The HR Specialist: Texas Employment Law

Some fired employees, unable to move on, file multiple lawsuits against their former employers. If that happens to you, take heart. Courts are starting to drop these cases early. They’re even beginning to consider sanctions against employees’ attorneys.

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Law instructor Rosanne Platt has filed an EEOC and Texas Workforce Commission Civil Rights Division lawsuit against her former employer, the St. Mary’s University School of Law. Platt alleges that her contract was not renewed after her husband filed a lawsuit against the San Antonio law school.

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A federal district court judge in Texas was recently sentenced to 33 months in prison for lying about allegations that he sexually abused his secretary.

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In 2007, the EEOC released a set of guidelines advising employers on issues related to caregiver bias. Following up on that issue, the commission has supplemented those guidelines with recommendations designed to help employers “reduce the chance of EEO violations against caregivers.” It’s imperative that companies begin to train managers and supervisors on the content of this most recent guidance.

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If you punish two employees differently for what looks like the same rule violation or mistake, you’d better be prepared to explain why. If you are later challenged, you should be able to show that the two weren’t “similarly situated” and prove you didn’t favor one over the other.

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In light of the H1N1 virus pandemic scare, now’s the time to make sure your organization has an effective pandemic plan in place. As public health officials prepare for a vaccination campaign this fall, here are 13 steps you can take to deal with H1N1.

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Do you have a manager who wants to discipline an employee who just requested a reasonable accommodation under the ADA? Before you approve the discipline, make sure the manager can document past problems or that the discipline is warranted based on a serious rule infraction that has happened since the request.

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Texas courts ordinarily reject noncompete agreements that require employees not to disclose confidential information if the employer has failed to provide the employee with that confidential information. But now the Texas Supreme Court has modified that stance.

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OSHA has announced that a Texas manufacturer faces $108,000 in proposed penalties for failing to abate safety violations after a worker died from an electrical shock. In January 2008, OSHA flagged six violations against JD Manufacturing, doing business as Arrow Waste.

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The difference between winning lawsuits and losing them often comes down to good record-keeping. When an employee sues for discrimination, for example, a solid discharge reason will trump the allegations unless the employee can show it was false or that others weren’t discharged for similar problems.

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