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COVID-19 Update

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues throughout the country, employers have continued to adapt and “change” has become the norm.  Now is a good time to take stock of where we are and what employers need to know about COVID-19 in the workplace. Families First Coronavirus Response Act As a reminder, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act remains in effect through December 31, 2020.  There is potential that the current Congress or, more likely, the next Congress could either extend the law or pass further protections, but nothing is certain at this point.  It is important to keep in mind, though, Read more
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Lawsuit Claims Violation of FFCRA

Employers in Texas should be aware of a recent lawsuit in which an employee alleged that her employer violated the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Even if you are an employer that is too large to be covered by the FFCRA, this lawsuit is particularly important for you to learn about in more detail. The FFCRA is only supposed to apply to employers with fewer than 500 employees, yet the recent lawsuit involves Kroger Co., an employer that employs more than 500 employees that, in theory, should not be covered by the FFCRA. However, the recent lawsuit suggests that, Read more
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Can Employers Require Employees to Self-Quarantine?

If you own a business and you are preparing to bring employees back to work in-person in the Dallas area, or if you already have employees working in-person at your business, you may have questions about your rights as an employer based on COVID-19 exposure and risks. In other words, you might be wondering whether you can take certain actions in order to prevent employees from spreading COVID-19 in the workplace or putting other employees at risk. So, can employers require employees to self-quarantine? In short, the answer is likely “yes,” in terms of requiring the employee to stay away Read more
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How Does Sabine Pilot Service v. Hauck Apply to Current Legal Issues?

In 1985, the Supreme Court of Texas decided the case of Sabine Pilot Service, Inc. v. Hauck. The ruling has become a significant one for employers in Texas because it concerns an employee who filed a claim against his employer after he refused to commit an illegal act. The Texas Supreme Court established a limited exception to the employment-at-will doctrine used in the state of Texas. Specifically, the Court clarified that an employee can have a valid claim against an employer, even when that employee is an at-will employee, if the employee has been terminated for refusing to perform an Read more
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Are Employers Required to Provide Appropriate PPE for Employees?

If you own a business in Dallas and have employees, you probably have a wide variety of questions about your responsibilities as an employer during the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued recommendations for safe in-person workplaces that include personal protective equipment (PPE), depending upon the type of workplace. Therefore, certain employees may need personal protective equipment who did not require it prior to the start of the pandemic. At the same time, many employers have been requiring PPE for certain employees outside COVID-19 considerations. Some jobs require PPE for compliance with safety Read more
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California Attorney General Says Rideshare Drivers are Employees, Not Independent Contractors

If you are an employer in Texas who hires independent contractors with any frequency, or even on a temporary basis, you should be paying attention to the rideshare lawsuit in California. As outlined in a recent article in The New York Times, California sued Uber and Lyft, two prominent rideshare companies, alleging that they have misclassified their workers and that they have failed to comply with a new California law regarding gig workers.  In the gig economy, many rideshare drivers, including Uber and Lyft drivers, operate as independent contractors, a classification that theoretically relieves Uber and Lyft and any other Read more
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Are There Notice Requirements for Laying Off or Furloughing Employees?

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, many employers in Dallas and across Texas have had to contend with severe economic losses. As a result of business closures and lost revenue, many employers in Dallas have had to furlough or lay off employees. We know that this is an incredibly difficult process for many employers, and we also know that it can be extremely complicated to understand the laws surrounding furloughs and layoffs. The major federal law pertaining to employment separation notice requirements is the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (or WARN Act). This is a law that requires Texas employers, as Read more
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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