The HR Specialist: Texas Employment Law — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Page 95
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The HR Specialist: Texas Employment Law

It’s important to carefully tailor noncompete agreements, also known as covenants not to compete. Employers can prohibit employees from poaching customers, but it’s essential to have an attorney help you craft a covenant that will prevail in court.

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It may be tempting to ignore complaints you suspect are frivolous or unfounded. Don’t give in to that temptation! Instead, investigate the case as you would any other. Then resolve the matter and document everything—including whom you talked to and what they said. It’s the best way to short-circuit a meritless employee lawsuit.

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A U.S. District Court jury in Texas has awarded $992,500 in an age discrimination lawsuit filed by a former employee of the company that provides food and beverage services for El Paso International Airport.

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In a much-watched case, the Texas Supreme Court has refused to expand employer liability for employee off-duty conduct. That’s good news for employers, which faced the possibility of greater liability had the court ruled differently.

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Looking for a way to eliminate unfounded sexual harassment claims from former employees? One way is to make sure your sexual harassment policy tells employees to keep taking their harassment claims up the chain of command if they aren’t satisfied with the first response.

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Employees who complain about alleged discrimination by a supervisor can set up a retaliation claim if they are disciplined or otherwise punished shortly after complaining. Relying solely on the say-so of the boss the employee initially complained about may cause trouble if that supervisor’s reasons are flimsy.

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Sometimes, employers have to fire employees—even those who have recently filed successful discrimination complaints. Don’t be afraid to do so. You can beat a bogus retaliation claim by making sure you have good, solid documentation to substantiate the firing.

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An Alice-based oil field services company has settled a reverse race discrimination lawsuit filed by the EEOC. The commission filed the suit in 2008 on behalf of Bert Yaklin, a white parts-department employee of Coil Tubing Services, which supports the petroleum industry in Texas and Louisiana.

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The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division recently announced that MT Supermarket, an Austin grocery store, has paid $186,624 in back wages to 34 workers. The payment comes after an investigation of the Asian grocery store found violations of the FLSA.

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On Sept. 4, the U.S. Department of Labor announced that a San Angelo geological services company has paid $270,950 in overtime back wages to 70 current and former employees. According to Cynthia Watson, the Wage and Hour Division’s Southwest regional administrator, “Some employees worked as many as 85 hours in a workweek without receiving overtime wages.”

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