Michael Fox

Q. Occasionally, when we receive a big order, our nonexempt employees are required to work through their lunch breaks. Although we do not pay them for this work, we buy delicious lunches for all the affected workers. Is this lawful?

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Q. We have a team of nonexempt hourly employees who will soon be putting in significant overtime for an important project. May we compensate them for their overtime work with additional paid vacation time equal to the total accrued overtime?

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Q. One of our employees may be a victim of family violence. What are our legal obligations to provide leave for family violence victims under Texas and federal law?

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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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