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Can an Employer be Held Liable for Pandemic Injuries/Death Under TX Law?

It is important for employers in Texas to understand potential issues of liability pertaining to COVID-19 infections and deaths connected to their businesses or places of employment. Indeed, many employers in Texas have questions about whether they can face lawsuits if an employee or a customer contracts COVID-19 at their business and becomes seriously ill or dies. If you are an employer in Texas, our Dallas employment law attorneys can provide you with the information you need about liability for pandemic injuries and deaths under Texas law. Broad Protections Under the Pandemic Liability Protection Act (PLPA) On June 14, 2021, Read more
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What Employers Need to Know About Texas Firearm Carry Act

Can employers in Texas prevent employees from carrying firearms at the workplace? This is a common question among many employers since the passage of the Firearm Carry Act of 2021, which took effect on September 1, 2021. The law is similar to bills passed in other states that allow individuals to carry firearms without a permit. In Texas, anyone who is 21 or older can possess and carry a firearm publicly without obtaining a permit. The law does not allow individuals to carry firearms if they are otherwise prohibited to do so under Texas state or federal law. Further, the Read more
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Understanding “Long COVID” & ADA Disabilities Protections

Many employers in Texas are facing disability accommodation requests from employees related to COVID-19. Some of those accommodation requests concern protections against exposure or spread in the workplace due to the employee’s disability, while others concern the disabilities that the employee has developed as a result of being infected with the coronavirus. It is critical for employers to understand what employees and commentators mean when they refer to “long COVID,” and what this term means for accommodating an employee’s request for accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The following information is designed to help employers who are navigating Read more
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Where’s the Line? What is a “Hostile Work Environment”?

Whether you are taking policy steps at your business to protect against harassment in the workplace or you are facing an employee discrimination claim that alleges a hostile work environment, it can be difficult to know what actually constitutes a hostile work environment. While you might know that a hostile work environment is one in which an employee faces harassment or discrimination, you might also be wondering: Where is the line? In other words, when does certain language or behavior rise to the level of creating a hostile work environment in Texas? Understanding the Hostile Work Environment & Harassment in Read more
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Tips for Crafting Severance Agreements

The prospect of having to tell an employee that they are losing their job is one of the most difficult tasks an employer will face. Employers in Dallas and across Texas often soften the blow by making a severance package part of the termination process. Typically, this will include payment and a severance agreement that the employee must sign. It is particularly important that Texas business owners create severance agreements that will protect the company and its executives from any future legal action from employees. An experienced Dallas employment law attorney can help your business craft effective severance agreements that Read more
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Is There a “7-Minute Rule” for Hourly Payments?

Anyone who owns a business in Texas and has employees—particularly employees who are paid by the hour—should be aware of their obligations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the rights that federal law affords to wage employees. To be sure, the FLSA governs federal laws pertaining to workers’ wages, hours, and overtime pay, among other matters. Generally speaking, the FLSA requires hourly wage employees to be paid for each hour that they work, but there are some exceptions. One such exception is often known as the “7-Minute Rule.” What is the “7-Minute Rule” and how does it affect Read more
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Are There Rules for Verbiage Used in Job Advertisements?

When your business is advertising jobs for new positions, you should be thinking about the specific language you plan to use in those job posts and how you want to frame the position you are advertising. When you draft your job advertisement, consider language selection carefully. It is important to avoid using language that could be considered discriminatory. The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) provides information about rules for job advertisements, and we want to ensure that you understand what you can and cannot say in a new job posting. Recommendations Versus Obligations for Posting Generally speaking, the TWC notes that Read more
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What Equipment Should be Reimbursed for At-Home Work?

If you have employees who work from home on a full-time or part-time basis, you might be wondering if you should be reimbursing certain expenses. In particular, if your company reimburses business expenses for employees who do not work from home, or if your business provided such reimbursements prior to the pandemic, employees who work from home may have already made reimbursement requests or you might be anticipating them. You should know that federal law does not require employers to provide reimbursements for expenses, nor does Texas law. One exception, however, is that under the Fair Labor Standards Act, an Read more
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Simon Paschal Says: Flexibility is Key

It’s August 2021.  We all thought COVID would be behind us at this point.  We are all exhausted.  We are all mentally drained.  And as employers, you’ve spent the last nearly year and a half dealing with workplace changes, new laws, and constantly changing agency guidance.  Unfortunately, though, it looks like the rest of 2021 could be more of the same.  We’re here to tell you that you can handle it.  The key is flexibility. While you may be ready to return to the office, with variant surges and fewer public mandates in place, the best approach might be to Read more
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Is the Biden Administration Eliminating Non-Compete Agreements?

On July 9, 2021, President Biden signed an Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy.  The EO outlines a need to create a fair, open, and competitive marketplace.  A lot of the areas identified are non-employment related areas such as cable/internet providers and costs, farming, and government contracts.  The EO does, however, contain a paragraph addressing non-compete agreements.  Specifically, the EO states that “the Chair of the FTC is encouraged to consider working with the rest of the Commission to exercise the FTC’s statutory rulemaking authority under the Federal Trade Commission Act to curtail the unfair use of Read more