Houston Equal Rights Ordinance to take effect

by Michael P. Maslanka

Houston employers need to be ready for the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), which will take effect June 27. The new law adds to the protected classes already covered under federal and state law. Here’s a look at the major aspects of the law.

Covered employers. During the first year, companies with 50 or more employees will be covered. On the first anniversary of the ordinance’s effective date, that number drops to 25. On the second anniversary, it drops to 15.

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Court sets bar high for employer retaliation claims

June 24, 2013 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court made its second pro-employer decision of the day in a case involving the standard of proof an employee must meet in retaliation claims.

In University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar, the question was whether an employee must prove that the only reason his employer retaliated against him was because he engaged in protected activity (e.g., reporting harassment or filing a discrimination charge) or if he must prove that the protected activity was simply a “contributing factor” in the retaliation decision.

The Court held that the “but-for” standard of proof applies to retaliation claims, limiting employers’ exposure to liability. The Court issued its first pro-employer case of today in Vance v. Ball State University, which addressed the definition of “supervisor.”

Texas joins majority of country by passing Uniform Trade Secrets Act

by Mike Maslanka

On May 2, Governor Rick Perry signed the newly enacted Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act, which takes effect September 1. Texas is the 48th state to pass the law, proving that while Texas may not always be first, it is never last!

The law, put simply, is a big deal. It wipes away, with a stroke of the governor’s signature, all existing case law regarding misappropriation of trade secrets. So what will be a trade secret under the new law? “Information, including a formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique, process, financial data, or list of potential customers or suppliers.”

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December 30 Deadline Looms in Vote for Top ‘Blawg’

December 20, 2011 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

Time is running out to cast your votes in the ABA Journal’s fifth Annual Blawg 100 contest to choose the most popular law blogs. To vote for your favorites, go to abajournal.com/blawg100 by December 30.

The blogs are divided into 12 categories, and voters are allowed 12 votes. But you are allowed to vote more than once in each category.

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Categories: Arizona / Commentary / Delaware / Texas

Four ECN Blogs Make LexisNexis Top 25 Listing

September 15, 2011 - by: HR Hero Alerts 0 COMMENTS

Employers Counsel Network LogoFour employment law blogs published by law firms that are part of the Employers Counsel Network (ECN) have been named to the LexisNexis Top 25 Labor and Employment Law Blogs of 2011.

Those making the list are: read more…

Texas ‘Guns at Work’ Law Goes into Effect September 1

August 31, 2011 - by: HR Hero Alerts 1 COMMENTS

The new Texas state law that allows employees to bring guns to work, so long as they are secured in a locked vehicle, goes into effect September 1.

Senate Bill 321 was passed in the state legislature in May and was signed by Governor Rick Perry on June 17. The law allows employees who are licensed to carry a concealed handgun or otherwise are lawfully allowed to possess a firearm to have the weapon secured in a locked vehicle in an employer’s parking lot, garage, or other parking area provided for employees.

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Categories: Texas

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