Michael Fox

Q. One of our employees recently shouted at his supervisor, and in doing so violated a work rule. In the course of counseling and disciplining—but not discharging—this employee stated for the first time that he has a disorder which might have caused his conduct. May we still discipline this employee?

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Is nicotine addiction a disability?

by Michael Fox on November 12, 2015 10:00am

Q. An employee says she must be allowed to take smoke breaks. She claims she is so addicted to nicotine that she has a disability, and that therefore I must accommodate her requirements. If I don’t allow her to take smoke breaks, can she sue me?

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Q. I manage a popular sports bar. May I institute a tip-pooling policy?

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Q. I keep hearing about the new Texas open-carry law. Does this law apply to all offices? What steps should I take if the new legislation has a negative impact on my business?

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Q. What payment and deduction requirements does the Texas Payday Law include?

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Q. Some of my employees have been griping that a portion of their job duties involves “off-the-clock” work. What are the rules regarding off-the-clock work, and what are some examples?

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Q. I am looking to hire new employees. Some applicants who did not qualify for the open positions are now threatening to sue, claiming that my pre-employment tests are discriminatory. What should I know about pre-employment tests?

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Q. I am worried that some of my employees are storing illicit or illegal items at work. Is there a way for me to legally search their belongings?

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Q. What should I look for in a workplace wellness program for our company?

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Q. I own and run a paper company in Texas. Some of my employees who are cigarette smokers regularly take more breaks than the two, 15-minute breaks that are allowed under their employment contract—and some of the nonsmokers in the office are getting angry. When I confront the smokers about this conduct, I am increasingly hearing them make an unusual claim—that they have a “disability” and are protected by law. What should I do?

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