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Texas Court Bars Employment Claims Due to Ecclesiastical Abstention Doctrine

The ecclesiastical abstention doctrine can provide religious institutions with protection from employment-related lawsuits. Based upon the religious freedom amendments contained in the U.S. and Texas constitutions, this doctrine generally bars courts from adjudicating disputes related to the governance and operations of religious institutions. As seen in a recent decision by the Court of Appeals for the Fifth District of Texas, the ecclesiastical abstention doctrine can provide protection to seemingly ordinary employment decisions by religious entities.

Well-Documented Investigation and Carefully Written Policies Give Win to School District Against Discrimination, Retaliation Claims

Following nearly 10 days of witness testimony, a jury in Denton, Texas, has ruled in favor of the Denton Independent School District (ISD), and rejected an ISD para-professional’s claim that he was fired in retaliation for complaining about discrimination.

Austin, Texas Mandates Paid Sick Leave

The city of Austin, Texas has become the first Southern city to require virtually all private employers to offer paid sick leave to employees working within Austin’s city limits. This new ordinance goes into effect October 1, 2018, for employers with more than five employees. It goes into effect for employers five or fewer employees (not including family members) on October 1, 2020.

Paid Sick Leave Trend Comes South to Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas, has enacted a new ordinance that will soon require employers to provide paid sick leave to employees.

Does Anything Good Happen After Midnight? Austin, Texas Adopts Paid Sick Leave

At approximately 1:00 a.m. CST on February 16, 2018, the Austin, Texas City Council approved an ordinance establishing a paid sick leave requirement that will apply to all private employers located within the City. If, as expected, the mayor signs the ordinance, Austin will join the growing list of cities and states obligating employers to grant paid sick time to workers.

Austin’s Earned Sick Time Ordinance: 8 Things You Need to Know

In the early hours of February 16, 2018, the Austin City Council passed a new ordinance on earned sick time that affects employers in Austin, Texas. The ordinance will not take effect until October 1, 2018, and is likely to be challenged in court almost immediately.

New Texas Laws Taking Effect September 1, 2017

Though employment issues were not the focus of the 85th Regular and Special Legislative Sessions of the Texas Legislature, Texas employers should be aware of a handful of new Texas laws which take effect September 1, 2017.

Don’t Mess with Texas: a Quick Draw on Lone Star State Employment Law

As any Texan will tell you, “Everything is bigger in Texas!” And with an economy that would rank 10th largest in the world if Texas were a country, you are likely to interact at some point with businesses in the Lone Star State. You may even find yourself hiring or managing employees there. If so, below are some interesting and very Texan takes on employment law that may be helpful when you do.

Texas Passes Ban on Texting While Driving

On June 6, 2017, Texas became the 47th state to enact a state-wide ban on texting while driving. The new law (HR 62) prohibits drivers from reading, writing or sending electronic messages unless the vehicle is stopped. It does not, however, prohibit dialing a number to call someone, setting a GPS device, listening to music programs or even surfing on the Internet.

Texas Amends its Uniform Trade Secrets Act

Last month, Texas’s legislature amended the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act (TUTSA). These amendments expand and clarify TUTSA’s definitions, add a clarification to enjoining trade secrets misappropriation, and codify a balancing test to determine whether to exclude people from a courtroom when trade secrets are discussed. The amended TUTSA: