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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
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End of Year Checklist

As we approach the end of another year, there are a lot of things to keep in mind regarding your business and your employees.  Here are just a couple of quick thoughts and items for your end of year checklist: Holiday Parties – Many people are already aware of the dangers created by holiday parties with respect to potential sexual harassment claims and worries about alcohol-induced issues.  Beyond that, though, employers should be aware of religious discrimination and harassment concerns regarding holiday parties.  Religious belief accommodations should be thoroughly examined so that any employee with a sincerely held religious belief Read more
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Texas Court Halts Implementation of New Overtime Rule

Today, November 22, 2016, U.S. District Judge Amos L. Mazzant of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas (Sherman Division) issued a preliminary injunction halting implementation of the new overtime rules that were set to go into effect on December 1, 2016. As you aware, following a notice and comment period, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a Final Rule regarding the so-called “white collar” overtime exemptions. The rule, set to go into effect on December 1, 2016, increased the required salary level for the executive, administrative and professional exemptions to the Fair Labor Standard Act’s Read more
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Employment Law News & An Update

Today, we have an update on our previous post about challenges to the upcoming changes to the Department of Labor’s overtime regulations.  We also have a quick note on other legal action affecting employment laws.  It’s been a pretty busy few weeks in the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern District of Texas! Shortly after Texas and multiple other states filed a lawsuit to stop the new overtime rules from going into effect on December 1, 2016, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and 50 other groups, including the Plano Chamber of Commerce and the Frisco Chamber of Commerce here locally Read more
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DOL Overtime Regulations Fight Continues

As you are aware and as we have discussed in this blog before, the revisions to the Department of Labor’s overtime regulations are set to go into effect on December 1, 2016.  In light of this impending change, the United States Congress and various states have taken action to delay the change.  On September 20th, 22 states (including Texas) filed a declaratory judgment lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas (Sherman Division). The states based their lawsuit on the fact that they are subject to the new regulations and that state employees will be affected Read more
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Discrimination Changes on the Horizon?

At the time of the June 30, 2014 Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, Inc. decision from the United States Supreme Court, many employment law experts and practitioners recognized that the Court’s decision to let Hobby Lobby opt out of portions of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) on religious grounds could lead to a litany of lower court decisions addressing employers’ desires to opt out of other employment laws on religious grounds.  We now have such a case.  Yesterday, August 18, 2016, in a decision out of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, a judge held that the Read more
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Final DOL Overtime Regulations Released

Yesterday, the Department of Labor released the final regulations regarding the white collar exemptions for overtime compensation. We will discuss this more here and in our newsletter, but here is a quick run down of what employers need to know: The salary threshold for the white collar exemptions (administrative, executive, professional, creative) is now $913 per week (which equates to $47,476 per year) There will be automatic salary threshold increases every 3 years to maintain the salary level at the 40th percentile in the lowest-wage census region The highly compensated employee exemption salary threshold is changed to $134,004 per year There Read more
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NLRB Guidance Memo

We posted a video on our YouTube page about NLRB guidance and rules for employers in non-union settings, specifically as it relates to employee handbooks and policies and procedures in the workplace.  We said we would link the memo to our blog so you could download it and view it.  That memo is here: NLRB Memos You will want to click the link for Memo GC 15-04. If you would like to view the YouTube video we posted (or any of our other videos), you can visit our YouTube channel at Simon | Paschal PLLC Read more
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Workplace Drug Testing

Drug testing often can be a confusing area of the law for many employers.  The first thing to consider is whether you operate in an industry in which drug testing is required or regulated (i.e. trucking/transportation) or are subject to certification or licensure requirements that include drug testing (i.e. ISO, etc.).  If you are not subject to any specific drug testing requirements by virtue of your industry or any licenses/certifications, then the default rules apply (assuming you only are operating in the state of Texas since this blog post will address federal and Texas state law). As a general matter, Read more
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New EEOC Guidance on Retaliation

We posted a few days ago about the EEOC’s new guidance on Position Statements.  Well, the EEOC has been busy because they also have proposed new enforcement guidance regarding retaliation claims and charges.  From January 21, 2016 through February 24, 2016, the EEOC accepted input regarding its draft proposed enforcement guidance on retaliation claims.  The EEOC believes the updated enforcement guidance is necessary since nearly 43% of all private sector charges filed in 2014 included retaliation claims.  While the enforcement guidance is not binding law, employers should be aware of it since it is used by the agency in investigations Read more