Andrews Myers Monthly Law Alert


April 2017


Electronic Employee Arbitration Agreements
By Elaine Howard

More and more employers are using a “click through” on-boarding process, in which employees review and acknowledge various employment documentation through a computer interface.  There are many advantages in doing so: the elimination of lost paperwork and standardization of the process among them.  It also provides an easier method to confirm that all of the relevant paperwork has been acknowledged, as the computer interface will highlight anything that has not been completed.  However, the case of Jane Doe v. Columbia North Hills Hospital Subsidiary, L.P., demonstrates some of the weaknesses of relying on an electronic system to confirm an employee’s agreement to various employment terms, in this case a mandatory arbitration agreement. Read more...

President Trump to OSHA's Volks Rule - "You're Fired"
By Tony Stergio and Chris Love

Earlier this month, President Trump signed the Congressional Review Act (the “Act”) into law.  The Act nullifies OSHA’s prior long standing rule - “Volks Rule” – which gave OSHA the authority to issue citations to employers for any record keeping omissions within the last 5 years. 

The impact of the President’s decision on the Act are substantial.  Simply put, OSHA will no longer be allowed to issue employers citations for failing to record illnesses and injuries after the six month limitations period.  Read more...


Keeping Austin "Solar-Ready"
By Andy Harris

In an effort to make Austin construction even more environmentally-friendly, Austin City Council recently moved to amend Austin’s energy code to require new structures be erected in a manner that accommodates solar panels. While the final version is still being drafted, Austin’s code will require both residential and commercial projects to be “solar-ready.” This is similar to a plan passed last year in Houston, although Houston only requires solar-ready construction for residential sites. 

The program—slated to begin on October 1, 2017— would require builders to construct new buildings and homes with the south-facing portion of the roof clear of obstacles (like plumbing vent pipes, covers, and other intrusions).  Read more...

Signs, Signs, Everywhere a Sign
By Chris Love

Contractors and subcontractors operating in Texas need to be aware of local and city requirements before posting their signs on jobsites.  Jobsite signs can serve multiple purposes – they can be for advertising, serve as safety warnings to the general public, restrict jobsite access or notify potential trespassers.  It’s also recommended that if you are posting warning signs or safety signs you do so in both English and Spanish.  While there is no uniform or state wide regulation, cities in Texas have many different requirements for jobsite signage. Read more...

BANKRUPTCY - CREDITORS' RIGHTS                                   

Reclamation in Bankruptcy: Retrieving Your Materials 
By Lisa Norman

If you sold materials to a company and the company then files bankruptcy before paying you, Section 546(c) of the Bankruptcy Code provides you with reclamation rights that allow you to retrieve the materials delivered in the 45-day period prior to the bankruptcy filing, or to recover the value of your materials.

In order to utilize these reclamation rights, there are several requirements under Section 546(c).  The materials must have been sold to the company (now the debtor in bankruptcy) in the “ordinary course” of your business and the debtor must have received the materials while it was insolvent.  Also, you must send a written reclamation demand to the debtor within 45 days of the debtor’s receipt of your materials.  Read more...
AM Celebrates!

Congratulations are in order for the following Andrews Myers attorneys:

Ben Westcott was selected as a member of the Panel of Arbitrators of the American Arbitration Association.

Tony Stergio and Poston Pritchett were recognized for their great work resulting in one of the Top 100 Verdicts in Texas in 2016.  

Mike Cortez was recently selected as the recipient of a Diversity Scholarship for the ABA Forum on Construction Law's 2017 Annual Meeting, which just took place in Washington, DC.

Susan George was recently selected to the Board of Directors of the Houston Bar Association's Real Estate Section.  

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