What Employers Need to Know about Hair Discrimination

Most employers maintain dress codes and grooming policies. And most of these policies dictate that employees must wear “professional” or “business-appropriate” hairstyles. Some go a step further, prohibiting “extreme” or “distracting” coiffures. Such policies, so long as enforced in an even-handed way, have not traditionally been viewed as presenting significant legal risk. But over the …read more »

Four Government-Drafted Resources for Employers You Might Have Missed

It’s hard to imagine a better defense an employer could have than “the government said I should do it this way.” But even though government agencies take months or years to create guidance for employers, too often that guidance never gets used (or even heard about). Below are four government-created resources with guidance for employers …read more »

Another Texas City Passes a Paid Sick Leave Law — Will Other Employee Protections Be Next?

On April 24, 2019, Dallas joined Austin and San Antonio in passing a paid sick leave law.  See our previous posts about the Austin and San Antonio laws here and here.   Under the Dallas law, the amount of paid sick leave varies according to the size of the employer.  There are rules regarding the ordinance’s …read more »

Pay Disparities and Form EEO-1: What to Report for 2018?

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (“EEOC”) Employer Information Report EEO-1 (“EEO-1”) has long been a governmental tool to gather data from large employers (100+ employees) on employees’ gender, race/ethnicity, and job category.  In 2016, the EEOC issued a proposed rule that expands the scope of EEO-1 to include W-2 wage information and total hours worked …read more »

Workplace Rumors that a Female Employee “Slept With” a Male Supervisor to Obtain a Promotion Can Lead to a Sex Discrimination Claim

Can a false rumor that a female employee slept with her male boss to obtain a promotion ever give rise to her employer’s liability for sex discrimination? The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit answered this question in the affirmative. In Parker v. Reema Consulting Services, Inc., No. 18-1206 (4th Cir. Feb. 8, …read more »

Can an Employee Decline FMLA Leave? The DOL Says “No”

I periodically get asked whether an employer is required to designate FMLA-qualifying leave, especially when an employee asks to use paid sick leave or PTO in lieu of FMLA. This often happens when an employee is absent for only a couple of days, albeit a couple of FMLA-qualifying days, and going through the whole FMLA …read more »

New Congress and Legislature, New Proposed Employment Laws

It’s still early, but members of Congress and the Texas legislature have proposed a few laws that have a better chance of passing than others. Here I discuss four proposed laws, one federal and three from Texas. They have gotten attention, and have a reasonable chance of being passed, because the federal one was introduced …read more »

The Return of Entrepreneurial Opportunity as a Hallmark of Independent Contractors

Recently the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) reversed a 2014 NLRB decision that has major implications for distinguishing between independent contractors and employees for National Labor Relations Act purposes.  This question impacts whether particular workers are entitled to the protections of the Act, such as the right to unionize and to engage in other types …read more »

Five Tips for More Effective Offer Letters

Most seasoned HR professionals and employment lawyers give little thought to offer letters. This isn’t because they’re not important; it’s because the organizations with which we work have developed forms designed to standardize the recruitment process and to minimize the administrative burden associated with onboarding a new hire. While these are worthy objectives, it’s key …read more »

The Use of Third-Party Background Checks – New Forms And Old Traps

The use of third-party background check companies to conduct background checks as part of the hiring process continues to be popular with many private employers. The procurement and use of background checks, however, is fraught with new changes and old traps for the unwary. Below are five things every employer who uses third party background …read more »