David Barron

David Barron

Cozen O'Connor

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Does Your Company Need a Pokémon Policy?

The latest craze is Pokémon Go, an app for smartphones that allows people to “catch” Pokémon creatures by integrating the real world with the virtual world. So what do you do if you see one of your employees wandering around...more

7/21/2016 - Distracted Driving Employment Policies Mobile Apps Mobile Device Management Nintendo Policies and Procedures Popular Smartphones Video Games

New Overtime Regulations Put Spotlight on Incentive Plans

One of the few concessions made by the Department of Labor (DOL) to employers in the new overtime regulations is permission to count non-discretionary incentive payments towards the minimum salary threshold for exempt...more

5/24/2016 - DOL Exempt-Employees Final Rules FLSA Incentive Compensation Minimum Salary Over-Time Wage and Hour White-Collar Exemptions

DOL Issues Final Rule on FLSA Overtime Rules: Action Items for Employers

This week the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released final regulations regarding the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) executive, administrative and professional overtime exemptions, also known as the “white collar”...more

5/19/2016 - DOL Exempt-Employees Final Rules FLSA Minimum Salary Non-Exempt Employees Over-Time Unpaid Overtime Wage and Hour White-Collar Exemptions

Civil Seizure to Dominate Litigation Under the Defend Trade Secrets Act

With a stroke of the pen, President Obama signed into law the first-ever federal trade secrets regime, opening federal courthouse doors to all trade secrets litigants. While federal subject matter jurisdiction is widely...more

5/18/2016 - Asset Seizure Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) Ex Parte Misappropriation Private Right of Action Whistleblower Protection Policies

Is Your Sexual Harassment Training Making Things Worse?

A recent article about a study on the effectiveness of sexual harassment training caught my eye. The article explains: “Some researchers believe trainings have no positive effects, tend to be more about legal cover than...more

5/12/2016 - Abusive Conduct Training Employee Training Employer Liability Issues Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment Training Requirements

Schilling Firing: Can You Fire An Employee for What They Say on Social Media?

This week ESPN fired pitcher-turned-broadcaster Kurt Schilling for an allegedly offensive tweet about the recently passed law in North Carolina requiring persons to use the restroom associated with the sex of their birth. As...more

4/25/2016 - Broadcasting ESPN Free Speech Hiring & Firing Political Expression Popular Transgender Twitter

Department of Labor Getting Close to Release of Final Overtime Regulation

Last year, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced a proposed regulation to increase the minimum salary threshold for salaried exempt workers from $23,000 to approximately $50,000 and to index the amount to inflation....more

3/17/2016 - DOL Final Rules FLSA Minimum Salary OMB Over-Time Wage and Hour White-Collar Exemptions

Limiting Employees’ Hours to Dodge the ACA’s Employer Mandate Could Violate ERISA

In a move that brings many employers’ fears closer to fruition, a federal district court recently ruled that an employee may proceed with a class action lawsuit alleging that her employer violated the Employee Retirement...more

2/24/2016 - Affordable Care Act Burden of Proof Class Action Corporate Counsel Employee Benefits Employer Mandates ERISA Failure To State A Claim Full-Time Employees Wage and Hour

White House Announces New Requirement for Pay Data to Be Included in Form EEO-1

Last week, the White House announced yet another executive action. For the first time, private employers will be required to include pay data on the Form EEO-1, which is required annually for all employers with more than 100...more

2/1/2016 - Data Collection EEO-1 EEOC Reporting Requirements Wage and Hour

Looking Forward to 2016

A new year is upon us, and it is shaping up to be a big one in terms of political and regulatory change. As the last year of the Obama presidency, there is a lot of pressure on the administration to leave a mark – including...more

1/12/2016 - Ban the Box LGBT Minimum Salary Minimum Wage Unpaid Overtime Wage and Hour White-Collar Exemptions

Labor and Employment Observer 2015/2016

The Irony in Regulating Employee Social Media Speech: the NLRB vs. the FTC - BREAKING NEWS: Employees use social media. A lot. And, in a related story, Bush beat Gore, according to the Supreme Court. All breaking news,...more

1/7/2016 - Employer Liability Issues Exempt-Employees FLSA FTC Gun Laws NLRB Pregnancy Discrimination Social Media Policy

New Year Brings New Gun Laws in Texas

Texas has long allowed licensed citizens to carry concealed handguns, but in 2016 Texas will allow “open carry” for the first time. For employers, this means dusting off the gun policies and signs on your front doors to...more

