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Back to the Basics: Protecting Trade Secrets

When you hire employees to work for your company, it is essential that you know how to protect trade secrets and to ensure that employees do not use information they learn while working for your company in ways that ultimately could harm your business. One of the first topics of examination in any litigation over non-compete agreements, non-solicitation agreements, or theft of trade secrets is whether or not the employer took appropriate steps to protect its trade secrets.  What do you need to know about protecting trade secrets in your Texas business? You should understand how the law defines a Read more
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The Importance of Job Descriptions & Standard Operating Procedures

Every employer in Texas should understand the importance of job descriptions and standard operating procedures (SOPs) in running a business. Attempting to run a business and to hire employees without these guiding documents can create a variety of problems for your company. You should think of job descriptions and SOPs as roadmaps that provide a working structure for your company. These documents make clear how you are planning for the business to operate and how employees will work in varying positions to ensure that the business functions as you have designed it. Without job descriptions and SOPs, you could end Read more
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What is the WARN Act in Texas?

Employers in Texas need to learn about the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, and how it applies to employees in the state. While some states have their own state-specific versions of the WARN Act that provide additional protections to employees, Texas does not have one of these laws. Accordingly, employers need to be familiar with the federal WARN Act and any notifications they must provide under federal law to employees prior to a layoff or a plant closing. If you run a business with fewer than 100 employees, the notice requirements for mass layoffs or plant closures Read more
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How Will the New I-9 Form Affect Our Hiring?

Whether you are planning to make a couple of new hires in the coming months or you are expanding your business significantly and will bring on many new employees, you may be wondering if the new I-9 form will affect your hiring practices. As you know, an I-9 form is used to verify an employee’s identity and to confirm that the employee is legally authorized to work within the U.S. You likely also know that the federal government announced changes to the I-9 form that have been in effect since May 2020. In addition, as a result of the COVID-19 Read more
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Can I Video Record an Interview? Are There Legal Issues to Consider?

Employers in Texas who are planning to hire new employees might be thinking about ways to revisit the interviews prior to making a hiring decision. In some cases, members of the hiring team might not be able to be present for all of the interviews, so you might be considering options for ensuring that everyone has the ability to assess candidates for a new position. One potential option some Texas employers might consider is video recording all of the interviews so that it is possible to review the interviews in the coming days before making a decision about an offer Read more
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What are the Legal Risks of “Joint Employers”?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law that governs wage and hour issues for employees across the country. The FLSA has specific requirements when it comes to overtime pay and minimum wage, and all employers must abide by the FLSA when paying employees. Specifically, the FLSA requires all non-exempt employees to be paid one and one-half times his or her hourly wage for any hours worked beyond the 40-hour workweek, and to be paid at least the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour in Texas. Generally speaking, an employer must comply with the FLSA to ensure that Read more
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Are Salespeople Exempt Under FLSA?

While many employees are eligible for a certain amount of overtime pay and a minimum wage under the FLSA, certain types of employees are exempt. With exempt employees, employers are not required to pay overtime according to the FLSA. One example of such exempt employees are those employees that meet the requirements of the “outside sales exemption.” Does the outside sales exemption mean that all salespeople are exempt under the FLSA? What about salespeople who travel to various locations to sell products? It is critical for all employers to understand the outside sales exemption in order to remain in compliance Read more
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Understanding Overtime Salary Cutoff Rules in 2020

If you run a business in Texas and have employees, it is critical to learn more about the new Department of Labor overtime rule that changes the way overtime pay is handled for many employees. The new rule took effect on January 1, 2020, and it remains in effect. What does the new rule do? In short, it changes the salary threshold for overtime pay exemptions. If employees do not meet the salary threshold outlined in the new rule, the employer must classify them as non-exempt and must pay overtime hours for any hours worked beyond the 40-hour workweek. In Read more
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Does Remote Work Increase Risk of Wage/Hour Claims?

The onset of COVID-19 in the United States has resulted in many workplaces shifting to a partial or completely remote workplace, which means that many employees are now working from home when they were not prior to the pandemic. Shifting to a work-from-home model can have many complications for employers, including wage and hour issues. If your business has some or all of its employees working remotely, you may be wondering about wage and hour claims and whether remote work can result in an increase in these kinds of claims. Generally speaking, wage and hour claims for telecommuting employees tend Read more
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Simon | Paschal Says: A Time for HeaRt

This may seem like a funny thing to hear employment lawyers say, but now more than ever it is time for Human Resources to truly exhibit HeaRt.  Our capitalization and bolding of the word heart are intentional because as the great Michael Scott would say, “HR is in the word.” 2020 has been a tough year for all of us.  We have been socially isolated for much of the year.  We have dealt with the fear of contracting a virus that for much of the year was largely unknown.  We have faced tough decisions about layoffs and reductions in pay.  Read more