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Galveston Legal Blog

Support company harassment policy with tailored training

How can sexual harassment policies and procedures support the culture of a company? A carefully drafted policy and reporting procedure can mitigate the risk of employment-related litigation over workplace discrimination and harassment.

Most companies have a policy on the books, but employment laws change with new federal or state legislation and court interpretations. Thus, it is important to review these policies and procedures on a routine basis. Then, follow up with training to prevent incidents.

U.S. Supreme Court upholds wage-and-hour arbitration clauses

Here at Mills Shirley LLP, we advise employers about their duties under state and federal wage-and-hour laws. These laws impose specific requirements regarding minimum wage, breaks, overtime, classification of workers as either employees or contractors, and classification of employees as exempt or nonexempt.

In addition to compliance advice, we also defend our employer clients against allegations of wage-and-hour violations, including complaints filed with government agencies and lawsuits.

Carefully drafted contracts are crucial for business success

Here at Mills Shirley LLP with offices in Galveston and Houston, Texas, we advise business clients from many different industries and of all sizes, from individual businesspeople to large companies. One of our most important services to our commercial clients is to see that their business contracts are appropriately and solidly written to meet their unique needs. 

Ways legal counsel can help with contracts 

Texas employers: Know your overtime responsibilities

Here at Mills Shirley LLP, we advise employers that run businesses of all sizes and types about their legal responsibilities to comply with federal and state overtime laws. An employer must make a careful decision about whether a worker is exempt, nonexempt or an independent contractor. Second, if the worker is nonexempt, careful recordkeeping of hours worked must be made to ensure that he or she is correctly paid overtime as required by law. 

Exempt or nonexempt? 

Keller school district sues builders for defective foundation

Here at Mills Shirley LLP, we represent all types of parties involved in Texas construction projects — public, residential or commercial — in the resolution of disputes over contracts, defects, warranties, insurance and more. Our lawyers advise property owners as well as contractors, architects, sureties, engineers and others in a wide variety of construction-related conflicts

Our attorneys draft or review complex construction contracts in an effort to create tight, comprehensive agreements not likely to result in conflict. When conflict does arise, we help parties come to agreement outside of court through negotiation or mediation whenever possible, which can be a cost and time savings. However, we will represent clients in construction lawsuits when necessary to protect their interests. 

Texas employers: create strong anti-discrimination practices

Every Texas employer should consult with legal counsel early and often about how to create a workplace in which employees and job applicants feel protected from illegal discrimination and harassment.

In addition, with direction and advice from an employment law attorney, the employer should create and enforce strong anti-discrimination policies and procedures that carefully and clearly communicate to employees what they should do if they experience it or become aware of it.

Consider a special needs trust to protect your disabled child

As part of our estate planning practice, we advise the parents of minor and adult children with disabilities in Texas about how to provide for their kids financially after the parents pass away. One of the most important vehicles to consider to meet this need is the special needs trust.

Preserve government benefits

A basic principle for many families that have kids with disabilities is that in most cases it is important not to leave or gift money or assets directly to the disabled children. Most people with disabilities, unless they are part of wealthy families that choose to support them, will need public benefits to help pay for medical and long-term care.

Why do some mergers and acquisitions fail?

When two business entities combine into one, there are bound to be "pain points." Whether the companies have been friends, rivals or complete unknowns, the process is full of risks that can end up derailing a perfectly good plan. In other words, just because it looks good on paper doesn't mean it'll work out.

That doesn't mean you should avoid all the careful planning ahead of time. In fact, doing so can help you dodge crucial mistakes as the plan takes effect. According to an article in The Wall Street Journal, it doesn't take more than one of these integration mistakes to delay the successful merger and damage the new company:

A business formation FAQ

Deciding to start a new business is a very exciting. Before getting ahead of yourself, consider issues about structure and creation. Your early decisions will have a long-term impact.

If you're not sure of the basics, you need to get practical advice for your business to ensure you don't end up with the wrong business set-up. Compliance with rules and regulations is also important, so you will want to learn as much as possible before you get started. That will reduce the risk of problems and unanticipated liability down the road.

Does your Texas family business have a succession plan?

A family business can become a large part of a family's identity, intertwining professional and personal life in many ways, as well as positioning the family through its business in the local community's life. Being such a focal point, a family business should have in place a solid succession plan that will kick in when the first generation owner or owners decide to retire or move on, or in case of their disability or death.

That succession plan would determine how business management would function during and after the transition, as well as what ownership changes would look like. Ideally, succession planning begins as early as when the business is created.

Established in the 1840s when Galveston was the largest city in the state, Mills Shirley LLP has always been an integral part of Texas history and the Gulf Coast community.
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Mills Shirley LLP

Galveston Office
2228 Mechanic Street
Suite 400
Galveston, TX 77550

Phone: 409-761-1498
Fax: 866-674-7808
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Houston Office
Three Riverway
Suite 670
Houston, TX 77056

Phone: 713-242-1880
Fax: 866-674-7808
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