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Houston Employment Law Blog

Tips for protecting sensitive business data

Every business has something that sets it apart from the competition, whether it's their strategy for attracting customers or the design of their products. Keeping this information away from competitors and the public can be critical in preserving that competitive edge.

Employers will typically need to share this information with key employees in the company. These parties are typically valuable, trusted team members. However, things can change. Those employees may decide to leave the company or become disgruntled in the event of a dispute. This is why it is often wise to have employees with knowledge of confidential information sign a non-disclosure agreement.

Preventing holiday harassment in the workplace

The holidays are here. While this should be a festive and enjoyable time, there are some issues that can arise for employers during the holidays. These issues could be as minor as workers getting distracted by online shopping, or they could become quite serious. 

For instance, there could be an increased risk for workplace harassment during the holidays. As such, it is crucial for employers to prepare accordingly.

Why small businesses should consider non-compete agreements

According to NPR News, around 1 in 5 American workers are bound by a non-compete agreement. While you might assume non-competes agreements are only for larger companies, small businesses are finding the value in them as well.

A non-compete agreement is a contract between an employer and employee that prohibits an employee from working at a competing business after leaving an old employer. Generally, larger companies use non-competes when employees have direct access to sensitive information or practices that they do not want shared with a competitor. However, non-competes are proving even more useful to small businesses to protect them from unfair competition.

State departments under fire for harassment handlings

With how closely the Texas state agencies work with the law, you would think that they would be especially careful with how they treat their employees given the impact their work has on the state. Unfortunately, recent reports might hint that even the organizations who shape our construction and law enforcement can be potentially guilty of harassment.

In the last year, local channel KXAN has launched multiple investigations into the state’s highly-esteemed departments and found conflict within the organization regarding incidents of harassment and discrimination. They recently published two articles highlighting their findings to show the public how the workers feel their employers treat them and the department’s response to the allegation and how they will proceed.

3 examples of pregnancy discrimination to avoid

As an employer, you may make every effort to treat your employees well and ensure you comply with state and federal laws that protect their rights. However, these are complex areas of law, and not everyone sees the same situation from the same perspective. 

This is true when it comes to pregnancy discrimination. Intentionally or not, employers may make decisions or allow others to make decisions that unfairly affect pregnant workers. These events might seem insignificant, unavoidable or justified, but they can lead to a discrimination lawsuit. Below are a few examples of these types of situations.

Understanding retaliation claims in Texas

Hiring, firing and other employment decisions are not determinations that employers make lightly. These decisions have financial and legal ramifications that can deeply impact a business. 

This can be especially true when an employee disagrees with an employment decision, claiming the decision was retaliatory. Under these circumstances, an employee could file a lawsuit seeking damages.

4 mistakes employers should avoid when it comes to overtime

There are many demanding occupations that require workers to put in more than 40 hours of time in a given week. When this happens, it is crucial for employers to know if they should be paying overtime to their workers, and how much to pay them. 

Unfortunately, employers can make mistakes. And whether missteps are intentional or accidental, they can trigger a lawsuit which can be quite costly for a company. As such, it is important to avoid overtime mistakes, including the four common types we explain below.

FMLA and your attendance policy

When an employee is not at work, there can be project delays and other workers often need to step in to cover for that person. Intermittent absences typically cause little or no disruption in the workplace. However, when an employee is excessively absent, actions like termination may be appropriate.

Before you take such actions against an employee, though, you will want to be certain that the excessive absences do not include certain types of leave.

Managers may be over-correcting after #MeToo

The #MeToo movement of 2017 broke considerable ground for sexual harassment awareness. Putting a human face to the victims and their stories proved to be extremely effective. Many individuals were shocked to see just how pervasive sexual harassment and similar crimes were nationally and among people that they know.

It has been roughly a year since the #MeToo campaign began and the effects are beginning to be felt. Insurance Journal recently reported on the findings of a survey from the Society For Human Resource Management and pointed out how the effects are taking hold

Study finds workplace harassment may have lasting health effects

In recent months and years, countless stories have emerged that paint a troubling picture of the extent to which people -- often women -- experience harassment in the workplace. In response, many employers have been revising their sexual harassment policies and ramping up their efforts to respond appropriately to complaints.

A recent study could give employers and employees alike even more incentive to address sexual harassment in the workplace and put a stop to it. According to the study, sexual harassment can leave women with lasting health problems.

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