Attorney Keith Clouse is a nationally recognized employment law attorney. This website and all materials on it have been prepared by Clouse Dunn LLP for informational purposes only. These materials do not, and are not intended to, constitute legal advice.
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Employers Should Rid the Workplace of Bullies

July 27, 2009
Unfortunately, workplace bullying occurs at many companies. The cost to employers is obvious: Targeted employees often have higher absenteeism rates and are less productive.  Employees who are bullied will almost certainly leave their employer, leading to a high turnover rate.  Bullying takes several forms. A bully may make derogatory remarks, sabotage an employee’s work, or blame mistakes on...

Employers Can Avoid "Cat's Paw"� Liability by Reviewing Personnel Decisions

July 27, 2009
Although it may be tempting for a company to trust its front-line managers to make prudent decisions regarding the discharge of employees, Keith Clouse, a Dallas employment law attorney, believes employers should always conduct independent reviews of any proposed termination.  Doing so may avoid “cat’s paw” liability. Cat’s paw liability refers to a situation where a biased manager without de...

Smart Use of Smartphones

July 20, 2009
A smartphone once signified a high-level executive or investment banker.  Now, more and more lower-level employees use smartphones, such as iPhones and BlackBerrys.  This shift has led some employers to create employment policies to address smartphone use.  Keith Clouse, a Dallas employment law attorney, suggests employers consider the following issues when drafting smartphone policies. First...

Texas Supreme Court Rules on Arbitration Issue in Employment Dispute

July 20, 2009
Many employers require employees to enter into arbitration agreements.  The Texas Supreme Court recently ruled on a dispute concerning an employment-related arbitration issue.  In re Macy’s, No. 08-0584, __ S.W. __ (Tex. June 29, 2009), available at http://www.supreme.courts.state.tx.us/historical/2009/jun/080584.htm. Erica Tomsic allegedly injured her back while working at a Macy’s departmen...

United States Supreme Court Finds "Reverse" Discrimination Occurred

July 13, 2009
The United States Supreme Court recently ruled that white firefighters were unfairly denied promotions based on their race when their employer discarded the results of a firefighter promotion test because white test-takers fared disproportionately better than other test-takers. Ricci v. DeStefano, __ U.S __ (U.S. June 29, 2009), available at http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/08pdf/07-142...

Handling Employees Who Habitually Report for Work Late

July 13, 2009
Chronic tardiness should be inexcusable in this economic environment; however, many employees report to work a “few” minutes late almost every day.  While some small businesses may be tempted to ignore this problem, chronic tardiness can lead to lowered productivity and reduced morale among on-time workers; an employee who reports for work just ten minutes late each day will have missed an en...

Proposed Federal Legislation: Healthy Families Act

July 02, 2009
A bill recently reintroduced in the House of Representatives would require some employers to offer paid sick leave if the bill is enacted into law.  The Healthy Families Act (“Act”) would require employers with at least fifteen employees to provide one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours an employee works, up to 56 hours a year (seven days).  Employees could use this sick leave to reco...

Sarbanes Oxley Whistleblower Law Texas Employment Lawyer

July 02, 2009
In response to corporate scandals, the United States government enacted the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (“SOX”). SOX establishes new standards for all public companies, their boards, their management, and public accounting firms.  SOX also protects certain whistleblowers from retaliation.  This protection applies to an employee who works for a public company and who alleges that he was retaliated agai...

San Antonio Court of Appeals Addresses Disparate Discipline in Employment

July 02, 2009
The San Antonio Court of Appeals recently upheld summary judgment for an employer accused of discrimination.  Cantu v. Frito-Lay, Inc., No. 04-08-00630-CV, 2009 WL 1339123 (Tex. App.—San Antonio May 13, 2009, no pet. h.). Sales representative Kirk Cantu sued Frito-Lay for discrimination when it terminated him after a customer barred Cantu from its stores because he used saliva to remove e...

Dallas Appellate Court Rules for Employer in Sex Discrimination Case

July 02, 2009
The Dallas Court of Appeals recently upheld summary judgment for an employer accused of sexually harassing two employees and retaliating against them.  Gumpert v. ABF Freight Sys., Inc., __ S.W.3d __ (Tex. App.—Dallas May 20, 2009, no pet. h.), available at http://www.5thcoa.courts.state.tx.us/cgi-bin/as_web.exe?c05topin.ask+D+150185. Two male employees sued their former employer for sex disc...