Key Harrington Barnes, PC

Dallas Business & Commercial Law Blog

Presented with fraudulent employment documentation?

The fines levied by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for hiring undocumented workers can be severe. They range up to $2,000 per worker for a first time offense and up to $10,000 per worker for a third offense. It’s something no employer wants to face.

Because of this, many employers become concerned if they suspect that documents presented to them at hiring are fraudulent. This might come long after first hiring for any number of reasons. Employers need to understand what they are obliged to do and, equally importantly, what to not do when considering immigration status.

Update your employee handbook for the new year

In the rush to start the new year right, there are many things that businesses large and small need to take care of. It’s a time to review strategies, evaluate performance, and make new projections. One task that is also critical is to update the employee handbook to account for changes in law and benefits, among other changes.

This task is often neglected by smaller employers, but it can be a critical one. A well designed and frequently updated handbook is the primary tool for promoting good employee relations by setting expectations and standards for all employees to follow.

Prevention Of Sexual Harassment Claims: Learning From #MeToo

The catalyst of powerful movements is unfortunately often adverse - this is the nature of many examples of real change and progress, most recently the widespread #MeToo campaign taking place on Twitter.

The #MeToo movement, which took root following a wave of high profile sexual misconduct, harassment and assault accusations that started with allegations against film producer Harvey Weinstein, has rapidly grown into an outpouring of confessions made by victims of sexual harassment on a worldwide scale, many of whose stories focus specifically on things that happened in their career or workplace.

What can I do to protect my business from a data breach?

Cyber attackers are waging an invisible war against businesses everywhere. In an instant, a cybercriminal can hack into a business’ network, access confidential information and wreak havoc.

But if you’re a business owner, you may be able to protect your company’s sensitive data by preparing a comprehensive cybersecurity plan.

What Do Employers Need To Know About The TCPA?

When it comes to changing laws, employers need to be very diligent. One of the laws that could be an issue, and that could have a surprising impact on employers, is the TCPA (Texas Citizens Participation Act). This law is something that many employers aren't prepared for, and one that they potentially won't understand the effects of without some research. That can lead them into problems with the new law if they aren't clear on what they need to be doing, what kinds of changes are being created, and how those changes specifically impact them and their employer/employee needs.

Will The Republican Tax Plan Benefit Businesses?

The Republican tax bill recently passed by the Senate has proven to be the subject of substantial debate. Business owners in particular are wondering how this will affect them. Supporters of the tax bill claim that it will provide a boost for businesses, while opponents say it will only benefit the wealthiest, biggest corporations.

Is Dallas Good To New Businesses?

Starting a new business is a complex endeavor. There is a great deal of work that needs to be done and there are various factors that will set the stage for the business's long-term success. Many of those factors are in the hands of the business owner: Is there a viable business idea? How will the business stand out from the competition? Is a solid business plan in place? Will the work be done and the hours put in to make the business a success?

However, even the most diligent business owner must take into account external factors that they may have little or no control over. It certainly helps to know that the business will be opening its doors in a city that is friendly to new businesses.

Women-Owned Businesses Are On The Rise In Texas

Nationwide, women-owned businesses now make up 38 percent of all businesses. Women-owned businesses are on the rise throughout the United States, but Texas is leading the charge. Texas is second only to California in terms of number of women-owned businesses.

Are Noncompete Agreements Enforceable?

Many businesses force employees to sign noncompete agreements, only to learn later that the agreement does not hold up in court. The reality is that judges look very closely at these agreements when they are at the center of a dispute between an employer and former employee, and they may disapprove of agreements that unfairly hinder a former employee's right to earn a living. For this reason, employers must be diligent in the drafting and signing of these agreements to ensure they are enforceable.

Can An Employer Fire A Worker For Their Politics?

Following the events in Charlottesville in which white nationalists clashed with counter-protesters, many people on social media have called upon employers to fire those photographed carrying torches and supporting white nationalist ideals.

This begs the question: Are such firings legal? Is it okay for an employer to terminate an employee based on political opinions expressed outside of the workplace?