Blog Archive

Employment Law

ESPN Sports Business Reporter Darren Rovell quoted our own Mike Golden as one of the “half-dozen experts” contacted nationwide on the issue of Jerry Jones’s threat that Dallas Cowboys players who did not stand for the National Anthem would be benched. ESPN shared Mike’s analysis along with the thoughts of professors from law schools across the country.

ESPN’s question:

Whether it would violate any employment laws for the Cowboys to refuse to allow players to play if they did not stand for the National Anthem.

The Answer:

While there was some disagreement, the majority of the experts and Mike came to the same conclusion: the Cowboys would not be violating the law by sitting players who did not stand. Full article>>>

Boulette Golden & Marin L.L.P. Partner Jason Boulette will address the Texas CLE Advanced Employment Law Conference in Dallas January 20th.

Jason’s Presentation:

Jason’s presentation covers employment issues specific to “The Sharing Economy” and is scheduled for 1:15 pm on Friday, 1/20, at the Westin Galleria Hotel in Dallas. Additional information>>>

by Laura Merritt

The 2016 election cycle was, as most people agree, contentious and dramatic to a degree not seen in recent history. Unlike a typical presidential election, the controversies and strong feelings have not diminished, but some might say, have even intensified and may continue to do so after the new administration is in place.

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by Ann Price

The naming of Andy Puzder as President-Elect Trump’s choice for Secretary of Labor signals that the new overtime rule set to become effective on December 1, 2016 may ultimately languish. Mr. Puzder is on the record as a critic of the rule. Currently, enforcement of the rule is stayed pending the appeal by the Department of Labor of the nation-wide temporary injunction issued by a Texas federal court. A ruling by the Fifth Circuit is unlikely before the inauguration on January 20, 2016. The new administration could drop the appeal or issue a different rule after notice and comment. The outcome of the November elections also makes possible legislation or other executive action to stop or alter the rule.

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by Ann Price, Partner

The City of Austin passed the “Fair Chance Hiring” ordinance on March 24, 2016 prohibiting private employers from asking about or considering criminal history until after extending conditional job offers. In so doing, Austin became the first city in Texas to regulate private employers’ use of criminal background information. The ordinance became effective on April 4, 2016.

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by Steven Garrett, Associate

On May 11, 2016, President Obama signed into law the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (“DTSA”). This law, for the first time, creates a federal cause of action for trade secret misappropriation. Employers should be aware of how this law affects current employees and future employees who might have had access to trade secrets of prior employers and whether they wish to update their employee confidentiality agreements or employment handbooks. In many ways the federal law tracks the state Uniform Trade Secret Act recently enacted in Texas, but there are a few significant differences.

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.by Ann Price, Partner

In a press release on May 17, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced that the final rule changing legal test for determining whether employees are exempt from overtime under the “white collar” regulation will be effective on December 1, 2016. The key provisions of the final rule are that it:

  • Roughly doubles the salary threshold from $23,660 to $47,476 per year, or from $455 to $913 per week. This is a few thousand dollars less that the proposed rule indicated.
  • Will automatically update the salary threshold every three years, beginning on January 1, 2020, based on the 40th percentile of full-time salaried workers in the lowest income region of the country. The proposed rule would have updated the salary threshold annually.
  • Raises the “highly compensated employee” threshold, which allows for the application of a relaxed “duties” test, from $100,000 to $134,004 per year. This is almost $12,000 more than the proposed rule indicated.
  • Will allow employers to count nondiscretionary bonuses, incentives, and commissions for up to 10% of the salary threshold.
  • Makes no changes to the “duties” test.

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Changes are on the way for the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The legal test for determining whether employees are exempt from overtime under the “white collar” regulation will change sometime in 2016. Employers need to take steps now to ensure they can comply when the change becomes effective. The exact change will not be known until the final regulation is published by the Department of Labor. However the proposed rule published on July 6, 2015 makes clear that the minimum amount of compensation necessary for an exemption will increase significantly and may double.

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Concealed carry by license holders has been the law of the land in Texas since 1995. Effective January 1, 2016, licensed handgun holders in Texas may lawfully carry their holstered handguns in an open manner in many public places.  It is still illegal to carry a handgun on certain types of premises. For example:  schools, collegiate and professional sporting events, bars, polling places, correctional facilities, government buildings, and secured areas of airports.

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