Harassment

President Trump and #MeToo: Big Hitters on Arbitration Class Waivers

President Trump and #MeToo: Big Hitters on Arbitration Class Waivers

Alan Bush is a freelance contributor for Texas Lawyer. His latest article, “Big Hitters on Arbitration Class Waivers” appeared in the August print issue.

Both President Trump and #MeToo have had a huge impact on arbitration class waivers – which can make employee class lawsuits go extinct. Here’s what Alan had to say about it:

HR Arbitration and Eggs: Ditching the Bad Rap

HR Arbitration and Eggs: Ditching the Bad Rap

Eggs got a bad rap as cholesterol-soaked death-bombs. Researchers later realized that cholesterol wasn’t so bad for you after all, but the real problem was the greasy bacon and sausage often served with eggs. The eggs weren’t the issue; the pairing with fatty pork was.

HR Legal Needs Heart: Texas Lawyer

HR Legal Needs Heart: Texas Lawyer

Alan Bush is a freelance contributor for Texas Lawyer. His latest article, “HR Legal Needs Heart” appeared in the In-House Focus section on September 1, 2017.

HR legal needs more than a good head on its shoulders – it needs a good heart in its chest. Here’s what Alan had to say about it:

EEOC Looks to Spruce Up its Harassment Guidance

EEOC Looks to Spruce Up its Harassment Guidance

Since the last time the EEOC updated its guidance on workplace harassment (oh say, in 1990), a lot has happened. A generation was born, graduated high school and joined American culture. There have been a couple court cases. The EEOC now thinks it’s time for some spring cleaning – proposing a new guidance document found here.

Emmy Red Carpets and HR Investigation Reports: Texas Lawyer

Emmy Red Carpets and HR Investigation Reports: Texas Lawyer

Alan Bush and Lee Winkelman are routine freelance contributors for Texas Lawyer.  Their latest article, "Emmy Red Carpets and HR Investigation Reports," appeared in the October 12, 2015 issue.

Beyond actually collecting evidence, there’s a lot more to investigating an employee complaint.  The investigation report can make or break a defense.  Here’s what Alan and Lee had to say about it:

Punitive Damages Are Preventable

Six-figures.  That's what a rogue manager can cost you in punitive damages if he accidentally blows a call that HR would have caught.  It's surprisingly easy for an untrained manager to step in it.  We've written about a couple examples.

Don't add zeros to an employment claim.

Train your folks on your EEO and anti-harassment policy.  Training, plus a solid EEO and anti-harassment policy, may give you a strong defense against punitive damages.

Never training your employees on your EEO policy strips your defense.  In EEOC v. Service Temps, the company had never trained its folks.  The EEOC latched onto that.  At trial, the EEOC secured $68,000 in punitive damages and an injunction that imposed mandatory training.  The Fifth Circuit refused to overturn the award.

Punitive damages are no stranger to the Texas Supreme Court too.  In Safeshred v. Martinez, the Court expanded punitive damages to Sabine Pilot wrongful discharge claims.  Some commentators say the opinion lets Texas state discrimination law plaintiffs collect punitive damages more easily.

Over the past couple years, your company may have pushed training to the backburner.  The Fifth Circuit and Texas Supreme Court may have just sent you a friendly reminder to put training back on the agenda.

Texas Lawyer — Behind Enemy Lines: Employee-Side Lawyer Tactics

Texas Lawyer — Behind Enemy Lines: Employee-Side Lawyer Tactics

Texas Lawyer has signed up Alan Bush as a freelance contributor.  His latest article, "Behind Enemy Lines: Employee-Side Lawyer Tactics," appeared on May 14 in the In-House Texas pullout.

Here's what Alan had to say about how he stays one step ahead of employee-side opposing counsel: