The Chamber was honored to host our third Info Bite lunch and learn last week with Mario A. Barrera, Partner at Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP. One of the top concerns of any business here in Texas is whether it is in compliance with state and federal labor laws. Understanding these laws, with all their intricacies, can be overwhelming for businesses of any size.

Over the course of an hour, Barrera explained how to spot trouble areas, how to deal with daily issues and how poor handling of labor problems will lead to litigation. Using what he called “Mario-isms”, Barrera used his 20 plus years of experience to give the members in attendance advice on the laws and share valuable and beneficial information. The overall theme of Barrera’s lecture was teaching businesses how they could “get to the point where you don’t have to push the panic button.”

Barrera stressed that if you think your business is too small to have labor laws and rules apply, think again. He advised that unless you are your company’s sole employee, these laws apply directly to your business. He recommended that businesses conduct employee evaluations properly, create an employee handbook, have a time-recording system in place, do self-audits regularly and ensure employees are trained on harassment and conduct in the workplace.

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