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Employing Minors in Texas

Employing a person younger than the age of 18 requires adherence to a specific set of labor laws, referred to as Texas Child Labor Law. The law is not there to prohibit or impede the hiring of minors; rather, child labor laws protect the safety and rights of minors in the workplace. Learn Age- and Hour-Appropriate Hiring Rules The minimum age for employment, with a few exceptions, is 14 years old. Exceptions to the rule include working for a business owned by the child’s parents or neighborhood newspaper delivery. A child as young as 11 years old can have a Read more
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Handling Layoffs with Compassion

Proactive management is essential when a company faces the harsh reality of having to lay off members of its workforce. A transition process needs to consider the members who are separating from the team and those who are staying behind. Develop an Overall Strategy A comprehensive strategy should be developed as soon layoffs become necessary. The process should include the following components: The process of selecting which employees to lay off is a delicate matter that you must handle with great discretion. You should make these decisions behind closed doors, and managers must understand the importance of keeping the matter Read more
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Employing Interns in Texas

This time of year, many organizations start interviewing potential candidates for summer internships. Internships can be valuable both for interns and business owners. In exchange for work, interns can acquire on the job skills In many organizations, questions will arise over issues such as the number of hours an intern will work and whether or not an intern should be paid. It’s important to note that these decisions are not left up to the organization. The US Department of Labor’s Fair Labor Standards Act addresses this issue and sets criteria that companies must use to determine whether or not an Read more
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Legality of Workplace Monitoring & Surveillance

If you pay employees to do a job and provide a place for them to do it, the assumption is while they’re on the clock, they’ll be doing it. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Employers use workplace surveillance systems not only to be sure employees are working but also to maintain workplace safety, to ensure quality control standards are observed, and to prevent crime. But what about employees’ privacy concerns? What is allowed with regards to workplace monitoring and surveillance? Why Companies Monitor Employees Organizations have more to lose than just productivity. Common concerns involve the following: The potential Read more
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Creating an Office Fraternization Policy

If only good management just involved helping employees be productive. One of the biggest challenges facing leadership is managing the relationships co-workers have with each other. Your business should already have a sexual harassment policy, but that doesn’t cover other types of relationships that may cause problems. Let employees know company expectations for workplace behavior to clarify what is acceptable and what’s inappropriate. Whatever your choice about the acceptability of workplace relationships, you should have a written policy. Fraternization Dangers A fraternization policy is sometimes called a dating policy, because it involves romantic relationships between employees. Some employers think what Read more
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Terminating an Employee in Texas

Terminating an employee from your company is never pleasant or easy and the termination process should not be taken lightly.  Your company should have procedures in place to provide employees ongoing feedback so they know what they are doing well and areas in which they can improve.  Employees that are not performing adequately should be given a chance to improve their performance and there should be a process in place that documents counseling sessions and/or disciplinary notices, steps the employee has taken to improve, the employee’s progress, and any final results. This article does not cover that process but instead Read more
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Workplace Dress Code and Grooming Policies

Workplace dress code and grooming policies can help a business maintain an appropriate image, ensure workplace safety, and foster an atmosphere of teamwork among employees.  However, employers must take care to avoid creating policies that are discriminatory. Below we review some important factors to consider when creating employee dress codes and grooming policies. No Discrimination It is important to remember that an employer’s policies must not discriminate on the basis of age, disability, gender, marriage, pregnancy, race, religion, sex or any other category protected under Federal or Texas state law. When drafting your company’s dress code and grooming policy, make Read more
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Severance Agreements for Texas Employers

Part of running a business is managing the employee separation process.  Managing this process can be just as important as managing employees’ day-to-day responsibilities.  When employees leave your organization, it is often advantageous for the exiting employee to sign a severance agreement.  An agreement that properly outlines the employer and employee’s expectations will save time, money and considerable headaches in the near and distant future. A severance agreement is a contract between an employer and employee that documents the rights and responsibilities of both parties at termination of employment and beyond.  Typically, a severance agreement gives the employee payment in Read more
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Employee Handbook Guidelines & Pitfalls

A thoughtfully constructed employee handbook lays the groundwork for a strong relationship between a company and its employees. It outlines the employer’s expectations and lets workers know what they can expect from the organization. When you’re preparing your company’s employee handbook, refer to this list for the types of items that should be included and pitfalls to be addressed and/or avoided. Always remember, though, that every handbook is different and your company’s policies and procedures, as well as its culture and its tolerance for risk will determine what is included within the handbook. What to include in your Employee Handbook 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