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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
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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