Employment Law

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Under the newly enacted Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act, you will have more recourse when someone misappropriates your intellectual property. Starting Sept. 1, this new statute provides companies with greater protection for their trade secrets and expands the available legal remedies to address actual and anticipated harm.
Q. Our data entry employee has been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands. She has not submitted a workers’ comp claim but has advised us of her diagnosis. Are we required to file the claim even if she hasn’t?
Get ready, New York ­employers. New developments will affect how and how much you pay your employees. The state minimum wage will soon increase and the NYSDOL has proposed new regulations on wage deductions.
Gov. Rick Perry has signed legislation providing important protections for employers facing negligent hiring or supervision claims. The new law also makes it more attractive for ­employers to hire applicants with criminal records.
Q. An employee of ours accused a co-worker of threatening him with physical harm. When we confronted the accused employee, he attributed the behavior to his psychological disorder and to a recent change in his prescription. We would like to verify the em­­ployee’s claims. Are we permitted to ask the em­­ployee for medical certification of his disability and a doctor’s statement regarding his prescribed medications?
The Southern and Eastern Federal Districts of New York are among the top five districts nationwide for FLSA lawsuits.
A former Port Arthur chemical company president has pleaded guilty to occupational safety crimes in federal court. The former head of Port Arthur Chemical and Environmental Services admitted to violating OSHA by allowing a driver to haul a load so toxic it killed him.
Here’s a new twist on protected activity and retaliation: Apparently an employee can complain about wage-and-hour issues to the wrong agency—even one that has nothing to do with enforcing labor laws—and still gain protection from retaliation.
Q. If we use independent contractors as drivers/couriers, can they use our company cars?
Good news: A court has cut off one path to a wrongful discharge case in North Carolina. While courts have allowed claims of wrongful discharge in violation of public policy, such lawsuits actually require that the employer fire the employee rather than merely threaten to do so.
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