For any Texas companies that have not been paying close attention to the nation-wide trend of “ban-the box” laws, this is your wake up call.  On March 24, 2016, the Austin City Council, by an 8-2 vote, approved the Fair Chance Hiring Ordinance, which prevents employers from inquiring about applicants’ criminal backgrounds until after a conditional offer of employment has been made.  With this Ordinance, Austin has joined numerous other cities and states (Chicago, New York City, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, to name a few) in restricting private employers’ ability to ask about criminal history. 
Continue Reading Look Out Texas Employers — “Ban-the-Box” Laws Come to Austin

Do your job applications ask applicants about their criminal history? If so, you could be violating various state laws that prevent employers from inquiring into applicants’ criminal history at the initial stages of the hiring process.

These laws, commonly referred to as “ban-the-box” laws, have recently seen a rapid increase in support across the United States. The increase is largely attributable to the grassroots efforts of numerous organizations that aim to remove hiring barriers for individuals with criminal records. Employers who are caught unaware, or do not comply with these laws, risk exposure to fines and penalties, and being a target for individual and class-action lawsuits.Continue Reading Asking Applicants About Criminal History—What You Need to Know

Conducting a layoff can be a difficult and delicate process.  The first step in any layoff is to determine which employees will be terminated.  In the current business environment, the last thing any employer wants is an employee bringing suit!  So, how can employers start off on the right foot to avoid a lawsuit by a disgruntled former employee?
Continue Reading Selecting Which Employees to Lay Off at Home and Abroad – RIF Series