05/01/2013 - Pre-Hire Issues: A First Date From the Perspective of an Employer
When seeking to hire qualified employees, employers must avoid numerous legal complications that pervade the hiring landscape.
03/08/2012 - The Houston Lawyer Guest Article: What Texas Employers Need to Know About Mexican Labor and Employment Law
Before entering an unknown business market, employers must be apprised of the labor and employment laws governing the employer-employee relationship in that jurisdiction.
07/28/2011 - There Is Hope After All: Fifth Circuit Holds that Employers May Still Prevail on FLSA Retaliation Claims
A June ruling by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has provided a bit of a relief for employers who face Fair Labor Standards Act retaliation claims from employees. The Supreme Court's ruling in Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp.,
131 S.Ct. 1325, 1329, 179 L. Ed. 2d 379 (2011) represented a significant victory for employees, but now all is not lost for employers.
03/09/2011 - Employers’ Cat’s Paw Liability: Watch Out for the Monkey Business of Supervisors
In a case decided last week, Staub v. Proctor Hospital,
a unanimous United States Supreme Court finally addressed the application of the “cat’s paw” theory of liability to employment discrimination claims, holding that an employer can be liable for an employment action motivated by a non-decision maker’s discriminatory animus.
02/22/2011 - OSHA 2010 and 2011: A Review of OSHA’s Expanded Enforcement Initiatives in 2010 and the Outlook for 2011
The business community has been placed on notice. OSHA has been actively pursuing its regulatory agenda, while also arming its arsenal to enforce compliance.
01/14/2011 - Haynes and Boone: Continuing to Set Pro-Employer Precedent in Sexual Harassment Law
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission received more than 12,000 charges in 2009 from employees claiming sexual harassment—a 6 percent increase from three years ago. Although harassment claims are on the rise, Haynes and Boone continues to secure significant sexual harassment victories for its clients, and employers overall.
10/15/2010 - Veterans’ Benefits Act of 2010 - Expanding Employee Protection Under USERRA
Before heading into the pre-election recess, the Senate passed the Veterans’ Benefits Act of 2010 on September 28, 2010. See H.R. 3219, 111th Cong. (2d Sess. 2010). The Act, which passed in the House over one year ago, is a compromise measure between the House and the Senate and encompasses several veterans’ benefits bills. Of notable importance to employers is the Act’s expansion of employee protection under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (“USERRA”).
07/29/2010 - Litigating Arbitration Agreements: Recent United States Supreme Court Decisions Provide Guidance to Employers Looking to Avoid Court
Despite entering into arbitration agreements with their employees, employers all too often find themselves in court adverse to the very employees who have signed an arbitration agreement. The U.S. Supreme Court recently issued three arbitration decisions that have important implications for employers seeking to avoid the inside of a courtroom.
06/30/2010 - U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Employer Searches and Underscores Importance of Electronic Communications Policies
06/14/2010 - Fowler, Chatterton and McElroy Guest Column in Law360: Health Care Reform 101: For Employers
On March 21, 2010, the House of Representatives passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”), signed into law on March 23, 2010. The health care reform law will make far-reaching changes to the United States health care system over the next several years.
04/22/2010 - Employers Beware: How the Recent Health Care Reform Legislation Affects Employers
On March 21, 2010, the House of Representatives passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”), which President Obama signed into law on March 23, 2010. The health care reform law will make far-reaching changes to the United States health care system over the next several years.
06/19/2009 - U.S. Supreme Court Increases Employee Burden of Proof in Age Bias Cases
In Gross v. FBL Financial Services, Inc.,
decided on June 18, 2009, a deeply divided U.S. Supreme Court imposed a heightened proof burden on employees to establish age discrimination against their employers. In a 5-4 decision, the Court concluded that the literal text of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”) does not allow a worker to prove discrimination by demonstrating that age was one “motivating factor” for the employer's adverse employment action.
05/01/2009 - What’s an Employer to Do? Understanding the Employment Law Implications of Swine Flu
Employers face an array of potential legal issues associated with the influenza A (H1N1) infection, also known as “swine flu.” As of May 1, 2009, 331 cases of swine flu in eleven countries have been reported and 109 of these cases are in the United States. Moreover, the World Health Organization has rated the swine flu as a phase 5 on the influenza pandemic alert level – revealing “a strong signal that a pandemic is imminent and that the time to finalize the organization, communication, and implementation of the planned mitigation measures is short.” Health organizations and the government are not the only entities that need to prepare plans. Employers also need to determine how they will deal with the problems associated with a potential influenza outbreak.
