Texas News & Analysis

  • FMLA-qualifying? Dad with dementia needs daughter's help

    Q An employee who is eligible for Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave has asked to use it to spend time with her father, who is in a nursing home but having difficulty settling in. He has dementia and will listen only to family members. Is this a qualifying event? She wouldn't be the primary caregiver.

  • Immigration policy tips: Don't ask, don't probe unless . . .

    The year is 2019, but I want to take you back to the 1990s for just a moment. Do you remember where you were in December 1993? President Bill Clinton had just signed an order directing military personnel not to ask about or initiate investigations of servicemembers' sexual orientation without having witnessed the disallowed behavior. The directive also instructed service members and recruits not to disclose their sexual orientation. The policy ― Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) ― was the law of the land until 2011, when it became legal to be gay and serve in the military.

  • Agency Action

    NLRB reveals rulemaking plans. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in May announced its rulemaking priorities, which include proceeding with its rulemaking on a standard for joint employment. The Board's agenda also includes plans for rulemaking in the following areas: representation-case procedures; standards for blocking charges, voluntary recognition, and the formation of bargaining relationships in the construction industry; the standard for determining whether students who perform services at private colleges or universities in connection with their studies should be considered employees; and standards for access to an employer's private property.

  • Workplace Trends

    Think you've made a hire? Maybe not. A survey from staffing firm Robert Half shows that more than a quarter of workers (28%) have backed out of a job offer after accepting the position. Why would a jobseeker do that? The survey says 44% of those changing their minds backed out after receiving a better offer from another company. For 27%, a counteroffer from their current employer led to the change of heart. In 19% of the cases, the jobseeker reported hearing bad things about the company after receiving the offer. The cities where jobseekers are more likely to renege are San Diego, San Francisco, Chicago, Houston, Austin, and Miami.

  • Workplace Trends

    Research finds lack of mentorship and coaching. New data from media agency network Mindshare U.S. found that 42% of U.S. employees said their companies either don't offer mentorship programs or don't offer enough of them. Men were more likely than women to say they either got enough or more than enough mentorship programs at work, at 57% versus 42%. The research also found that 66% of U.S. employees rank ongoing feedback or coaching on their work as an important or very important benefit in the workplace. Yet 28% of people surveyed said that they either don't get enough ongoing coaching or feedback or that their companies don't even offer it. The data showed that women were more likely than men to feel that way, at 31% versus 25%.

  • DOL says FMLA leave mandatory for employees and employers

    After more than 25 years, you might think questions regarding proper interpretation of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) would be settled. It's a highly regulated law, and it provides employers far more detail and clarity than they get with most other labor and employment laws.

  • Agency Action

    NLRB chair claims joint-employment comment review not outsourced. Responding to concerns from congressional Democrats, National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Chair John F. Ring says his agency is not outsourcing the review of public comments on the joint-employer standard. In March, Ring wrote a letter to Bobby Scott, chair of the House Committee on Education and Labor, and Frederica S. Wilson, chair of the House Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor & Pensions, saying the Board has not outsourced the substantive review of comments on its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on what constitutes joint employment. Instead, he said the NLRB decided "to engage temporary support on a limited, short-term basis to perform the initial sorting and coding of the public comments." He said the process ensures confidentiality protections are in place, and the Board's professionals will perform the first substantive review of the comments.

  • Workplace Trends

    NFIB speaks out against predictive scheduling laws. The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) issued a statement in March in opposition to state and local laws requiring employers to provide hourly workers their work schedules weeks in advance. The organization said such laws aren't always possible or realistic for small businesses. "It severely limits owners' control over their scheduling decisions and urgent business needs," the statement said. The organization pointed to laws in Oregon, Seattle, and San Francisco and said the unpredictability of staff needs in certain industries like construction and hospitality raises concerns. "The laws not only prevent employers from adjusting to market changes, bad weather, or other demands outside their control, but they also prevent employees from picking up additional work hours at a moment's notice or requesting unanticipated time off," the statement said.

  • Union Activity

    AFL-CIO calls proposed overtime rule a setback for working people. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka spoke out in March against the Trump administration's proposed rule to set a new salary threshold for employees eligible for overtime pay. The administration's proposed rule would require that employees make at least $35,308 a year to be exempt from overtime eligibility under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Exempt workers also must perform work that is executive, administrative, or professional in nature. The Obama administration had proposed a rule setting the threshold at $47,476 a year, but the proposal was struck down by a federal judge. "Lowering the threshold ignores the economic hardships faced by millions of working families," Trumka said. "This disappointing announcement is part of a growing list of policies from the Trump administration aimed at undermining the economic stability of America's working people."

  • Know the legal issues you face when employees work past 65

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), about one-third of Americans between the ages of 65 and 69 are still employed. That number has been steadily rising, and it's expected to reach 36 percent over the next five years.