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Category Archives: Labor & Employment

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U.S. Department of Labor Seminar, Worker Misclassification – Top 10 Takeaways

Posted in Labor & Employment

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the “U.S. Department of Labor’s Initiatives on Worker Misclassification and the Gig Economy” seminar on March 31.  The following are the “Top 10 Takeaways” from the speakers’ presentation.  If you missed this seminar, please click here to access the presentation slides.  If you are interested in joining… Continue Reading

How Recent Cybersecurity Government Publications Impact HIPAA Security Compliance and the New Audit Initiative

Posted in Benefits, Labor & Employment

Cybersecurity Impacts on HIPAA Security Compliance and the New Audit Initiative New Audit Initiative Items to Watch While The HHS Office for Civil Rights recently announced its intent to perform a second round of HIPAA Privacy, Security and Breach audits via an email initiated process with submissions on its secure website, this is only the… Continue Reading

No Shoes, No Shirt, No Guns? Steps Businesses Must Take to Prevent Open Carry by Employees and Customers

Posted in Labor & Employment

Effective January 1, 2016, Concealed Handgun License (CHL) holders are now allowed to carry their guns in visible holsters on their hips or shoulders. Previously, CHL holders were required to conceal their weapon completely from the view of others. Although many employers are aware of the new Open Carry law, many have questions about what… Continue Reading

The DOL Proposes Rule Expanding Employees Covered by FLSA’s Overtime Protections

Posted in FLSA, Labor & Employment

On June 30, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a proposed rule that would substantially reduce the number of executive, administrative, and professional employees (white collar employees) which are currently exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime protections by nearly doubling the threshold salary level at which workers become exempt. Under the… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Decision Entitles Married Same-Sex Couples to Spousal Leave under the FMLA

Posted in Benefits, Labor & Employment

On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling Obergefell v. Hodges, giving same-sex couples the right to marry in all 50 states. The Court held that the U.S. Constitution requires states to license a marriage for same-sex couples, and to recognize a marriage between same-sex couples when their marriage was lawfully licensed… Continue Reading

The SEC Joins the NLRB and EEOC in the Assault on Employee Confidentiality Agreements and Policies in Workplace Investigations

Posted in Labor & Employment, NLRB

On April 1, 2015, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced its first settlement of a whistleblower enforcement action against a company for using confidentiality agreements to stifle the whistleblower process.  The SEC charged Houston-based global technology and engineering firm, KBR Inc., with violating Rule 21F-17, which prohibits any person from taking “any… Continue Reading

N.D. of Texas – Attendance is an Essential Job Function

Posted in Labor & Employment

The Northern District of Texas has issued a fantastic opinion for employers concerning a recurring question under the ever evolving Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). Specifically, whether attendance can be an essential job function.  This Court has answered that question in the affirmative. In Allen v Babcock & Wilcox Technical Services Pantex, LLC (October 9,… Continue Reading

Another Pro-Employee Fifth Circuit Decision: Employee’s FMLA Claim Survives Summary Judgment

Posted in Labor & Employment, Uncategorized

In another pro-employee decision, like its ruling in the Feist case that I analyzed last week, the Fifth Circuit overturned another district court’s grant of summary judgment that dismissed the plaintiff-employee’s FMLA claims. http://hr.cch.com/ELD/IonChevron.pdf  Here, the plaintiff-employee told his supervisor that he needed time off from work to be with his son who was having a… Continue Reading

Google Glass – Get Ahead of the Employment Law Issues It Will Cause

Posted in Labor & Employment, Uncategorized

Google Glass, at its base, is an eyeglass frame with a camera and display built into the temple. The user operates it with finger swipes, head movements and voice commands.  The camera records the user’s first-person perspective, and whatever may be appearing before him or her at any given time. Realizing the potential privacy issues raised by… Continue Reading

An NLRB at Full Strength Means Problems for Non-Union Employers

Posted in Labor & Employment, Uncategorized

Earlier this week, the Senate confirmed the President’s nominations to the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”). For the first time in over 10 years, the NLRB now has a full complement of five members. Those members are: Mark Gaston Pearce (D); Kent Yoshiho Hirozawa (D); Nancy Jean Schiffer (D); Harry Johnson III (R) and Philip Andrew Miscimarra… Continue Reading

New Texas Statute Limits Employer Liability for Negligent Hiring and Negligent Supervision…Or Does It?

Posted in Labor & Employment

When it comes to conducting criminal background checks, employers have long been faced with a double-edged sword. If an employer fails to use criminal background checks to screen job applicants, the employer could face a negligent hiring or negligent supervision claim if the employee later engages in misconduct that harms a coworker or customer. On… Continue Reading

Another state enacts social-media legislation

Posted in Labor & Employment

As I prepare for a presentation I am giving tomorrow on hot social media issues for employers, I had the chance to do some digging for the current number of states that have enacted social media legislation concerning employees/employers. By my count (and research), 11 states now have social media laws that apply to them…. Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit: Mental anguish damages award not supported by medical evidence is vacated

Posted in Labor & Employment

The Fifth Circuit recently vacated a jury award for mental anguish damages based on the absence of any medical evidence.  A Northern District of Texas jury found for the plaintiff, who asserted age discrimination claims under the ADEA and TCHRA, and awarded him mental anguish damages totaling $1,000,000, which the district court remitted to $100,000. The Fifth Circuit… Continue Reading

Big Developments in Class Actions Part 2: A Quick and Complete Offer of Judgment May Foreclose FLSA Collective Actions

Posted in Class actions, FLSA, Labor & Employment

In Genesis Healthcare Corp. v. Symczyk, a 5-4 decision authored by Justice Thomas and delivered on April 16, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court held that if the lone lead plaintiff’s individual claim under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) becomes moot then the collective action must be dismissed because the lead plaintiff lacks a personal… Continue Reading

Big Developments in Class Actions Part 1: a “rigorous analysis” of Comcast Corp. v. Behrend

Posted in Labor & Employment, Uncategorized

In a very pro-employer/business opinion crafted by Justice Scalia, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected class certification for 2 million Comcast subscribers in an antitrust class action in Comcast Corp. v. Behrend, 516 U.S. ___ (2013).  To certify a class action, a plaintiff must make two showings. First, the plaintiff must establish the numerosity, commonality, typicality, and adequacy-of-representation requirements… Continue Reading

Alert – Department of Labor issues revised FMLA notice poster effective immediately

Posted in Labor & Employment

The U.S. Department of Labor recently issued new regulations under the Family and Medical Leave Act taking effect on March 8, 2013.  The FMLA will generally cover employers that have 50 or more employees. These new regulations revised the mandatory FMLA poster entitled “Employee Rights and Responsibilities Under the Family and Medical Leave Act.”  Companies covered by the FMLA must post the… Continue Reading

Jury Trial Waivers – Game Changer for Companies Conducting Business in Texas Without Arbitration Programs

Posted in Labor & Employment

I chose this topic as my first post in our blog because I believe it is a real game changer for companies conducting business in Texas, and one that has not received much attention from private and in-house counsel alike.  No, not Johnny Football, a true Texan game changer if there ever was one.  This… Continue Reading

Workers’ Compensation RICO Claims permitted to proceed on merits by Sixth Circuit

Posted in Labor & Employment

The Sixth Circuit recently issued an opinion that should have the attention of employers throughout the United States.  It allowed two ex-employees of one of the most well-known companies in the world to proceed on their RICO claim concerning the denial of their workers’ compensation benefits arising out of their on the job injuries.  While… Continue Reading