What You Need to Know About Noncompete Agreements in Texas

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No question in my mind that the economy is picking up.  I am seeing more noncompete issues than in previous years.  My humble explanation is that employees who did not like their jobs are now looking and starting to find opportunity.  But many of these employees are probably encumbered with some form of covenant not to compete, which will affect … Read More

Categories – What you need to know before you classify your workers

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The classification of workers as employees or independent contractors is critically important to businesses. This decision impacts everything from tort liability to tax withholding to minimum wage and overtime. Correct classification is critically important, but how do businesses categorize their workers? Many businesses rely on an ipse dixit approach to classification. Ipse dixit (a great Latin term to regale colleagues … Read More

Office Talk: Understanding an Employer’s Role in Social Media Intervention

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Most employers know that the National Labor Relations Act impacts unionized workforces; however, it also impacts nonunionized workforces. The NLRA protects all employees’ rights to participate in concerted activity, meaning that 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. Let’s call it grousing … Read More

A Pro Business Decision by the Supreme Court on Overtime

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Late last year the U.S. Supreme Court heard a case regarding when an employer is required to pay an employee when the employee is getting ready to start working. These issues are globally referred to as “Donning and Doffing”. Donning and doffing issues arise when an employee has to do something to prepare to work and the preparation is integral … Read More

5 Things to Do to Start the New Year Right

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The beginning of the year is a great time to clean house. Below is a short list of things you can do to get the year started off right. 1.  Handbook Review the handbook and make sure it is up to date, legal, and most important, your company follows the policies. If your handbook has policies that are not followed, consider … Read More

LinkedIn Gets Sued Over Employee Background Checks

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I have to give attorney Audrey E. Mross, for putting this case on my radar. Many of y’all know that I gave I talk on the Fair Credit Reporting Act, from the employer’s perspective.  I shared the slide presentation here in my blog. Employers have a light burden under the Fair Credit Reporting Act If there was one take away, … Read More

8 Tips to Keep Company Parties Fun And Avoid Problematic Situations

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Parties are generally pretty darn fun, especially around the holidays.  Below are just a couple of tips to help y’all have a good time. Bad behavior: 1.  Be clear that the company’s policies still apply.   Drinking (if drinking is part of the festivities): 1. Hire a caterer to serve drinks; 2. Limit the amount of alcohol; or 3. Offer to subsidize an employee’s … Read More

Can I Reduce My Employee’s Pay?

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This is really an issue for the employer paying an exempt employee a salary. Performance issues It becomes an issue when business slows or employer has an issue with an employee’s performance. The regulations I am going to digress here; the regulations provide that an employer cannot reduce an employee’s “salary” because of an employee’s absences occasioned by the employer or … Read More

Employee Misclassification Can Cost You Big Time!

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Over $10 million awarded to states to crack down Probably, the number one issue I come across is employee misclassification or identification. Not surprisingly, this issue gets a lot of attention from the Department of Labor. Also, this area of litigation continues to grow. Recently, the DOL awarded over $10 million to 19 states, one of which was Texas, to implement … Read More

Pregnancy Discrimination

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On July 14, 2014, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published a new guidance document entitled “Enforcement Guidance: Pregnancy Discrimination and Related Issues” The document discusses how employers can violate Title VII when they use pregnancy as a factor for making employment related decisions. The guidance addresses seven areas where employers may violate the law. Don’t consider the following If … Read More