David Barron

David Barron

Cozen O'Connor

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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

New FMLA Regulations Will Affect Texas Employers

Texas does not recognize same sex marriage, so the natural thought would be to deny a request for an employee to take FMLA leave to care for his or her same sex “spouse” from a marriage in another state. ...more

3/11/2015 - DOJ Employee Rights Employer Mandates Final Rules FMLA Same-Sex Marriage Spouses

EEOC Loses Another Background Check Case

The EEOC has taken a lot of heat on its controversial stance of aggressively litigating adverse impact cases involving background checks.  In April, 2012, the EEOC issued a new enforcement guidance seeking to curtail the uses...more

2/24/2015 - Background Checks Criminal Background Checks Disparate Impact EEOC Enforcement Actions Hiring & Firing

If You Are Planning Layoffs – Here Are Five Things You Need to Know

Unfortunately, when the price of oil goes down, the employment numbers also move downward in Houston. Many clients in the oil and gas industry are either planning or considering downsizing measures, which means that it is a...more

1/27/2015 - Best Management Practices Confidentiality Disparate Impact Employer Liability Issues Hiring & Firing Involuntary Reduction in Force Oil & Gas OWBPA Wage and Hour

If You Haven’t Already, It’s Time to Add Sexual Orientation and Trans-Gender to Your Discrimination Policy

On its face, federal law does not list sexual orientation or trans-gender status as protected categories. Some states or cities have passed their own laws offering such protections, leaving a patchwork of laws across the...more

1/13/2015 - Discrimination DOJ Employer Liability Issues Protected Class Sexual Orientation Discrimination Transgender

Department of Labor Targeting Oil and Gas Contractors

On December 9, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced that it had achieved $4.5 million dollars in settlements from private employers as a result of a two year investigation into contractors working in the...more

12/16/2014 - DOL Employer Liability Issues Enforcement Actions Marcellus Shale Oil & Gas Settlement Wage and Hour

Election Brings New Wave of Minimum Wage Increases

Election day 2014 brought more than just a wave of new Republican politicians, it also brought a wave of minimum wage increases across the country. For employers with operations in multiple states, payroll just got more...more

11/10/2014 - Election Results Minimum Wage

Can State Medical Marijuana Laws Trump Employer Rights?

Currently, 23 states and the District of Columbia have medical marijuana laws which allow a lawful level of marijuana use. One question which comes up often in such states is whether an employer can lawfully terminate an...more

10/31/2014 - Drug-Free Workplace Act Marijuana Medical Marijuana Preemption

Texas Supreme Court Draws Distinction Between Loyalty Agreement and Non-Compete

In many industries, it is common to pay incentives in the form of restricted stock options payable in the future if certain conditions are satisfied. In Exxon-Mobil v. Drennen, decided on August 29, 2014, the Texas Supreme...more

9/12/2014 - Exxon Mobil Forfeiture Incentives Non-Compete Agreements Restrictive Covenants Stock Options Stocks

Can Employees be Disciplined for Using the Bathroom?

Employees at a Chicago plant are picketing over a new employer policy to time unscheduled bathroom breaks and discipline employees who exceed what the company deems as a reasonable amount of time. The company even went so...more

7/21/2014 - Employer Liability Issues Employment Policies Rest and Meal Break

Supreme Court Says Obama Overstepped Authority with Three NLRB Recess Appointments

Last week, the Supreme Court issued a long-awaited decision addressing the question of whether three recess appointees to the NLRB passed Constitutional muster....more

7/2/2014 - Barack Obama Canning v NLRB NLRB Recess Appointments SCOTUS

HR Guide for Hurricane and Disaster Preparation: Preparing For The Worst

Hurricanes have posed unique human resources challenges for employers with operations in Houston and the Gulf Coast Region. According to the Congressional Budget Office, Hurricane Katrina alone wiped out more than 400,000...more

6/23/2014 - Disaster Preparedness Human Resources Professionals Natural Disasters

New FAQ on Houston’s Anti-Discrimination Ordinance (HERO)

The City of Houston recently joined a number of cities that have passed their own anti-discrimination ordinances in an attempt to add coverage for sexual orientation and trans-gender discrimination, which are not explicitly...more

6/20/2014 - Discrimination Gender Discrimination Sexual Orientation Discrimination

Houston Passes Controversial Anti-Discrimination Ordinance

Late in the evening on May 28th, the Houston City Council passed a city ordinance that prohibits discrimination against employees on the basis of sexual orientation or trans-gender status. ...more

6/4/2014 - Discrimination Employee Rights Employer Liability Issues Public Employees Public Employers Sex Discrimination Transgender

IRS Says It Will Penalize Employers Dumping Employees into Obamacare

Before the ink on the Affordable Care Act was dry, prudent employers were analyzing the law to identify ways to save money and avoid many of the punitive aspects of the law....more

5/29/2014 - Affordable Care Act Employee Benefits Employer Liability Issues Employer Mandates IRS Penalties Popular Wages

NLRB Cracking Down On No-Taping Policies

It is well-established that the NLRB has been aggressively litigating cases involving social media policies and employees terminated for making disparaging comments online. Recently, however, the NLRB has expanded its reach...more

5/20/2014 - Compliance NLRA NLRB Social Media Surveillance

Can An Employee Accept A Severance Payment And Still File A Discrimination Claim?

According to the EEOC, the answer to that question is not only “Yes,” but that any severance agreement which limits the employee’s right to file a charge of discrimination is unenforceable and illegal. This week, the EEOC...more

5/7/2014 - Discrimination EEOC Employee Rights Employer Liability Issues Severance Agreements

New Texas Supreme Court Case Helps/Hurts At-Will Status

On April 25, 2014, the Texas Supreme Court issued a decision in the Sawyer, et al. v. Du Pont case. The case involved questions from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals regarding the scope of the at-will doctrine in Texas....more

5/1/2014 - At-Will Employment Fraudulent Inducement

Houston Mayor Proposes City Ordinance On Sexual Orientation Discrimination

Houston is one of the few major cities in the country without a law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Neither federal nor Texas law includes such a protected category, however, other Texas cities...more

4/23/2014 - Sexual Orientation Sexual Orientation Discrimination

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