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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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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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ADEA, OWBPA & Age Discrimination

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) is a federal law which forbids an employer (with 20 or more employees) from discriminating against employees aged 40 and over on the basis of age.  The Act covers discrimination “in any aspect of employment” including hiring, promotions, pay, benefits, training, job assignment, layoffs and firing. Employers should be aware that discrimination “in any aspect of employment” is a purposely broad statement meant to provide wide ranging protections.  Examples of areas affected by the act include: Advertisements or help wanted posters Employment applications Occupational qualifications Seniority status Bona Fide Occupational Age Qualifications It Read more
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Understanding Employment At Will

Texas employment law states that workers in the Lone Star State are employed at will.  This means that, unless prevented by statute or an express agreement (e.g. an employment contract), an employer may terminate the relationship with an employee at any time and for any reason, without having to provide justification.  Absent a few limited circumstances, an employer may also modify the terms or conditions of employment at any time, without notice and without a reason. This at will employment relationship goes both ways, meaning that an employee may leave a job at any time, without having to provide a Read more
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Creating a Workplace Mobile Phone Usage Policy

Operating a business in the digital age means accommodating personal technologies such as cell phones, which can be helpful tools in the workplace, particularly in some industries. Mobile phones, when properly used can keep employers more connected to their employees and spark innovations. They can also, however, pose as significant sources of distraction and lost productivity. The best way to take advantage of all the potential benefits of cell phones at work while minimizing the drawbacks is to create a strong workplace cell phone usage policy. State Your Policy Clearly An ambiguous, hidden, or difficult-to-find cell phone policy won’t help Read more