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Drug Testing in the Texas Workplace

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, companies lose an estimated $100 billion each year due to drug and alcohol abuse. This is due to workers’ compensation claims, absenteeism, productivity loss, associated medical costs and employee turnover. If your company is considering drug testing for applicants or current employees, the following information will help you design an effective drug testing policy. Legal Requirements While it is left to the discretion of most private employers, employee drug testing is required by federal law for the rail, air or trucking industries.  Passed in 1991, the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act requires DOT Read more
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What Are Reasonable accommodations Under the ADA?

What Are Reasonable Accommodations Under the ADA? The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) offers workers protection from discrimination in the workplace due to disability. Employers with 15 or more employees must abide by the provisions of the act. In addition to prohibiting discrimination based on a protected disability, the ADA requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations in order to allow employees to be able to do their jobs, and to allow potential employees to apply and interview for positions. But just what is a “reasonable accommodation?” And are employers required to grant all requests for accommodation? What is a Reasonable Read more
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Employee Data Privacy in the Workplace

Over the course of a year, employers collect and store a vast amount of private, personal information.  This may include dates of birth, driver’s license and social security numbers for employees and their dependents, private medical information, bank account numbers, and even biometric identifiers such as fingerprints or retina scans. Employers are then required to be custodians of this data, maintaining confidentiality while still using it for its intended purpose.  Just what are the requirements for Texas employers with regards to employee data privacy? Protecting Personal Information Various statutes in the Texas Business and Commerce Code protect employees’ personally identifiable Read more
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General Counsel Services: Lawyers on Staff at Your Business

  Running a business becomes more complicated each day. In addition to the rigors of the competitive marketplace, you must manage your personnel and employment law issues as well. If your company has employees, you must stay abreast of labor laws, know which laws apply to your company, stay on top of changes in the law, and be sure your entire organization is in compliance. This can be a big job, regardless of how many you employ. Read more
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Paul and Dustin to Speak at Frisco HR Summit

On Tuesday, March 29th, Paul and Dustin will be speaking at the 2017 Frisco Chamber of Commerce HR Summit.  The Summit is a partnership with DallasHR and will include a variety of presentations geared toward small business owners and Human Resources professionals.  Paul and Dustin will be presenting on “Sensitive Employee Relations.” The recent post in the firm’s Legal Blog highlighted a portion of what will be presented.  The presentation will focus on sensitive employee relations issues that HR professionals encounter, including ADA issues, personal hygiene, workplace relationships, and leave issues.  You can learn more about the Summit by visiting Read more
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The ADA and Mental Disabilities

We are in the process of preparing our “Sensitive Employee Relations” presentation for the upcoming Frisco HR Summit at the end of March, so we thought we would provide you a preview of that speech while also providing some valuable information regarding mental disabilities and mental health and their relation to the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Not only is mental health a very sensitive issue in the workplace but it can often be difficult to handle from a Human Resources perspective. Just as with other disabilities under the ADA, a mental disability is (a) any impairment that substantially limits one Read more
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Workplace Posters

We get a lot of questions about workplace posters from employers and this can often be a somewhat confusing area.  What posters you must display can be driven by the number of employees you have, the industry in which you operate, whether or not you have federal contracts, and a multitude of other factors.  The Department of Labor has created a great tool for determining what federal posters you must display.  You can access the tool here: http://webapps.dol.gov/elaws/posters.htm.  The tool is a step-by-step question process that is extremely easy to use.  At the end, the tool provides valuable information about Read more
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Dustin Paschal Published in Today’s CPA Magazine

If you are one of the more than 35,000 Texas CPAs who receive Today’s CPA Magazine, be sure to check out Dustin Paschal’s feature article in the January/February 2017 issue.  The article, entitled “The Fair Labor Standards Act’s One-Two Punch,” discusses the two major classification issues employers face under the FLSA – the exempt vs. non-exempt classification issue and the employee vs. independent contractor classification issue.  A snippet of the article also was included in our 4th Quarter 2016 firm newsletter, which is available on our website on the Newsletters page. Read more
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President Trump Appoints Acting EEOC and NLRB Chairs

Last week, President Trump appointed EEOC Commissioner Victoria Lipnic as Acting Chair of the EEOC and appointed NLRB Board Member Philip Miscimarra as Acting Chair of the NLRB. As an EEOC Commissioner, Lipnic served as a member of the EEOC’s Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the workplace.  Prior to her time with the EEOC, Lipnic served as Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment Standards under President George W. Bush from 2002 through 2009.  In that role, she oversaw the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, the Read more
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New I-9 Form Required for Employers

Effective January 22, 2017, employers must use a new Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.  The form can be found here: Form I-9.  As a reference for employers, the new form is dated 11/14/2016.  Among other changes, the new form has prompts to ensure information is entered correctly, has the ability to enter multiple preparers and translators, has a dedicated area for including additional information, and has a supplemental page for the preparer/translator.  It is more digital friendly in that it has drop down lists, calendars for dates, on-screen instructions, and an option to clear the form and start over. Employers Read more