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Texas Weapons at Work Policies

Thanks to legislation that went into effect in January of 2016, licensed gun owners in Texas are now allowed to carry weapons in holsters as long as those weapons are visible. This is an addition to an older law allowing for the concealed carry of weapons in the state with a license. Licenses were available to most Texans with some exceptions (those exceptions are beyond the scope of this article). While this open carry law gives Texans the freedom to publicly protect themselves, there are limitations. Under the law, Texans still may not be able to openly carry in some Read more
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Texas Whistleblower Laws for Employers

Texas Whistleblower Laws To inspire workers to report financial, environmental, or safety violations made by their employers, the federal government enacted whistleblower laws designed to protect the reporting employee and punish the violating employer. Like many states, Texas adopted its own whistleblower laws to aid employees who wanted to report various violations not covered by the federal law, i.e. those that did not fall on federal soil or involve federal contracts. These laws not only impose serious fines and potential criminal charges on employers who break the law, they also protect employees from employer retaliation. Let us look at Texas Read more
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Employer Guidelines for the Exit Interview

While there is no law in Texas that requires an employer to conduct exit interviews for departing employees, many businesses do so anyway. The exit interview can provide valuable insights into the employee experience and can pave the way for a company’s future growth and improvement. The guidelines below are best practices for employers to use during the exit interview in order to leave your employee with a positive impression of your company and to avoid getting into any legal trouble. If you would like more information on how to best conduct an exit interview, contact the attorneys at Simon Read more
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Potential Pitfalls of BYOD Policies

  With the tremendous growth in ownership of personal technology, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies are more common in the workplace today than ever before. While it is possible for a company to operate effectively while allowing their employees to use their personal computers and phones for work, it is vital to consider the potential pitfalls that come with BYOD policies. If you need help implementing a workplace BYOD policy, the employment law attorneys at Simon Paschal can assist you. Security, Hardware Control & Rogue Devices One of the main benefits of a BYOD policy is that employees are allowed to use Read more
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Texas Workers’ Compensation Essentials

What Employers Need to Know About Workers’ Compensation in Texas Each state has its own workers’ compensation laws, and Texas is no exception. Workers’ compensation laws are designed to aid workers who are injured at work with their medical bills and other damages incurred as a result of the accident. Below is a brief overview of the key points you should know about workers’ compensation laws in Texas. Not Every Employer in Texas is Required to Carry Workers’ Compensation In Texas, workers’ compensation coverage is an elective coverage, which means that all private employers have the option to provide workers’ Read more
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Most Misunderstood COBRA Components

  As workforces evolve, it is imperative for employers to stay abreast of fluctuating healthcare mandates, and changes in employment law as they are introduced. Signed into law by President Reagan in 1985 and effective April 7, 1986, the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) establishes insurance continuity for workers paying premiums under group policies. When an employee leaves the company, an employer will provide the same level of insurance for a predetermined number of days, months or years. Between the original COBRA Act, and the several additions by the Obama administration, many components of this law may be misunderstood. Read more
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USERRA & Employer Compliance Requirements

Servicemen and women are often called away from their place of employment to deploy overseas, to engage in domestic military exercises, or to attend weekend training. Under USERRA, or Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994, employers are required to honor the commitments of military personnel without prejudicial treatment upon their return. All employers who employ military men and women must adhere to the following basic regulations USERRA sets forth. Note that terminating an employee in Texas who is affiliated with the United States Military without showing cause may come with hefty fines and other civil liabilities. The Read more
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10 Workplace Investigation Mistakes to Avoid

Employers should conduct timely investigations when they receive complaints concerning safety, harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and ethics since various federal laws either provide employers a defense in lawsuits if they conduct investigations or require employers to conduct investigations.  In addition to any investigation, the employer must also take any action necessary to correct and stop the prohibited actions immediately.  Investigations should be handled properly in order to achieve a quick resolution and to avoid the potential for future litigation.  Here we review some common workplace investigation mistakes to avoid. No incident reporting System – Employees must have a way to report Read more
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Prohibited Job Application & Interview Questions

Allowed Job Interview & Application Questions Under various Federal (and Texas) laws, it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against a job applicant because of his or her race, color, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), veteran’s status, disability or genetic information. While these restrictions would seem to prohibit a fairly limited set of questions, court rulings have served to broaden the scope of the law significantly. Consequently, employers must exercise great care or risk (intentionally or unintentionally) running afoul of these laws during the job application and interview process.  Here, we consider “What can be Read more
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Non-Compete and Non-Solicitation Agreements in Texas

Companies have a vested interest in protecting their trade secrets. To do so, they often ask employees to sign non-compete agreements, also known as restrictive covenants.  These agreements are meant to prevent an employee from leaving the company and setting up a competing business down the road using knowledge gained from their former employer.  Employers also often use non-solicitation agreements or include non-solicitation clauses in their non-compete agreements in order to prevent a former employee from soliciting the clients or current employees of their former employer.  For purposes of enforcement, Texas law treats non-solicitation agreements as non-competition agreements, so the information discussed Read more