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How COVID-19 Affects Workers’ Compensation Claims 

Many employers in Texas closed temporarily during the stay-at-home orders issued in March, leading to many employees working from home. At the same time, many businesses classified as “essential” remained open during the stay-home orders, continuing to employ workers. In the past weeks, Texas has begun opening up again, and many businesses have reopened and have welcomed employees back to the workplace.  The coronavirus pandemic has not changed the fact that employees continue to sustain injuries while working, and that employers have certain duties when it comes to workers’ compensation claims in Texas. If you have questions about your responsibilities Read more
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Employment Law Issues to Consider Before Reopening Your Business

In Texas, many businesses have started the process of reopening after stay-at-home orders designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infections have been lifted. As many employers consider reopening their businesses in Dallas and throughout Texas, it is important to consider a variety of legal and liability issues that could impact your business. While distinct types of businesses may face particular issues when it comes to reopening, in general, employers should consider many different employment law issues when they are considering opening up again. The following are some important issues to take into account when you are deciding whether it Read more
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A Season of Change for Human Resources

On Saturday, June 20, we marked the official start of summer.  That day is known as the summer solstice, the longest day of the year and the day on which the sun reaches its highest and northernmost points in the sky.  With the start of summer, we close out spring and we turn to thoughts of pool parties, backyard cookouts, and summer vacations.  This summer, though, has a different feel and a different approach in light of COVID-19; and with the start of this particular summer, we look back on a monumental spring of change for Human Resources professionals everywhere. 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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Protect Against Sexual Harassment Claims for Remote Work

Now that businesses throughout the Dallas area have shifted to remote work as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, many employees find themselves working online from home. Meetings that may have been held in-person within the office setting or around a workplace conference table have now shifted to Zoom or other virtual meeting platforms. Yet, it is essential for employers to know that they still need to take steps to prevent sexual harassment in the remote workplace, and to handle remote sexual harassment when it does occur. By having policies in place for preventing and managing sexual harassment claims in Read more
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Can I Require Employees to Wear Masks or Other Equipment?

** This post was originally made in May 2020 but has been updated due to recent changes.  Be aware that as a result of the fluid situation involving COVID-19, the below is up to date as of late June 2020.  Things could change that affect the below.  We will do our best to update but want to make sure you are aware of this fact. Whether you have kept your business open during the coronavirus pandemic as an essential business or you are just beginning to make plans to reopen and to bring employees back to the workplace, it is Read more
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Enforceability of Employment Arbitration Agreements

If you are hiring new employees or developing a new employment contract, you may be wondering if you put an arbitration agreement in the contract. For many employers, arbitration agreements are preferable for resolving employment disputes that may arise at a later date. However, it is extremely important for employers to ensure that arbitration agreements are enforceable. Generally speaking, an arbitration agreement must be in place before a dispute arises for which the employer wants to compel arbitration.   What is an Arbitration Agreement?  Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in which an issue is presented by two Read more
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Growing Use of Non-Compete Clauses in Employment Contracts

More employers are turning to non-compete clauses when drafting employment law agreements and contracts. In fact, according to a research paper in the University of Michigan Law School’s Law and Economics Research Paper Series, as of about five years ago, as many as 20% of employees who had employment contracts were bound by non-compete clauses. In another recent survey, as many as 40% of respondents reported having at least one job in the past at which they were required to sign a non-compete agreement. Why are non-compete clauses used and what should employers know about them? What is a Non-Compete Read more
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DOL Releases Regulations Interpreting Families First Coronavirus Response Act

CLIENT ALERT – April 2, 2020 Yesterday, the Department of Labor released temporary regulations interpreting and explaining the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) that went into effect April 1, 2020. The full DOL summary and regulations can be found at the following link: https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/WHD/Pandemic/FFCRA.pdf.  In addition, the IRS released guidance regarding the FFCRA tax credits.  That guidance can be found here: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/covid-19-related-tax-credits-for-required-paid-leave-provided-by-small-and-midsize-businesses-faqs.  While we certainly encourage you to review those links in full if you have specific questions or want all the information provided, the information at those links is quite lengthy.  In an effort to provide information Read more
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Info on Families First Coronavirus Response Act

CLIENT ALERT – March 24, 2020 Updated Information Regarding Families First Coronavirus Response Act As you know from our previous update, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act was passed on March 18, 2020 and goes into effect on April 2, 2020. As we indicated in that update, the Department of Labor is expected to introduce regulations interpreting and applying the new law.  The Department of Labor has indicated those regulations will be released in early April. That may sound nonsensical but read below for further information and for some preliminary guidance the Department of Labor has already issued. PRELIMINARY DOL Read more