The HR Specialist: Texas Employment Law

Public employers aren’t required to abide by all sections of the FMLA because they have limited immunity from federal lawsuits. For example, state employees taking leave under the FMLA’s self-care provisions can’t sue for money damages. But recently the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that immunity does not extend to a claim for reinstatement after an employee takes FMLA leave …

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Sometimes, you just know that the reason a supervisor offers in a memo or e-mail for wanting to fire someone is going to look suspicious if the employee ever sues. If you can’t persuade the supervisor to reconsider, resist the temptation to help sugarcoat the situation with a neutral-sounding reason. It will only make matters worse when the employee’s lawyer inevitably discovers the memo or e-mail …

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Sometimes, an employer needs to downsize its workforce for any number of reasons. Whatever the reason, document why you need to cut staff before you announce the layoffs. You don’t necessarily owe every affected employee an explanation—in advance—of why his or her job is being eliminated. But you will need a clear, coherent and rational explanation later if one of the employees sues …

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Employers that wrongly regard injured employees as disabled by refusing to consider them for any open positions may be setting themselves up for “regarded as disabled” litigation. The ADA makes it illegal to discriminate against employees by assuming they are disabled when they are not …

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The EEOC recently filed a lawsuit against the Champion National Security Firm in Richardson, alleging the Texas company did not hire a Sikh who refused to shave his beard and remove his turban. The EEOC is seeking punitive damages, back pay and compensation for pain and suffering caused to Sukhdev Singh Brar …

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The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) recently requested $7.35 million in Disaster Relief Employment from the U.S. Department of Labor to help with the state’s recovery efforts following Hurricane Dolly, which barreled through South Texas in July …

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The U.S. Department of Justice and the EEOC have filed a complaint to enforce a mediation settlement agreement the EEOC entered into with the Housing Authority of the city of El Paso  …

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Raul Lopez Jr. is a biological male who presents himself as Izza Lopez, a female. When Lopez applied for a job at a medical clinic, he listed both his male and female names on the application. The company offered Lopez the job, but the HR director demanded to know his biological sex. Then the clinic rescinded the offer …

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Raul Lopez Jr. is a biological male who presents himself as Izza Lopez, a female. When Lopez applied for a job at a medical clinic, he listed both his male and female names on the application. The company offered Lopez the job, but the HR director demanded to know his biological sex. Then the clinic rescinded the offer, saying Lopez “misrepresented” himself in the interview …

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Don’t dismiss a sexual harassment complaint just because an employee waits to come forward. A recent 5th Circuit Court of Appeals case shows that employees can prove they really did feel harassed even if they waited a long time before complaining …

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