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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.

Texas employers have long been frustrated with the expense of defending against frivolous claims. Even when employers win a lawsuit, litigation can cost thousands in legal fees and lost productivity. Now at least some help is on the way. The Texas Legislature has passed the much-hyped “Loser Pays Law.”

Some disabled employees never tell employers about their con­­ditions—even if their disability could affect performance. And of course you know you shouldn’t treat employees as disabled unless they claim a disability. But what if you fire someone for poor performance?

A horrific accident that killed a worker in March 2011 has led to $186,300 in fines for Refuse Recycling, based in Marietta. Inspectors from OSHA were called to the plant after an employee was found dead inside a rotating drum that screens recyclables from other refuse.

Businesses come and go, especially during tough economic times. But sometimes companies just change names and corporate status, while essentially remaining the same entity. That doesn’t mean their legal obligations just disappear.
When disgruntled applicants or former employees file frivolous lawsuits, they often act as their own lawyers in court. So-called pro se litigants can’t go far unless the court agrees to waive their court fees. To stop meritless cases from clogging up appeals dockets, more and more federal judges are refusing to waive court fees.
Q. A few employees have complained that we use their Social Security numbers (SSNs) as their ID numbers. They’re concerned about identity theft. Is it legal to use Social Security numbers for ID purposes?
Q. Can I ask employees who are already with the company to execute noncompete agreements?
Q. Due to a downturn in business, we are planning to close one of our stores. Ten employees will be affected. Do we have to give any advance notice to the employees of their layoff?
A Morris County jury has awarded $1.38 million to former Warren Township prosecutor Michelle D’Onofrio, who was fired in 2007 after accusing a local judge of misconduct.
Before authorizing a transfer, demotion or other adverse action based on poor performance, make sure you check the employee’s file. That’s especially true if the em­­ployee (or someone closely associated with the employee) has recently filed an EEOC complaint or lawsuit or other­wise engaged in protected activity.