Texas labor laws establish minimum wage, fair treatment of employees, and a safe workplace environment for both employees and management. They function in tandem with federal legislation and cover topics including as
- overtime compensation
- meals and rest periods
- severance payment
- pay intervals
- exploitation of minors
Minimum Wage in Texas
Texas’ minimum wage remains at the federal level of $7.25 per hour. Furthermore, the Texas Minimum Wage Act was enacted by the state. This act establishes criteria for the minimum wage for non-exempt employees. These employees must be provided with a documented account of earnings that details their compensation and enables for civil law remedies if the Texas Minimum Wage Act is breached.
This act also forbids employers from paying any wage that is less than the federal minimum wage. Workers in Texas have the ability to bargain for greater salaries as well. Employees who are tipped may be paid less than the minimum wage as long as the tips are adequate to bring their hourly equivalent up to at least $7.25 per hour. The minimum tipped pay in Texas is $2.13 per hour.
There are no labor rules in Texas that govern the payment of overtime. Federal laws, on the other hand, apply and set overtime at 1.5 times ordinary pay. The Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA, mandates all employers to pay overtime for any hours worked in excess of 40 in a given week. Employees who are exempt from overtime laws (exempt employees) are not eligible to earn this overtime.
Fair Labor Rights
There are rules in place to protect workers’ rights in terms of overtime, record keeping, and equitable compensation at both the state and federal levels. Furthermore, workers under a specific age are shielded from potentially hazardous employment or job that is deemed improper for workers their age.
Employers in Texas are required to keep thorough records of employee hours worked. Employees can also request a review of their hours worked and the remuneration they received for those hours.
The FLSA, or Fair Labor Standards Act, is a series of federal rules that establish hour and wage standards that all companies must obey. These include regulations governing overtime, the minimum wage, and other safeguards. Texas state laws are likewise subject to federal FLSA restrictions. For further information on the FLSA, contact the Wage and Hour Division of the United States Department of Labor.
Texas Discrimination and Harassment Laws
There are numerous federal statutes that protect prospective and present employees from hiring discrimination, wrongful termination, and other issues.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on color, religion, gender, race, or national origin. Any of these variables may not be used to make a job decision. Additional federal rules ban age discrimination, as well as discrimination based on disability or genetic information. Employers with at least 15 employees are subject to Civil Rights Act laws, while those with more than 20 employees are subject to age-discrimination statutes.
Furthermore, employers are not allowed to discriminate during the working relationship. This includes everything from posting a job to conducting interviews, making recruiting choices, granting promotions, providing wages and benefits, and laying off, dismissing, or otherwise disciplining employees. You should contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and review their legal resources for more information on federal discrimination legislation.
There are also state-specific laws in Texas that prohibit discrimination based on race, religion, gender, pregnancy, national origin, genetic information, age, job relationship, or handicap, as described above. These statutes apply to all Texas employers who employ at least 15 individuals. The Texas Workforce Commission has more information on these laws.
Harassment is defined as any words or unwelcome behaviors based on protected characteristics such as age, sex, or race that create an offensive or hostile work environment or are perceived as a prerequisite to keep or gain a job. Sexual harassment is the most widespread and well-known form of harassment, but it can also be based on ethnicity, disability, age, or any other protected characteristic.
Workers who report workplace discrimination or harassment are legally protected from reprisal. Employers are not permitted to take any negative work actions against employees, whether the complaint is made internally, to a government agency, or in the form of a lawsuit. All accusations of harassment or discrimination are investigated by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC. In addition, the group handles any disagreements between employers and employees.
In Texas, military members are a protected class. Employers may not discriminate against employees who are currently serving in the military forces, including the National Guard or state guard. They may also not discriminate against employees who comply with an evacuation order. This covers all employees who cooperated with Hurricane Ike evacuation orders.
Personnel in the medical field are exempt from this rule, but only if the company can offer shelter. Individuals in charge of maintaining and restoring important services, as well as those in charge of ensuring public safety, are likewise excluded.
Workplace Safety and Injury Laws in Texas
The federal government’s Occupational Safety and Health Act, which is supervised by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, applies to all states, including Texas (OSHA). This law mandates all businesses to offer a sufficiently safe workplace free of known hazards, including any and all essential safety equipment, training, and healthy working conditions.
Any employee who believes that his or her employer is in violation of these laws may seek an OSHA inspection. Employers are not permitted to retaliate against employees who file such complaints.
Any person who is injured on the job is generally eligible for workers’ compensation, a type of insurance that most firms in Texas are required to have. It allows employees to recover a portion of their regular earnings as well as compensation for medical care. Worker’s compensation also covers vocational training and disability benefits. It can also pay for burial and death payments for employees who die on the job.
Employees who are injured on the job must file a claim with the Texas Department of Insurance. Employees who believe their rights are being violated have the option of filing a lawsuit.
Safety and Injury Compensation
Employee rights in Texas cover protection in the workplace, regardless of vocation. Every business is required to keep a clean and organized workplace, to fulfill OSHA regulations, and to compensate employees for medical expenses if the firm carries workers’ compensation insurance. In most circumstances, an employer is also obligated to administer drug tests or I-9 forms in order to maintain a drug-free workplace.