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Ask the Expert: How Can Employers Hold Employees Liable for Property Damage?

Question: We provide laptop computers to all our personnel. Many employees damage them during employment or return them with damage upon leaving employment. What are our options for recouping from employees the costs of repairing or replacing the damaged employer-owned materials? Answer: Basically, the company’s two main options for recuperating losses for damage to company […]
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FTC Says Noncompetes Are Over, Mostly, and Now Courts Will Decide

The general rule on noncompete clauses in many states has been unchanged for some time. Unless there’s a public policy reason to declare them void, noncompetes are generally enforceable as long as they are reasonable in time and scope and narrowly tailored to protect the employer’s legitimate business interest without imposing an undue hardship on […]
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Millions More U.S. Workers Eligible for Overtime Under Final DOL Rule

Over the past seven years, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has attempted to increase the number of exempt employees who are eligible for overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). On April 23, 2024, the DOL announced a final rule regarding the salary threshold required to exempt a salaried executive, administrative, or professional […]
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Classify Part-Time & Full-Time Employment to Determine Benefits

Many employers offer benefits to their full-time employees that they don’t offer their part-time employees. But when employees work part-time some weeks and full-time other weeks, determining their status for benefits purposes can be tricky. Fortunately, we have some helpful advice. Define Your Terms Determining whether a variable-hour employee qualifies for benefits depends on how […]
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Make Your Company a Hard Target for Job Scams

Your company’s talent is its lifeblood. Job postings for qualified individuals and other recruitment activities are vital to its operations. What happens, then, when scammers conduct phishing schemes to trick individuals into applying for nonexistent jobs you didn’t post with the objective of stealing their personally identifiable information (PII)? Gone Phishing In the age of […]
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Taking Adverse Employment Actions Based on Background Checks

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) was enacted to promote accuracy, fairness, and privacy of consumer information contained in the files of consumer reporting agencies (CRA). Employment background checks are a form of consumer report, so employers that conduct background checks on job applicants or employees must follow the procedures outlined in the FCRA. Failure […]
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Work Should Be a ‘No Politics’ Zone

Institutions around the country are in turmoil, subject to loud clamoring about events in the Middle East. Many members of their communities are making claims of anti-Semitism, while there are counterclaims of Islamophobia. Public universities and institutions may have no way to avoid those disruptions, but fortunately private employers need not be pulled into that […]
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Ask the Expert: Is PTO Appropriate When the ADA Doesn’t Require a Paid Leave of Absence?

Question: We have an employee whose essential functions require the use of their hands. They have requested an accommodation, and their physician has recommended a few weeks of time off until specific medical restrictions can be determined. What is our obligation to pay this employee during this doctor-recommended leave of absence? Answer: The leave of absence […]
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Texas Supreme Court Gives Drafting Lesson on Employee Write-Ups

A recent decision by the Texas Supreme Court provides a valuable lesson for employers on how to draft employee discipline. Let’s start by examining law theory and then move on to look at how to put theory into practice. Legal Theory An important concept in Texas employment law is causation in a retaliation claim. For […]
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Ask the Expert: Clear, Consistent Paid-Time-Off Policies Are Vital

Question: An employee worked his entire 40 hours by Wednesday and has requested paid time off (PTO) for Thursday and Friday, bringing the week’s total hours worked to 56. Are we required to pay him for the additional requested time, considering he had already worked his 40 hours and our handbook says PTO is to […]
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Healthcare Industry Diagnoses Impact of FTC’s Noncompete Rule

Last year, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a proposed rule to ban most noncompete agreements nationwide, with very limited exceptions. The sweeping rule forbids any contractual term between an employer and a worker that prevents the worker from accepting employment with a competitor or operating a competitive business after the conclusion of the worker’s […]
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Case Study: What to (Remotely) Expect When Your Employee Is Expecting

The COVID-19 pandemic opened the floodgates for requests to work remotely as a disability or pregnancy accommodation under state and federal law. Many employers have been unsure how to handle such requests, and there hasn’t been much guidance from the courts on the topic. But that’s changing. Here’s what one Illinois appellate court has to […]
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Utah Bans Nondisclosure Agreements for Sexual Harassment and Misconduct

Harvey Weinstein, originally known for being a cofounder of Miramax, has infamously become synonymous with sexual misconduct. Over the course of at least 20 years, he sexually assaulted and harassed multiple women, successfully concealing his actions by using nondisclosure agreements. It wasn’t until one brave woman spoke up that an end was put to his […]
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Number of Employer Union Election Requests Sees Huge Increase

The number of employer requests for union elections has exploded since the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) adopted a new framework for representation last summer. In the six months following the NLRB’s release of its decision in Cemex Construction Materials Pacific, LLC, in August 2023, employers have submitted 254 union election petitions. In the six […]
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The Impact of Banning Gender-Affirming Care on Employees

Gender-affirming care allows individuals to align their outward, physical traits with their inner gender identity. This care can include a range of social, psychological, behavioral, and medical treatments to help individuals develop harmony between their mental, social, emotional, and physical states. This type of care is recognized as medically necessary by major medical organizations, including […]
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Key Takeaways from NLRB Decision Related to Displaying Black Lives Matter Symbol on Work Uniforms

On February 21, 2024, in a decision that provoked strong dissent, the National Labor Relations Board (the “Board”) ruled in Home Depot USA, Inc. and Antonio Morales Jr. that Home Depot violated the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) by prohibiting an employee from wearing a “BLM” (Black Lives Matter) marking on his work apron and […]
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