Four Things Every Employer Needs to Know about Texas’s Anti-SLAPP Law

In 2011, Texas Governor Rick Perry signed into law the Texas Citizens Participation Act (the “TCPA”). The TCPA is Texas’s version of a category of laws, now on the books in many states across the country, intended to curb “strategic lawsuits against public participation” (so-called “Anti-SLAPP statutes”)—in other words, lawsuits that weaponize litigation to chill […]
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FMLA vs. FLSA: The DOL Weighs in on Whether Employers Need to Compensate FMLA-Protected Rest Breaks

After a nine year hiatus, the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor (“DOL”) recently resumed its longstanding practice of issuing opinion letters to help employers in interpreting laws like the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) and the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). In an April 12, 2018 press release issued by […]
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Being on Leave Makes Current Employees Unemployed: Texas Supreme Court’s Counterintuitive Unemployment Act Decision

Usually disputes over unemployment focus on whether a former employee was fired for work-connected misconduct or quit for a good enough work-connected reason. But when exactly is a person unemployed, so that he or she can file for unemployment in the first place? The Texas Supreme Court’s answer: an individual “qualifies as unemployed so long […]
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Recent Case Shows Risks When Employers Fail to Sign Their Own Signature Blocks

Employment agreements—such as employment contracts, confidentiality agreements, restrictive covenant agreements, arbitration agreements, and others—often contain signature blocks for both the employee and employer.  Even when employers procure the employee’s signature, in many cases the employer signature block is left blank.  Does this pose a problem when the employer attempts to enforce the agreement? A recent […]
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Employee Handbooks: Some Welcome Guidance from the NLRB On What Your Handbook Should (and Should Not!) Say

On June 6, 2018, the General Counsel’s Office of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) issued its “Guidance on Handbook Rules Post-Boeing” (“Guidance”).  The Guidance follows up and clarifies the recent Board decision in The Boeing Company, 365 NLRB No. 154 (Dec. 14, 2017) and may be accessed here. Refresher on the Boeing decision: The […]
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“But We Can’t Do That” — Documenting Undue Hardship Can Help Protect Employers Against ADA Claims

When a disabled employee requests an ADA accommodation, employers should have an interactive discussion to determine what accommodations might work. And a big part of that discussion is asking the employee to suggest possible accommodations. But if an employee suggests an accommodation that would cause the employer an “undue hardship,” the employer can reject that […]
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An EPIC Day for Employers Utilizing Arbitration Agreements

The United States Supreme Court recently issued a decision in Epic Systems Corporation v. Lewis, – S. Ct. –, 2018 WL 2292444 (2018) resolving a circuit split in favor of upholding employers’ ability to enforce arbitration agreements with employees requiring individualized proceedings. In each of the underlying consolidated cases below, employees sought to litigate Fair […]
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A Non-Compete Lawyer’s Case for Conducting Exit Interviews (and Five Must-Ask Questions)

Over the past several months, I conducted an informal, and utterly unscientific, poll about exit interviews. Questionable survey methodology aside, my conversations on this topic confirmed my suspicion: Exit interviews have few fans. There are many reasons for this, but chief among them seems to be doubt on the part of both employers and departing […]
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Is It Time to Review the Nondisclosure and Confidentiality Provisions in Your Agreements?

Employers typically resolve employment disputes with a release of all claims and a confidentiality clause that obligates the employee to keep the terms of the agreement – and sometimes the underlying allegations – confidential.  Standard severance agreements also routinely contain confidentiality clauses. Until recently, the primary risk associated with such provisions has been the possibility […]
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A First in Texas: Austin Enacts Paid Sick Leave Ordinance

Austin recently became the latest city in the United States, and the first in Texas, to join the paid sick leave trend spreading across the country.  On February 16, 2018, Austin adopted a paid sick leave ordinance that requires private employers of any size operating in Austin (regardless of where the company is based) to […]
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