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Election Season Considerations

2020 is the year that everything that could possibly happen…happened.  It seems only normal, then, that 2020 is also the year of a U.S. Presidential election.  No matter where you stand as an HR professional on the political spectrum, you must navigate the election season in the workplace.  With that in mind, let’s discuss just a few things to keep in mind. First and foremost, unless you are a governmental employee, you absolutely have the right as an employer to prohibit political discussions in the workplace.  The First Amendment right to freedom of speech does not apply to non-governmental actors.  Read more
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Supreme Court Update

While many of us were focused on COVID-19 over the summer, the United States Supreme Court issued three major decisions affecting the workplace.  Here is what you need to know. LGBTQ Protections The Supreme Court issued a 6-3 opinion in which the Court extended Title VII’s anti-discrimination protections to LGBTQ workers.  The majority decided the case on a very simple basis – Title VII prohibits discrimination against LGBTQ workers because such discrimination is discrimination based on sex.  The relevant language from Justice Gorsuch’s opinion below explains: An individual’s homosexuality or transgender status is not relevant to employment decisions. That’s because Read more
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US Supreme Court Issues LGBT Discrimination Decision

On June 15, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a 6-3 opinion in which the Court extended Title VII’s anti-discrimination protections to LGBT workers. Justice Gorsuch authored the majority opinion and was joined by Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan. The majority decided the case on a very simple basis – Title VII prohibits discrimination against LGBT workers because such discrimination is discrimination based on sex. The relevant language from Justice Gorsuch’s opinion below explains: “An individual’s homosexuality or transgender status is not relevant to employment decisions. That’s because it is impossible to discriminate against a 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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Religious Accommodation in the Texas Workplace

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees (in companies with 15 employees or more) from religious discrimination and requires that employers reasonably accommodate the sincerely held religious, ethical and moral beliefs and practices of their employees, unless doing so will be an undue hardship on the employer.  (State and local government employers must adhere to these rules regardless of their number of employees.) Unless the employer can demonstrate that doing so will cause significant difficulty or expense, failing to grant a reasonable religious accommodation may be determined to be religious discrimination under Title VII. Title VII Read more
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Anti-Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Training

Harassment prevention training is a critically important component of an organization’s plan to prevent discrimination and harassment in the workplace. Workplace discrimination and harassment can lead to lawsuits that can do serious damage to a company’s finances and reputation. Importance of Anti-Discrimination Training Anti-discrimination training protects your business from disputes involving harassment, discrimination, and violation of federal and state laws governing the treatment of employees and coworkers in the workplace. It does this by Educating employees and managers on proper workplace conduct, Preventing discrimination and harassment, and Reducing the likelihood and/or success of harassment and/or discrimination claims and lawsuits. Training should 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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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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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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HR Lawyer Dallas

Sexual Harassment In your Company and How an HR Lawyer Can Help

Managing a business can be difficult, but hiring an HR lawyer to ensure your employees are working in a safe and successful environment can decrease your stress. Sexual harassment is a serious problem that can affect your business’ productivity, success, and the overall emotional health of your workplace. So, you and your employees need a comprehensive understanding of this common problem. Here are a few signs that sexual harassment is a problem in your workplace. Sexist Comments and Behavior Targeted To One Person If you hear an employee making lewd comments to another employee, that is a common sign of Read more