Texas News & Analysis

  • Increase in remote work likely a lasting effect of COVID-19

    Not so long ago, remote work arrangements were thought of as a nice perk for tech-proficient employees seeking an end to tiresome commutes and a way to enhance work-life balance. Then came the coronavirus and employerand government-mandated measures aimed at slowing the spread of the disease it causes, COVID-19.

  • Wearables at work: balancing function with privacy, other concerns

    It takes more than a time clock to figure out when employees are productive and safely on the job. What if a warehouse worker tasked with lifting heavy loads is sore from last week's workout session at the gym and therefore not performing at peak efficiency? Or what if he is risking injury by twisting in an unhealthy way when lifting or releasing the load?

  • One of our employees tested positive for COVID-19! Or did she?

    Employers are acutely focused on dealing with the ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic sweeping across America and what you must do to comply with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Unfortunately, when new "free" benefits are involved (the FFCRA uses government tax credits to provide paid leave to employees either quarantined or diagnosed with the coronavirus), there is an opportunity for misconduct or outright fraud.

  • COVID-19 and OSH Act issues: 4 questions to consider

    The current coronavirus pandemic (also known as COVID-19) presents many complex situations for employers and their respective workforces. Although employers are trying to navigate the maze created by wage and hour issues, Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) leave, remote workspaces, and childcare, they must also keep in mind their legal obligation to keep employees safe under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act). Let's look at several important OSH Act questions.

  • 5 HR 'don'ts' inspired by Netflix's Tiger King

    If you are one of the two people left in America who has not yet watched the true-crime documentary series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness on Netflix and don't want to read any spoilers, you may want to turn back now. Otherwise, here are five HR tips on what not to do, inspired by Joe Exotic's unique brand of unhinged managerial madness.

  • Cutting-Edge HR

    Avoid mistakes when hiring hourly workers. Although hourly workers make up 58.5% of the wage and salary workforce, theyre often overlooked in conversations about recruiting, ac-cording to job networking site Indeed, which recently listed common mistakes to avoid when hiring hourly workers. The pitfalls include a lack of communication. Employees need to make sure they understand how to handle reporting when they willl be late, and how to update the schedule when trading shifts with coworkers. Include preferred modes of communication such as phone, text, and e-mail. Also, dont skip the interview process. Candidates need to be told whats expected of them, including conduct, dress codes, and company culture. Also, candi-dates need to know what an hour in the life of the organization looks like, and they should be told how productivity is measured.

  • Federal Watch

    EEOC reports progress on lowering inventory of pending charges. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released its Annual Performance Report in February for fiscal year 2019, which ended September 30, 2019. The report highlights progress in achieving the goals and objectives outlined in the agency's Strategic Plan along with performance and program results. Among the 2019 highlights: reduction of the inventory of pending private-sector charges by 12.1 percent—to 43,580 charges—the lowest in 13 years, reduction in the federal-sector hearings pending inventory for the second consecutive year, more than 3,800 outreach events conducted, the securing of more than $486 million and other relief for victims of employment discrimination in private-sector and state and local government workplaces through mediation, conciliation, and settlements, and resolution of 173 merit lawsuits.

  • HR Technology

    Report finds automation reshaping IT security hiring trends. A survey of more than 1,000 IT and IT security practitioners finds that most companies continue to use or plan to use automation in the next three years. The biggest takeaway in this year's "Staffing the IT Security Function in the Age of Automation" study is that 51% of respondents believe that automation will decrease headcount in the IT security function, an increase from 30% in last year's study from the Ponemon Institute. Further, concerns by employees losing their jobs because of automation have increased to 37% over last year's 28%. The study also notes that a cybersecurity skills shortage continues to be a problem, with 69% of organizations' IT security functions being understaffed, a slight improvement over last year's 75%.

  • Employers, be warned: COVID-19 layoffs may require advanced notice to employees

    Many employers that have been negatively affected by Texas county "shelter-in-place" orders are having to make difficult business decisions and lay off employees who are unable to work. In those situations, you should carefully examine the notice re-quirements of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act), a federal law requiring 60-day advanced notice of mass layoffs to employees and government officials. Failure to abide by the requirements could be costly and further debilitate the business.

  • 5 lessons from Austin about hiring in tight market

    Austin, Texas, remains one of the hottest labor markets in the country, topping the Wall Street Journal's ranking of 377 metropolitan areas for the second year in a row. Here are five considerations for companies trying to recruit talent in a highly competitive market.