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Amazon Abandons Arbitration: Should My Company Follow Suit?

You are likely already bound by many mandatory arbitration clauses tucked away in your contractual agreements, whether as an employer, employee, or even a consumer. This has traditionally been the route for companies hoping to deter class action claims from customers and employees, and to keep their disputes out of the public eye. However, after facing an unreasonable amount of individual arbitration demands by consumers regarding the Echo Dot device, Amazon jumped ship on arbitration due to the impending massive costs. Because of this decision, consumers can now file individual claims against the company or even group together in a Read more
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Increased Need to Protect Trade Secrets and Data with Remote Work

Every employer in Texas should be thinking about ways to protect trade secrets and take steps to prevent the misappropriation of trade secrets. Yet with increased remote work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is an increased need for many employers in Texas and across the country to consider ways to protect classified information. Our Dallas employment law attorneys want to provide you with more information about why there is an increased need to protect trade secrets, as well as tips for keeping your business’s valuable proprietary information confidential. Why is There an Increased Need to Protect Trade Secrets with Read more
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What is an EEO-1 Report (And Do We Need to File One?)

If you own a business in Texas and have employees, it is critical to know about EEO-1 data collection and whether or not your company is required by federal law to file an EEO-1 Component 1 report. You might be wondering, what is an EEO-1 report, and does my business need to file one? The EEO-1 is an annually filed form that provides a breakdown of a company’s workforce demographics by race and gender. According to a press release from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the EEO-1 Component 1 report is part of the “opening of the 2019 Read more
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Will the “Economic Reality” Test for Independent Contractors be Changed Under the New Administration?

Many Texas employers whose worker classification is difficult to determine have questions about the new administration’s U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) rules regarding independent contractors. More specifically, the test that employers should apply to determine whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee may not be clear given that the Trump-era independent contractor rule has been withdrawn. That rule created an “economic reality” test that included two central or core factors that employers could use to determine a worker’s status. The DOL rescinded that rule, however, and the repeal took effect on May 6, 2021. If you are Read more
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Are Employees Required PTO to Get a COVID Vaccine?

  Employers in Texas with employees who need or want to receive the COVID-19 vaccine might have questions about offering time off to get the shot.  Are Texas employers required to provide paid time off (PTO) for their employees to get the vaccine? Texas Law Does Not Require Paid Leave for COVID-19 Vaccines Texas currently has no state law that requires employers of any size to provide employees with paid time off, or any type of paid sick leave, for purposes of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, even if they require employees to be vaccinated. While it is possible that state Read more
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When Can I Fire an Employee for Conduct Outside of Work?

Texas employers are becoming more concerned with employees’ conduct outside the workplace, particularly when an employee’s actions are posted on social media sites and could reflect poorly on the business. According to a recent article in the Houston Chronicle, many Texas business owners have concerns about employee behavior negatively impacting the company, whether it is the employee engaging in political events outside the workplace or engaging in conduct that the business owner finds morally or ethically reprehensible. Yet many employers in Texas do not fully understand their rights when it comes to holding employees accountable for conduct outside the workplace. Read more
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Is a Business Legally Required to Follow its Own Policies/Handbook?

Business owners in Texas should have written policies and, ideally, an employee handbook that compiles all of the policies and expectations within the workplace. Employee handbooks can provide important information and protections for the employee and employer alike. Yet situations might arise in which an employer believes that a particular policy that is written in the employee handbook should not apply, or that a specific workplace policy the employer created previously should not be followed in a specific circumstance. In these types of scenarios, is a business legally required to follow its own policies or employee handbook? The answer to Read more
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Damages to Expect in Common Employment Law Cases

When facing a workplace claim or lawsuit from a current or former employee, it is useful for employers to know the types of damages they may be expected to pay in common employment law cases. Generally speaking, whether an employee has filed a wage and hour violation claim, an employment discrimination case, a retaliation case, or a wrongful termination lawsuit, the purpose of the remedy is to put that employee in the same position that she or he would have been in but for the violation (although punitive damages are also often available). When an employee wins a claim against Read more
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EEOC Releases Changes to Compliance Manual on Religious Discrimination

Employers in Texas should be aware of the recent compliance manual changes from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on religious discrimination in the workplace. The changes to the compliance manual focus specifically on religious discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. As the EEOC explains, “under Title VII, an employer is prohibited from discriminating because of religion in hiring, promotion, discharge, compensation, or other terms, conditions or privileges of employment, and also cannot ‘limit, segregate, or classify’ applicants or employees based on religion ‘in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive any Read more
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Department of Labor Audit Checklist: Wage & Hour Audit

Employers in Texas are required to comply with federal wage and hour laws, among other laws and regulations, enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Audits conducted by the Department of Labor can focus on a variety of employment law issues such as wage and hour rules, workplace safety, and family and medical leave requirements. As an employer, you should know that the DOL can initiate an audit at any time. Accordingly, it is important to be prepared for a DOL wage and hour audit. The following are issues that you should consider as you put together a DOL Read more