M2D Partners Featured in Texas Lawyer on What Employers Should Know about Efforts to Limit Mandatory Employment Arbitration

Texas Lawyer magazine has published an article by M2D partners Mike Muskat and Corey Devine detailing what employers should know about mandatory employment arbitration. The article, “Texas Employers Should Beware of Efforts to Limit Mandatory Employment Arbitration” (subscription required), provides practical perspective on the growing patchwork of federal and state laws regarding the permissibility and enforceability …read more »

Efforts to Outlaw Race-Based Hair Discrimination Gain Traction: What Employers Need to Know about the CROWN Act

In 2010, Catastrophe Management Solutions hired Chastity Jones. Jones, a black woman, was fired after she refused to cut her dreadlocks to comply with CMS’s employee grooming standards. The EEOC sued, arguing that Jones’s dismissal amounted to race discrimination. But the courts disagreed, finding Jones’s dreadlocks were not a fixed (i.e., immutable) trait constituting “race” …read more »

Employers Should Review the EEOC’s New Guidance on COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates and Requests for Religious Accommodations

Most HR professionals are aware that Title VII prohibits religious discrimination. And many know that employers covered by Title VII are required to affirmatively accommodate sincerely held religious beliefs or practices so long as doing so does not impose an undue hardship. Even so, until recently, most employers had little experience evaluating requests for religious …read more »

Five Reminders for Employers (Re)Considering COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve spent substantial time discussing workplace vaccine mandates with employers. Even before vaccines were available, employers were interested in mandates as a tool to ensure safe working conditions. But even as recently as a month ago, many employers outside of healthcare settings continued to feel uncomfortable about the …read more »

Four Things Employers Should Know About Workplace Masking and Social Distancing Rules and Employees Fully Vaccinated for COVID-19

On May 13, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that persons fully vaccinated against COVID-19 could resume activities that they did prior to the pandemic without masking or social distancing. I was in the car, headed back to the office after lunch, when I heard the news, which I found simultaneously exciting …read more »

Five Phrases that Portend Wage-and-Hour Woes

We spend a lot of time litigating wage-and-hour cases. But we do a lot of counseling on the subject, too. And over the years, through thousands of hours of discussing with clients compliance with wage-and-hour laws like the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), we’ve identified a handful of red-flag phrases that often are associated with …read more »

What Does the Fifth Circuit’s Newly Announced, More Stringent Standard for Certification of FLSA Collective Actions Mean for Employers?

Earlier this month, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision likely to significantly change the way FLSA collective actions are litigated in Texas, Mississippi, and Louisiana. In Swales v. KLLM Transport Services, the Court tossed the exceedingly permissive and merits-blind standard for so-called “conditional” certification and substituted in its place a rigorous, single-step …read more »

Could Your Diversity & Inclusion Training Programs Land You in Hot Water?–Five Things Employers Need to Know About Executive Order 13950

On September 22, 2020, President Trump issued Executive Order 13950, Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping. The Order is remarkable not because it imposes on federal contractors obligations with respect to diversity (this is nothing new), but because of the nature of the obligations it imposes—to refrain from conducting diversity and inclusion training on certain “divisive …read more »

Five Reminders for Employers Preparing for Severe Weather in the Midst of a Global Pandemic

Who could have predicted, as recently as January, that our year would bring us not only an unprecedented global health pandemic but also a busy hurricane season? Yet, here we are, in August 2020, doing our best to stop the spread of COVID-19 while, at least in Houston and the surrounding areas, preparing for Hurricane …read more »