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Managing the Modern Workplace
V&E International Labor & Employment Resources

  • 12
  • December
  • 2019

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Obesity & the ADA in Employment Decision-Making

Nobody likes comments about their weight (Heaven help the person who makes one about mine), and most people have learned that weight is a subject best approached with caution. Employers, for their part, would be well-served to exercise some caution as well. Although conversations surrounding obesity may be necessary for employment decisions related to certain positions, including positions often considered “safety-sensitive,” those conversations remain fraught with opportunities for actionable statements.  

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  • 10
  • December
  • 2019

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Unfortunately, A Bit of Ebenezer Is Needed When Giving Christmas Bonuses

Although they are not as common as they once were, employees in many workplaces still expect a bonus at this time of the year, and many employers, hoping to not disappoint, give their employees something like a fixed-dollar amount or the equivalent of one week’s base pay to celebrate the holiday season. While tradition can be a good thing, when it comes to bonuses (holiday or otherwise), employers often fail to consider the effect that regular bonuses may have on a non-exempt employee’s compensation if the employee has worked any overtime during the year.

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When Poorly Performing Employees Suddenly Get Sick

You finally sit down with an employee who has performed poorly for months, and you give him or her both a detailed performance improvement plan spelling out your expectations and a time frame by which they must demonstrate substantial improvement. The very next morning, the previously healthy employee calls in sick and soon thereafter requests medical leave, supported by a doctor’s excuse, to obtain treatment for work-induced stress and depression.

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Why Is This Important?

The heritage of indigenous people in Guatemala, the right of Nigerian women to avoid being the subject of human trafficking, the working conditions of employees in northern Brazil. Besides a general wish for others to be treated fairly, why are these types of matters important to Texas companies and their Texas-based lawyers? Why does the mayor of Houston decide to issue a proclamation that recognizes an event to discuss this very issue? Why are lawyers coming from California and Virginia to address these issues? And why did the State Bar of Texas create a committee for the specific purpose of educating Texas lawyers on these issues? 

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  • 27
  • November
  • 2019

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The Problem with Non-Disparagement Clauses

“If I am going to have to pay her a severance, I want to make sure that she doesn’t go around bad mouthing me or my company,” is not an unusual plea from an employer who is parting ways with a difficult employee. The employment lawyer’s most common response to this concern is to add a non-disparagement clause to the separation agreement. While enforcement of non-disparagement clauses can be tricky, most employment lawyers will tell you that they have never had to enforce one, suggesting that the clauses do serve as effective deterrents on disgruntled former employees’ criticisms of their former employer or boss.

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  • 21
  • November
  • 2019

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It’s Time For Federal Contractors To Review Their Disability Affirmative Action Programs

Earlier this year, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) announced that it will be placing an increased emphasis on disability inclusion in the workplace. In order to accomplish that goal, the agency said it will be conducting “focused reviews” of compliance with Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, which requires federal contractors to take affirmative action to recruit, hire, promote, and retain individuals with disabilities.

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Contributors

Thomas H. Wilson

Thomas H. Wilson Partner

Christopher V. Bacon

Christopher V. Bacon Counsel

Sean Becker

Sean Becker Partner

Stephen M. Jacobson

Stephen M. Jacobson Partner

Martin C. Luff

Martin Luff Counsel

Lawrence S. Elbaum Partner