The HR Specialist: Texas Employment Law

Q. I own a home-health agency. Although my licensed vocational nurses are paid by the visit, my registered nursing staff is considered management. They are salaried. Are we lawfully required to pay our RNs “on-call” pay or mileage? Although it’s not documented as such, we have taken these things into consideration when setting their salaries …

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The former financial secretary and treasurer of Local 738 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, located in Longview, has pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $40,000 over a three-year period …

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Starbucks recently settled a lawsuit brought by assistant store managers who had accused the coffee company of denying them overtime wages in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Judge Keith Ellison of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas approved the settlement …

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Not every organization has a formal program for handling internal promotions. Some rely strictly on supervisor recommendations and employees’ expressions of interest to identify candidates. That can lead to big trouble if supervisors can’t later articulate who wanted a promotion and why they recommended (or declined to recommend) an employee for a new job …

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Employees know that their employers can’t retaliate against them for filing EEOC complaints, complaining about discrimination or engaging in otherwise protected activity. However, it doesn’t follow that employees are free to taunt their supervisors by pulling the protected-activity card …

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Texas contract law grants great leeway to employers that create incentive payment plans, especially when it comes to how employers calculate what payment is due employees. Essentially, if the incentive plan says the employer has the right to interpret the agreement language and its decision is final and binding, courts won’t interfere unless the employer interprets it in bad faith …

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A federal district court judge recently awarded $15.6 million to a former American Airlines employee who claimed a co-worker harassed her. Jamie Abrams alleged that she had received numerous “malicious, obscene, harassing, threatening and interfering phone calls” of a violent and sexual nature, occurring several times daily …

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The U.S. Labor Department has announced that Dow Chemical of Freeport paid $861,647 in back wages to 648 operating engineers as a result of a federal investigation …

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The U.S. Labor Department has published proposed FMLA regulations, which may change the way employers handle FMLA leave. The dual-purpose proposal includes changes to certain existing FMLA regulations and new military family leave entitlements …

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The Texas Supreme Court recently decided that employers that have workers’ compensation insurance and are sued for gross negligence could also insure for any damages a court may award for that negligence. If you don’t know whether your employers’ liability policy covers additional damages, now is a good time to check the policy …

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