As one of the few attorneys in the Permian Basin who is Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, as well as a current Board member of the Permian Basin Society for Human Resource Management (PBSHRM), clients consider Holly Williams to be the local expert when it comes to complying with federal and state employment laws and regulations.
Whether you need to know the law and best practices regarding job classifications, workplace accommodations, or hiring and firing, Williams Law Firm, P.C. can help ensure you’re in compliance and show you how to correct any problems that might arise.
Williams Law Firm provides advice and counsel to prevent compliance issues from becoming big headaches for employers:
- I-9 audits and employment authorization
- Proper classification of individuals as employees or independent contractors
- Interaction of worker’s compensation, disability, and FMLA laws
- Workplace accommodation of disabilities
- Layoffs/Reductions in force (RIFs)
Governmental Audits & Investigations
Many different state and federal agencies have jurisdiction over various aspects of the workplace. Williams Law Firm has interacted with the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and the Texas Workforce Commission. The firm understands the regulations, can explain them to clients in a way that makes sense, and guide them through the process if they are audited so that they stay out of these agencies’ crosshairs in the future.
Employers must provide a safe working environment and cooperate with representatives from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration during on-site visits. These representatives may show up with a search warrant. Employers can refuse entry if the inspectors don’t have a warrant, but that may lead to a more aggressive inspection later. Warrants are not required if the job site is on public property, able to be seen by the public, or if OSHA believes “emergency conditions” exist.
If problems are found during an inspection, it is usually assumed the employer knew about them and did nothing to fix them. Serious violations are considered “willful” and can lead to very high fines and even jail time.
In recent years, OSHA has increased the number of inspections it performs – which include interviews and record inspections – particularly in the construction industry. Decisions regarding an inspection must be made in minutes, so it is advisable to have a plan if an inspector shows up at your door.
When the need arises for discretion and attention to detail, Williams Law Firm has conducted internal investigations of sexual harassment complaints as well as other types of alleged employee misconduct.