary.

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