The HR Specialist: Texas Employment Law

Employers have the right to meet business needs by changing the jobs their employees do, and they can set the minimum qualifications for any new positions they create. It’s the company’s prerogative to then decide whether to replace existing employees with others who meet the requirements.

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You don’t have to ignore a sudden and shocking deterioration in an employee’s performance and behavior. You can and should ask for a fitness-for-duty exam. Just be prepared to discuss possible accommodations if it turns out the employee is disabled.

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De Maiz Tortilleria, a tortilla production company in Pharr, Texas, has agreed to pay $401,314 in back wages to 133 employees following a U.S. Department of Labor investigation looking into allegations it violated the FLSA …

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Texas has a large number of Spanish-speaking residents, and a workforce that can effectively communicate with those residents can be a prized commodity. But before you thrust additional work on Hispanic employees who can communicate with customers who don’t speak English well, consider the following case …

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It’s a myth that being off on FMLA leave means an employee can’t be terminated. The employee can be—as long as the employer has good reasons for the termination. Being on FMLA leave doesn’t give someone immunity from being fired for incompetence …

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Both the ADA and the FMLA have strict requirements for how employers must handle employees’ confidential medical information. HR professionals need to know these rules to comply with both acts—and to avoid expensive legal liability for failing to do so.

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Employees who have been terminated don’t have long to file a complaint about alleged discrimination. Employers that suspect they might be sued can capitalize on the short statute of limitations by starting the clock as soon as possible. Here’s how

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It takes more than having a written policy to avoid liability for sexual harassment. If you back up your policy with regular training and quickly fix any harassment problems that come to your attention, chances are you won’t be liable unless the harasser was a supervisor and the employee suffered an adverse employment action …

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Employers who end up losing discrimination lawsuits don’t just pay their own legal fees—they often pay the winning side’s fees, too. Always consider the ultimate cost before rejecting a settlement offer, or before pushing your own attorneys to appeal a case.

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A federal court in Washington, D.C., has ruled against Elizabeth Howie, a 46-year-old black staffer for Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson.  Howie claimed she was fired because of her race and age …

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