04/22/2009 - Texas Supreme Court Provides Greater Protection to Employers Seeking to Enforce Non-Compete Covenants
Building on its 2006 decision in Alex Sheshunoff Management Services, L.P. v. Johnson,
209 S.W.3d 644 (Tex. 2006), the Texas Supreme Court has further expanded the enforceability of non-compete covenants in the at-will employment setting. In Mann Frankfort Stein & Lipp Advisors, Inc. v. Fielding,
No. 07-0490 (Tex. April 17, 2009), a decision with significant practical implications for Texas employers, the court held that an employer’s implied promise to provide confidential information to an at-will employee may give rise to an enforceable covenant not to compete.
03/31/2009 - FINRA Proposes Rule to Streamline Cases Involving Broker Note Arbitrations
On March 24, 2009, the Financial Regulatory Industry Authority (FINRA) filed a rule proposal with the SEC to adopt Rule 13806 of the Code of Arbitration Procedure for Industry Disputes (“Industry Code”) to establish procedures to expedite the administration of promissory note cases and to also amend Rules 13214 and 13600 of the Industry Code to make conforming changes.
02/16/2009 - U.S. Supreme Court Protects Workers from Retaliation in Workplace Discrimination Investigations
On January 26, 2009, the United States Supreme Court, in Crawford v. Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee,
concluded that Title VII’s anti-retaliation provision protects an employee-witness who “speaks out” about alleged discrimination “not on the employee’s own initiative,” but in answering questions during the employer’s internal investigation.
01/30/2009 - President Obama Signs Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act
On Thursday, January 29, 2009, in a widely anticipated move, President Barack Obama signed his first bill into law, approving the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. This legislation focuses on salary bias in the workplace. Discussed in greater detail below, the Ledbetter bill essentially negates a 2007 United States Supreme Court decision that limited a woman’s ability to sue for pay discrimination long after the first discriminatory paycheck occurred.
01/20/2009 - House Passes Two “Fair Pay” Bills
On January 9, 2009, the United States House of Representatives passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act. The bills now go to the Senate for consideration, and President Obama is expected to sign both into law should they reach his desk.
11/30/2008 - Hot Branding News Fall 2008
This edition includes articles such as "Courts Honor Contractual Choice of Law and Forum Provisions and Reject Public Policy Invalidation: Curves Litigation", "Disability Law Expansion", "Identity Theft Red Flag Rules", and State and Global Updates.
11/21/2008 - The ADA’s Rebirth: Complying with the ADA Amendments of 2008
Based on several new amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the statute has been reborn – it offers vastly expanded coverage to a wide variety of employee physical and mental impairments and will require employers to focus on creating and offering reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities. On January 1, 2009, the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) will become effective and, in large part, it removes an employer’s common defense that the individual’s particular impairment does not constitute a “disability” under the ADA.
02/07/2008 - Recent Amendments to the FMLA – Exigency Leave and Servicemember Family Leave
01/10/2008 - Health Law: 2007 Highlights and Reminders for 2008
09/04/2007 - CMS Final Disclosure Rules on Physician Ownership & Physician Coverage of Hospital
06/25/2007 - Healthcare Legislation Update--Texas Legislature 80th Regular Session
04/27/2007 - Federal and Texas Requirements for Disclosure of Physician Ownership
01/08/2007 - Hot Topics in Health Care for Texas' 80th Legislative Session
01/05/2007 - Texas Regulatory Developments: Hospital Licensing and Pain Management Rules
12/19/2006 - 2007 Other Miscellaneous Policies Client Alert
05/30/2006 - IRS Compliance Check Questionnaire Sent to 600 Tax-Exempt Hospitals
05/05/2006 - Possible NLRA Implications - Part II
04/26/2006 - Possible NLRA Implications - Part I
12/01/2005 - Reminder to Update Your Policies and Procedures for 2006
08/02/2005 - AmeriChoice False Claims Act Settlement and Impact on Future Medicare/Medicaid Managed Care Contract
07/07/2004 - Proposed Regulations for Ambulatory Surgical Centers Licensed by the Texas Dept. of State Health Svc