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Category Archives: Quick Questions

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Losing My Religion: Do I Want to Know My Employee’s Religious Beliefs?

Posted in Quick Questions

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently updated employees’ guide to southern manners. Don’t worry, employees should still say “yes ma’am” and “no ma’am.” But you know the old saying that you should never discuss politics or religion at work? Well employees better forget that saying ever existed. Not only should employees discuss their religion… Continue Reading

DOMA Stricken Down: What does this Mean for Texas Employers?

Posted in Quick Questions

On June 26, 2013, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision in the case of Windsor v. United States holding the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) unconstitutional.  This decision will have implications for employee benefit plans and, specifically, benefit plans governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”).  The extent… Continue Reading

What Can Be Done About a Workplace Bully?

Posted in Quick Questions

With bullying in the news of late, I was recently asked how employers should deal with a star employee that bullies or berates co-workers. Each August my wife begins a new school year with 22 bright shiny faces that all come from different home environments.  Some are very polite.  Some are sneaky.  Some are bullies. … Continue Reading

Should I Give References After Separation?

Posted in Quick Questions

Periodically, an employer will ask about giving references for an employee.  Some feel compelled to provide at least a neutral review, others feel that they have to protect the world from making the same bad decision they did.  Still others think it is the “law” to provide the dates of employment and whether the person… Continue Reading

Are “Working Interviews” Legal?

Posted in Quick Questions

One of my dental practice clients called this week to inquire about an idea he heard of recently called a “working interview.”  The idea is to have an hygienist come in for a couple of days to find out whether they are good at their job without officially hiring them.   What is better, my client… Continue Reading

Transgender a “Protected Class?”

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“Mia” Macy applied for a job with the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and interviewed as a male candidate.  A former police detective from Phoenix relocating to San Francisco, Macy was repeatedly told by persons she interviewed with that she would be given the job she applied for.  Some time after interviewing, but before being… Continue Reading

Internships – To Pay or Not to Pay?

Posted in Quick Questions

With unemployment for people 20 – 24 hovering around 13.2%, college students are flocking to unpaid internships to gain some experience, stay busy, and better position themselves for jobs afterward.  As recently reported by Josh Sanburn at Time MoneyLand and Steven Greenhouse in the NYT, however, these unpaid internships have serious legal problems. Businesses are… Continue Reading

Can You Carry a Gun into Work?

Posted in Quick Questions

A couple of weeks ago, Workforce.com posted a story on  Texas’ new concealed carry law.  The article touches on a topic I’ve been wanting to discuss for a while which is concealed weapons in the workplace. I am licensed to carry a concealed weapon in Texas.  I don’t carry into my workplace, but I could.  I… Continue Reading

Job Descriptions – Who Needs Them?

Posted in Quick Questions

Compensation Cafe offered up a “Beginner’s Guide to Job Descriptions” a few days ago.  Aimed at department managers, the post does a fair job of discussing the mechanics of writing a job description.  At the end though, the post defers to the HR department to add in any finishing touches.  So what happens if you… Continue Reading

Are Salaries Secret?

Posted in Quick Questions

The Evil HR Lady dropped a post recently about an employee who was upset because she just discovered a co-worker was earning more than her with less experience.  Lucas explained in “Dear Abby” fashion why the employee ought to let it go:  The economy is bad.  Lots of people want your job.  Suck it up.  It’s… Continue Reading

How Should Employers Deal with Robberies?

Posted in Quick Questions

Danny Gallagher reported in the McKinney Courier-Gazette a couple of days ago that a McDonalds Restaurant was robbed at gunpoint.  Surveillance photos released by the police show the assailant physically accosting the manager.  Go figure – it got me thinking about how a robbery affects a business from the employment law standpoint. So, should there be a policy in the old employee… Continue Reading

Breastfeeding Mothers Need Breaks

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Breastfeeding is very common in today’s society, having increased by 10% over the last 15 years. Giving working – nursing – mothers a break was one of the immediate effects of Obamacare when it passed last year. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act was modified to require employers to offer breaks to nursing mothers for… Continue Reading

Are Employee Breaks Required?

Posted in Quick Questions

I get a call at least once a month from a panicked client who just heard a rumor that they have to give breaks to employees every day. Unfortunately, there is no snopes.com for employment myths, so this almost total fallacy gets perpetuated over and over. In the vast majority of circumstances the answer is:… Continue Reading