Employment Law

Need employment law advice? Your employee’s hungry attorney knows the latest on employment at will, reasonable accommodations, and more.

Minimize employer liability, optimize labor relations, bullet-proof your employee handbook and update your knowledge of ADA guidelines with our employment law advice.

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Recently, the National Labor Relations Board held that class-action waivers violate em­­ployees’ rights to engage in concerted activity. In D.R. Horton, the NLRB said that employers may not compel employees to waive their NLRA rights to collectively pursue litigation of employment claims in all forums, arbitral and judicial. What does that mean for employers?
Q. We recently hired a deaf employee who communicates exclusively by written notes. We are finding that this process is time-consuming and harms productivity. May we require the deaf worker and his supervisor to learn sign language? Can we terminate them if they refuse?
Printing company SpeQtrum Pre­­press Production Services faces 14 serious safety and health violations and one other-than-serious violation following an OSHA inspection of its facility in Euless. Proposed penalties add up to $44,800.
The U.S. Supreme Court recently confirmed the existence of a “ministerial exception” to the ADA and other federal employment statutes such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The justices held that the Con­sti­tut­­ion’s First Amendment bars em­­ployees in ministerial positions from suing churches and other religious em­­ployers under such laws.

Q. Our company has received a number of résumés from college students interested in working as unpaid interns for us during the summer months. Would hiring such unpaid internships violate federal or state laws?

It used to be that before an em­­ployee or former employee could get into federal court with a ­benefits-denial case, he had to show that he was a “plan participant.” But following a recent 9th Circuit decision, merely claiming to have been a plan participant is enough.
Austin-based information technology firm HBMG and its president, Manuel Zarate, have agreed to settle a lawsuit alleging the company failed to transfer employee retirement fund contributions into its 401(k) program.

If you need to fire an employee for unethical actions, how you handle the termination may mean the difference between winning and losing a defamation lawsuit. Most important: Share information about the termination only with those who need to know about it.

It’s complicated to determine who is an independent contractor and who is an employee. Someone you consider a contractor may turn out to be an employee under the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act (TCHRA)—and the TCHRA may cover you if those contractors turn out to be employees.

The EEOC is supposed to engage in a conciliation process before suing employers for alleged employment violations. But sometimes the agency comes out with guns blazing, demanding a huge payment to settle a complaint. Some employers naturally respond negatively—and they may even walk away without further discussions. One employer recently did just that, and then tried to get a federal court to dismiss the EEOC lawsuit.

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