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The HR Specialist: Texas Employment Law

A grand jury in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas indicted William I. “Willie” Brown, former president of the Plumbers and Pipefitters Local Union 237 in Texarkana, on multiple counts of embezzlement …

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Two Fort Worth construction workers found out the hard way that sitting on plywood in the back of a moving pickup truck won’t keep the plywood from flying away …

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The Texas Supreme Court recently issued two decisions limiting when employers can be held responsible for the wrongs committed by their employees. The cases offer hope that employers won’t always bear the brunt of their employees’ wrongdoing, as has often been the case in the past …

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The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board issued its final report on the March 2005 Texas refinery explosion and fire that killed 15 workers and injured 180. The report details the safety lapses that led to the explosion and fire, which occurred at BP North America’s Texas City refinery …

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The U.S. Labor Department (DOL) recently announced that Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., following a 2006 judgment, has paid 211 employees $227,792 in back wages. The wage awards went to current and former technicians at its Houston and Bayport chemical plants …

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Richard B. Roper, the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Texas, recently announced that six more former Swift & Co. employees pleaded guilty to document fraud and illegal entry into the country …

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In August, President Bush signed the Pension Protection Act of 2006, which includes many benefits-related amendments to the Internal Revenue Code and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) …

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Q. Our new plant manager wants me to revise our sexual harassment policy to require that complaints be in writing. He says this will formalize the procedure and help ensure that only valid complaints are filed. I don’t think this is a good idea. Is it?

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Q. An employee who recently quit hasn’t returned a company-owned laptop computer worth over $1,000. Can we withhold the value of the computer from the employee’s last paycheck?

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Q. How do you pay hourly employees who are traveling on a day that’s not considered a workday, like Saturday or Sunday? What if they normally have a 10-minute commute to the office but instead they have to go to the airport, and the airport is an hour from their home?

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