Recent Blog Posts

What Are the Discrimination Laws in Texas?

Any employee in Texas is protected by a host of federal and state discrimination statutes.  This article lists the various discrimination laws and in some cases provides a link to additional information about a particular statute. For a list of the retaliation statutes, click here. 1. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 This… Read More »

Are Non-Competes Enforceable in Texas?

In many states, an employer will have great difficulty enforcing a covenant not to compete.  In fact, in some states, non-competes are contrary to public policy and are never enforceable (or are enforceable only in specific circumstances such as the sale of a business). Texas is not one of those states.  Texas law will enforce… Read More »

Senate Bill 953: Will Texas Finally Adopt the Uniform Trade Secrets Act?

Senator John Carona of Dallas has introduced Senate Bill 953 in the Texas legislature.  SB 953 would adopt the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, which is a standard set of state laws governing trade secrets.  At present, Texas is one of only four states that has not adopted the UTSA. The UTSA is not significantly different… Read More »

What Is a Trade Secret in Texas?

This is a short guide designed to provide general background with respect to the nature of trade secrets under Texas law. 1. What is the definition of a trade secret in Texas? In 1958, the Texas Supreme Court adopted the following definition of a trade secret, which comes from the First Restatement of Torts: A trade secret… Read More »

What Are the Rights of an Employee on FMLA Leave?

Let’s assume that an employee is entitled to leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.  What exactly are the employee’s rights? The discussion in this guide assumes that the employee has sought leave for a serious medical condition.  If the employee has obtained leave for, say, the birth of a child, then the rules are essentially… Read More »

What Is a “Serious Health Condition” Under the FMLA?

The FMLA gives employees a right to take unpaid leave if they have a “serious health condition” that renders them unable to perform the functions of their job.  This article is a simplified guide for determining when that provision applies. 1. Does every employee have a right to leave if they have a serious health condition?… Read More »

Senator Grassley Criticizes Proposed New IRS Whistleblower Regulations

The Internal Revenue Code has contained a limited qui tam whistleblower provision for many years. The Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 greatly expanded these provisions.  The new provisions are contained in section 7623(b) of the Code.  Among other things, a whistleblower can receive an awared equal to 15% to 30% of the… Read More »

Can an At-Will Employee Sue for Fraud Arising from a Termination? The Texas Supreme Court Will Decide.

The Fifth Circuit has certified two interesting questions regarding the at-will employment rule to the Texas Supreme Court.  Curiously, the case arises out of a union dispute over which the Texas Supreme Court would normally have no jurisdiction. The plaintiffs are 63 former employees at DuPont’s La Porte, Texas facility.  Most of the plaintiffs were union members… Read More »

Fifth Circuit: Parking Attendant Applicant Failed to Show Pretext When Denied a Job Based on Graded Interviews

Gonzalez v. City of San Antonio, No. 12-50472 (5th Cir. March 12, 2013) (unpublished), is yet another case that shows the weight that the Fifth Circuit is giving to selection processes that are based on graded interviews.  In another case decided just a week ago, the Fifth Circuit rejected race and national origin discrimination claims in… Read More »

Commentary on the NBA Lockout

On July 1, 2011, the NBA locked out its players.  This led to a labor battle that lasted for almost five months, resulting in the cancellation of about a quarter of the season.  The labor battle included unfair labor practices charges, mediation, extensive negotiations, the decertification of the players’ association, and the filing of antitrust suits…. Read More »