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The HR Specialist: Texas Employment Law

One of the best ways to tell if applicants have the skills to perform specific tasks is to directly ask how they’ve used those skills in the past. These sample questions can help hiring managers spot 10 important “soft” skills.

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Where does the fight over pay equity stand? … How should we adjust to this trend? … What should we do now to ensure pay equity?

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Despite many courts’ attempts to make the FMLA into the next statute where attorneys utter the dreaded answer of “it depends,” some common mistakes can be avoided.

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The Texas Supreme Court has decided someone on unpaid FMLA leave may be eligible for unemployment benefits.

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When setting promotion criteria, feel free to give educational attainment more weight than years of experience on the job. It’s your call.

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Employees who have worked for their employer for a long time can be expected to know the rules and abide by them, while a new employee may not be as aware. That’s a legitimate reason to punish one employee more harshly than another. Just be sure you document the reason for differing punishments.

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The ecclesiastical abstention doctrine essentially says that government cannot interfere unduly with how a religious organization operates. It provides protection for seemingly ordinary employment decisions that religious organizations make.

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If you want to use arbitration to resolve employment disputes without going to court, you have to make sure you have done everything possible to make that agreement a binding, valid contract.

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If an employee can show that a worker who received more favorable treatment didn’t belong to the same protected classification, he has a potentially viable lawsuit. This is where details matter.

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Employees who testify on behalf of co-workers before the EEOC or in subsequent litigation are protected from retaliation. Be careful about how you treat employees following that kind of cooperation.

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Some poor performers don’t view their prob­­lems the same way supervisors do. They often fight back with frivolous lawsuits. Be prepared for those legal salvos by constantly maintaining documentation of employee performance.

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Brinkerhoff Inspections will pay over $1 million for the actions of its HR manager at its Midland, Texas facility after a federal jury returned a verdict against the oilfield services company.

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When an employee who has received excellent reviews asks for a disability accommodation, firing her for poor performance is bound to backfire.

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A bipartisan team of 10 legislators will continue the Texas House of Representatives’ battle against sexual harassment within the halls of the Texas Capitol.

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The companies that own the Bernie’s Burger Bus restaurant chain in Houston will have to pay $62,754 after investigators from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division discovered a scheme to divide workers’ hours between two limited liability corporations to deprive them of overtime pay.

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It’s probably not in your best interest to jump the gun and sue a former employee if he hasn’t sued you. However, it may make sense if the former employee has initiated legal proceedings against you.

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Last year’s comprehensive tax reform bill was rushed through Congress in record time. Predictably, that meant errors crept into the legislation—and some of them have had severe consequences.

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The U.S. Department of Labor has refused to help a group of Democratic senators seeking to determine the overall impact of workplace sexual harassment on the economy. Now the legislators, led by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, have turned to the Government Accountability Office for assistance.

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When an employer is found to have discriminated against a worker who was terminated, two big questions arise: whether the remedy will be reinstatement or payment of so-called front pay—the amount the employee would have earned had he not been fired.

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If an employee has a contract with his employer that specifically limits his discharge, then at-will employment does not apply. This situation can get tricky if your employee handbook lacks a contract disclaimer or contains language that seems to limit your right to fire employees.

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