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Employment Law

Always respond to harassment charges, including same-sex incidents

Here’s a warning to employers that ignore sexual harassment complaints from men who claim another man harassed them.

Disabled or not, you’re justified to call regular attendance an essential job function

Disabled employees are entitled to reasonable accommodations for their disabilities if those accommodations allow them to perform the essential functions of their jobs. But smart employers make it clear that, generally speaking, regular attendance is both expected and essential to the job.

Solid reasons for termination? Fire away!

If you have compelling reasons to terminate someone and have carefully documented them, there’s really no reason to fear pulling the firing trigger. Just be sure to treat all similarly situated employees the same way.

No racial slurs, no matter who utters them

The use of racial slurs in the workplace continues to create problems for employers. That’s especially true for epithets aimed at black Americans.

Court ruling places new restrictions on noncompete agreements

Texas courts frequently enforce geographic and other restrictions on a former employee’s ability to compete with his or her prior employer. A recent decision highlights the requirement that any such restrictions, including geographic restrictions, must be reasonable to be enforceable.

Religious liberty bill clears Senate, raises LGBT fears

A so-called religious liberty bill that would give licensed professionals cover to discriminate against gay patrons if they are acting on their “sincerely held religious beliefs” is one step closer to becoming law.

Accommodate bathroom breaks related to disability

Some medical conditions that may be ADA disabilities require disabled workers to visit the bathroom more frequently and for longer than other workers. Warn supervisors to accommodate those problems after engaging in the interactive accommodation process.

Belated claim of ethnicity dooms discrimination case

A police officer who claimed he had been fired because of his supposed Hispanic heritage has lost his case because he didn’t mention the alleged harassment earlier.

Counter employee perception of unfairness by offering the facts of what really happened

Some employees are suspicious that their co-workers might be getting workplace advantages that they’re missing out on. Fortunately, courts require feelings to be backed up by cold, hard facts showing discrimination.

Protect against future lawsuits by documenting details of every complaint

Employees who complain about alleged discriminatory practices to their supervisors, HR or anyone else inside the organization in a position of authority are protected from retaliation for doing so. But they have to later show that they actually did at least mention discrimination.