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Michael Fox

Q. Someone from outside our company approached our HR vice president wishing to discuss a “personnel matter.” During the meeting, he presented the vice president with a set of union authorization cards signed by over half of the company’s employees. As the vice president flipped through the authorization cards, the individual stated that he is a union business agent and that his union represents a majority of an appropriate bargaining unit at the company. Are our employees entitled to an election to determine if they will be represented by the union?

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Q. How do bonuses affect the overtime rate calculation under the Fair Labor Standards Act?

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Q. If an employee is already on probation when she becomes pregnant, can we continue progressive discipline measures, including possible discharge?

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Q. For several years, Fridays have been “casual days” for our employees. Beer and wine are served beginning around 4:30 p.m. We hate to stop this practice because our employees seem to enjoy it and there has never been a problem. Should we stop?

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Q. I recently fired an employee for performance problems. At the end of the termination meeting, he asked for a copy of his personnel file. Do I have to give discharged employees copies of their personnel files?

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Q. One of my employees who recently quit has failed to pay back a personal charge he made on our corporate credit card. Can I simply deduct the amount of the charge from his last paycheck or withhold his final paycheck until he pays for the charge?

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Q. Can noncompetition agreements be enforced against at-will employees in Texas?

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Q. Is an employer required to pay workers for their unused vacation days when they resign or are terminated?

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Q. Can you give me a rundown on the “card check” law everyone is so afraid will transform labor-management relations?

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Q. What kind of documentation can an employer request to verify a worker’s contention that he suffers from a learning disability that requires accommodation? Must we pay for the evaluation?

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