EMPLOYMENT LAW

When can we search employees' lockers?

07/29/2015
Q. An alarming amount of cash and inventory has gone missing from my retail store. I have also smelled odor of illegal drugs in the store. Am I authorized to search employees’ lockers for cash, inventory and drugs?

New challenge for Texas employers: Transgender employees' restroom rights

07/29/2015

Time was when an employer’s only preoccupation with restrooms was whether the cleaning crew was keeping them stocked with soap, towels and toilet paper. Enter the new reality: Federal agencies and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights groups are contending that transgender employees should be given the right to choose between restrooms having an “M” or a “W” on the door.

David beat Goliath, employers sometimes beat the DOL!

07/29/2015
A Texas company has been awarded attorneys’ fees as compensation for aggressive DOL tactics.

Unspecified commission? Jury decides who to believe

07/29/2015
For jobs based on written employment contracts, what the agreement says typically governs all the terms and conditions of employment. If something is unclear or unstated, what the parties do later likely will influence eventual judicial interpretation.

1st Amendment free-speech rights extend to government contractors, too

07/29/2015
Contractors performing work for governmental agencies are protected by the First Amendment right to free speech as if they were public employees.

Confidentiality conundrum: Can you reveal complaint in order to stop sexual harassment?

07/29/2015
What should you do when a male employee claims his co-workers are sexually harassing him? You can’t just ignore the complaint simply because it came from a man. But should you discuss the complaint with the co-workers and ask them to stop if they are engaging in harassment? Wouldn’t that make matters worse?

1st Amendment protects government employees

07/29/2015
Public employees have the right to free speech, and they’re free to support any political candidate they want—even when they oppose their bosses who are running for office.

San Antonio restaurants must pay $500K for cooking books

07/29/2015
San Antonio-area China Sea restaurants got burned when investigators from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) found the company maintained two sets of books, one showing them in compliance and one telling the true story.

Kung Fu Saloon taps out following bias slap-down

07/29/2015
The Kung Fu Saloon chain, with locations in Austin, Dallas and Houston, has agreed to settle U.S. Department of Justice charges that it has repeatedly refused service to Asian and black customers.

Give employees a chance to fix FMLA forms

07/29/2015

Before you approve or reject an employee’s FMLA request, the law allows you to request a medical certification from the employee. That certification must have some specific things.

Repeat after me: Never fire anyone for wearing a religious headscarf!

07/28/2015
Rotten Ralph’s, a popular Philadelphia restaurant, has been sued by the EEOC, which alleges that the eatery violated federal law when it refused to allow a Muslim server to wear a religious headscarf as a reasonable accommodation of her religious beliefs and instead fired her.

Warn bosses against ADA 'association bias'

07/28/2015
Your supervisors no doubt know it’s illegal to discriminate against someone because of his or her disability. But do they also know about a less obvious part of the ADA that makes it illegal to discriminate against people because they have an association with a person who has a disability?

FMLA: Where employers go wrong

07/27/2015
Being terminated for taking job-protected leave was the No. 1 reason employees filed FMLA-related complaints with the U.S. Department of Labor last year. What were their others?

Supreme Court clarifies how to accommodate pregnant employees

07/24/2015
Over the last several years, legislatures around the United States have worked to increase protections for pregnant workers, and the EEOC has identified the treatment of pregnant women in the workplace as one of its top priorities.

Red Robin tip pool case to move forward in court

07/24/2015
Two former servers at Red Robin Res­­­­taurants in Wilkes-Barre and Dick­­son City, Pennsylvania, can proceed with their Fair Labor Standards Act class action against franchisee, Lehigh Valley Res­­tau­­rant Group, Inc. The suit alleges Lehigh’s tip pooling scheme violates the FLSA because it includes workers who only have a de minimus interaction with customers.
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