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Limitations on Testing Employees for Marijuana Use

With the ever-evolving laws regarding marijuana use across the country, Texas employers may have questions about testing employees for use of the substance. While many states have legalized marijuana for medicinal and recreational use, Texas continues to ban its use except in extremely limited circumstances. Federal and state laws also give considerable latitude to employers who would like to test their employees for marijuana use. It’s understandable that employers might have questions and concerns about employees’ use of this drug and its potential effect on their businesses. Texas Marijuana Laws Texas has no law that legitimizes the use of marijuana Read more
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The Legality of Pre-Employment Medical Exams

As an employer, some roles within your company may require employees who meet certain health and medical criteria. Jobs that involve lifting heavy objects, manual labor, and other physical tasks mandate a certain type of employee, and even less labor-intensive tasks at your company may require a specific standard of health and wellness. As an employer, it is important to understand the rules and regulations surrounding pre-employment medical exams and how it may affect employment at your organization. The experienced employment attorneys at Simon Paschal can help you navigate this complicated issue and other legal matters that impact your business. Read more
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Can We Sue a Former Employee for Defamation?

  The short answer is yes, but the real question at the end of the day is should an employer sue a former employee for defamation.  If a former employee makes a false statement about his or her former employer publicly, the business owner (corporation, partnership, individual, etc.) could have the basis for a defamation lawsuit. Employers who are able to establish that defamation from a former employee has caused them harm may able to obtain compensation for the resulting damages. In many situations, however, defamation can be difficult to establish. Therefore, it is important to obtain the assistance of Read more
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FMLA Key Employee Exception

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) enables eligible workers to receive unpaid job-protected leave for certain family and medical reasons. The Act requires that the employee’s health insurance coverage be maintained during the leave period under the same terms as if the worker had not taken leave. In accordance with the FMLA, workers are eligible for 12 weeks of leave in a 12-month period for several reasons, including: The birth of a child The placement of a child for adoption or foster care The care of the worker’s spouse, child, or parent who has a serious medical condition An Read more
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Creating a Successful Workplace Diversity Program

Creating a successful workplace diversity and inclusion program can be quite a challenge. Considering all the factors involved, including age, gender, race, and sexual orientation, is what makes the endeavor so difficult. Consider the following important details to create the strongest diversity and inclusion program possible.   Why Create a Diversity and Inclusion Program?  There are several benefits that companies realize through the creation of a workplace diversity and inclusion program. Some of these advantages include the following: Diverse skills. These programs help to create more diverse workforces, which in turn provide a more diverse set of skills. A workforce Read more
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Companies with Inaccessible Career Portals Facing ADA Litigation

Over the course of the last few months, members of Congress as well as state attorneys general have requested that (former) United States Attorney General Jeffrey Sessions provide further details about what requirements business websites and HR career portals must meet to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). At the moment, it is currently not clear whether the ADA even applies to business websites, which has left businesses with little guidance in terms of compliance and how to respond to complaints of non-compliance. Even more perplexingly, the Department of Justice recently responded to a request for clarification on Read more
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Play it Safe with Your Corporate Gift & Entertainment Policy

  As you create workplace policies for your organization’s employee handbook, it’s important to include a section on entertainment and gifts.  Corporate gifts and entertainment can be misused and misconstrued, placing your company in legal hot water. As you create the policy, it’s important to keep the following in mind: Keep Your Gifts Legal It might sound obvious, but we have to mention it: The gifts you give must be legal. Do not give an underage employee a bottle of wine as a gift. Employees must never accept illegal gifts from third parties, either. Remember, Some Gifts are Taxable Income Read more
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Texas Weapons at Work Policies

Thanks to legislation that went into effect in January of 2016, licensed gun owners in Texas are now allowed to carry weapons in holsters as long as those weapons are visible. This is an addition to an older law allowing for the concealed carry of weapons in the state with a license. Licenses were available to most Texans with some exceptions (those exceptions are beyond the scope of this article). While this open carry law gives Texans the freedom to publicly protect themselves, there are limitations. Under the law, Texans still may not be able to openly carry in some Read more
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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