12/22/2015 - Concealed Weapons Employment Policies Posting Requirements Property Owners Universities

HR Trouble at Holiday Parties

It’s that time of the year when HR professionals are crossing their fingers and hoping they don’t have to terminate anyone for misconduct at the company holiday party. Fox 26 in Houston interviewed me about the suggested tips...more

12/18/2015 - Employer Liability Issues Holiday Parties

Don’t Let Politics Disrupt Your Workplace

I recently wrote an article for the Houston Business Journal on this subject, which can be found here. With the 2016 election campaign already going strong, now is a good time to review company policies in this area to...more

12/7/2015 - Free Speech Political Expression

Ban the Box Gaining Momentum

Last week, President Obama announced yet another executive order, this one removing questions about an applicant’s criminal history from applications for federal jobs. Similar laws have been passed in cities and states across...more

11/12/2015 - Ban the Box Criminal Background Checks Employment Discrimination Hiring & Firing Popular Screening Procedures

Conscientious Objectors in the Workplace

Recently, the news has been filled with employees who refuse to perform their duties based on political, moral, or religious beliefs. Kentucky clerk Kim Davis was jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same sex...more

9/21/2015 - Hiring & Firing Kim Davis Marriage Licenses Poor Job Performance Private Sector Reasonable Accommodation Religious Freedom Same-Sex Marriage SCOTUS Wrongful Termination

Virginia Shooting Raises Questions About Background Checks

First, let me say that most shootings (including the recent incident in Virginia) are random acts of violence by crazy people. It is difficult, if not impossible, to predict when an employee will snap, or whether an...more

8/31/2015 - Background Checks Criminal Background Checks Defamation Discrimination EEOC Employment Discrimination Hiring & Firing Mass Shootings Negligence Popular Reference Checks

Yelp Reviewers Are Not “Employees”

In a world where the lines between employees and volunteers/interns are becoming increasingly blurred, it is nice to see at least one court easily dispense with a wage and hour lawsuit. On August 13, 2015, a federal judge...more

8/20/2015 - Collective Actions Corporate Counsel Employees FLSA Internships Online Platforms Online Reviews Popular Uber Unpaid Interns Volunteers Wage and Hour Websites Yelp

Department of Labor Issues Proposed Rule on Overtime

Yesterday, the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor used its rulemaking authority to propose changes to existing overtime regulations that President Obama announced would make “up to five million more people...more

7/2/2015 - Barack Obama DOL Exempt-Employees FLSA Minimum Salary Non-Exempt Employees Over-Time Wage and Hour

Department of Labor Announces Long-Awaited Increase in Salary Threshold for Exempt Employees

Yesterday, the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor used its rulemaking authority to propose changes to existing overtime regulations that President Obama announced would make “up to five million more people...more

7/1/2015 - Corporate Counsel

Colorado Allows Firing of Employee Who Used Medical Marijuana

As more states jump on the medical marijuana bandwagon, employers are faced with increasing questions about how these changes in the law affect drug testing policies. The conventional wisdom has been that medical marijuana...more

6/24/2015 - ADA Dish Network Drug Testing Employment Policies Hiring & Firing Lawful Activities Act Marijuana Medical Marijuana Off-Duty Employees Termination Zero Tolerance Policies

Weather Events Create Difficult HR Issues

In the last month, Houston employers have faced catastrophic rains, flooding, and now a tropical storm. We thought it would be a good time to dust off the Firm’s HR Guide for Hurricane and Disaster Preparation, which can be...more

6/17/2015 - FMLA Labor Code Mandatory Evacuation Non-Exempt Employees PTO Severe Weather Vacation Pay Wage and Hour Weather Policy

Uber and Other Startups Facing Independent Contractor Disputes

Perhaps the blurriest line in employment law is the difference between an independent contractor and employee. Companies prefer contractor status because it is cheaper and offers more flexibility. ...more

5/18/2015 - Employee Definition Employer Liability Issues Independent Contractors Misclassification Popular Startups Uber

NLRB Looking to Undermine State Right to Work Laws

On April 16, 2015, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) quietly issued a request for amicus briefing in a case it is currently waiting to decide on appeal. The case involves the question of whether a union can charge...more

4/21/2015 - Appeals NLRB Right to Work Unions

Brace Yourselves: Major Overtime Regulations Coming Soon

The Department of Labor has been promising an overhaul of the white collar exemption regulations for over a year. The regulations were originally planned to be released in the Fall of 2014, but were pushed back to February...more

4/3/2015 - DOL Exempt-Employees Unpaid Overtime

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