How To Protect Your Business Secrets With Properly Structured Non-Compete Agreements

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Generally, an enforceable noncompete agreement has at a minimum: One promise from the employer Promising to provide confidential information Two promises from the employee Promising to keep confidential information secret Promising not to compete / solicit Limit covenants not to compete to employees that can actually harm the company, i.e. officers, directors, upper management, “go-to” people Enter contract at beginning … Read More

Can I Use Credit Reports on my Employees?

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As an employer, you may use consumer reports when you hire new employees and when you evaluate employees for promotion, reassignment, and retention — as long as you comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The FCRA is designed primarily to protect the privacy of consumer report information and to guarantee that the information supplied by consumer reporting agencies … Read More

Could Your Business Survive the West Texas Explosion?

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The West, Texas’ Fertilizer plant explosion was a horrific event.  The explosion destroyed families and now they must seek ways to recover emotionally and financially.  Like these families who suffered adversity, companies must also plan and recover for unexpected events.   The explosion in West made many business owners wonder if their business could weather an unexpected calamity.  Such an event … Read More

Drug Testing Employee Candidates – Medicinal Use of Marijuana in the Great State of Texas

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 Just the facts Ma’am. Candidate lives in California and obtains a prescription for marijuana.  We are going to assume that she used the prescription as prescribed. Wink! She then moves to Texas and applies for a job.  But wait, the employer performs drug testing. What is the employer’s obligation?  Could it refuse to hire the candidate, despite the candidate’s “legal” … Read More

National Labor Relations Act Protects Employees’ Concerted Activity on Social Media

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That’s right! The law that governs unions and unionized workforces applies to social media postings by nonunionized workers. Why? The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) protects employees’ rights to participate in concerted activity. Meaning employees can get together and talk about how bad their boss is, or how much they make, or how terrible their work environment is, etc. I’ll … Read More

The Box: Reducing Risk by Communicating Expectations

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After publishing the article about the Box, I got a flurry of requests seeking further explanation. Why is a lawyer discussing corrective action? The simple answer is risk mitigation. The Box philosophy is about reducing risk for the employer after an employee is terminated. The only thing that wins a case for the employer is supporting evidence.  However, that stuff … Read More

The Box: Expectations – Corrective Action, not Employee Discipline

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So the conversation started like this: Business Owner: “I have two employees who don’t seem to be doing their jobs like I want them to.” He provides me with specific examples. I am sure you can think of at least one employee in your organization that isn’t living up to expectation. After listening to him, I provided my philosophy about … Read More

Department of Labor: Minimum Wages & Overtime

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It is hard to ignore the rhetoric coming from the Department of Labor under the Obama Administration.  I am not coming out for or against, although I do have my opinions.  However, I would encourage you to spend a little time on the DOL’s minimum wage website : Min. Wage Now is the time to at least consider the impact … Read More

Form I-9 Audits

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Did you know that an improperly completed I-9 Form can result in criminal penalties, if there is a pattern or practice of violations? What does that look like? Does your company’s I-9 practices pass muster? The beginning of the year is a great time to destroy I-9s as allowed by law.  In addition, it is a good time to look … Read More