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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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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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SCOTUS Decision on Class Action vs. Arbitration

Understanding the Supreme Court Decision on Class Action Arbitration Agreements, Epic Systems v. Lewis On May 21, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court decided in a landmark case, Epic Systems v. Lewis, that individual arbitration clauses between employers and employees must be enforced, thus making it more difficult for employees to file class action lawsuits. This decision is a huge win for employers, as avoiding costly class action lawsuits is in every employer’s best interest. Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) and National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) The two laws at issue in Epic Systems v. Lewis were the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) 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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Establishing a Performance Improvement Plan

When an employee fails to live up to your performance requirements, it is in everyone’s best interest to open communication with them to address the situation. A performance improvement plan (PIP), also known as a performance action plan, can be an effective way to allow employees to make changes needed to correct problems, overcome deficiencies, and improve their performance. If necessary, a failed or unsuccessfully completed PIP may also be used as evidence or support in any ultimate disciplinary action, including termination. Ideally, a PIP should only be used to address performance deficiencies. Behavior problems should be addressed through discipline 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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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