Texas Payroll Laws (2023 Guide For Employers)
This article will answer the following questions about Texas payroll laws:
- What are the minimum wage regulations in Texas?
- What are the time off and leave laws in Texas?
- How does overtime pay work in Texas?
- What are the child labor laws in Texas?
- How does vacation pay work in Texas?
Texas employers and employees should have a good knowledge of labor laws in the state.
Let’s take a look at Texas payroll laws.
Disclaimer: Despite our best efforts to provide you with accurate information on this topic at the time of writing, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the content at the time of reading. This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. Consult an attorney for specific guidance on Texas payroll laws.
Texas Payroll Laws (Key Areas)
Texas Minimum Wage (What Are The Laws?)
The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets the federal minimum wage, which serves as the baseline for states to follow or exceed.
The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.
In Texas, the state minimum wage is set equal to the federal minimum wage, which means that employers must pay their employees at least $7.25 per hour.
Tipped employees, such as restaurant servers, have a different set of rules.
Employers can pay these workers a lower base wage (currently $2.13 per hour) if their tips make up the difference between the base wage and the standard minimum wage.
Employers must ensure that their tipped employees’ total earnings meet or exceed the Texas minimum wage.
Texas Overtime Laws (What Do You Need To Know?)
Under the FLSA, non-exempt employees who work more than 40 hours in a workweek must receive overtime pay at a rate of at least one and one-half times their regular rate of pay.
Texas does not have a separate state law governing overtime, so employers in Texas must follow the FLSA’s overtime rules.
Some employees, such as certain professionals and executives, are exempt from the FLSA’s overtime requirements.
Employers should familiarize themselves with the FLSA’s specific exemption criteria to ensure proper classification of exempt and non-exempt employees.
Texas Child Labor Laws (Key Information)
Child labor laws in Texas are designed to protect the welfare and safety of minors in the workforce.
The Texas Child Labor Law generally applies to employees under the age of 18.
Under this law, there are specific restrictions on the number of hours and times of day that minors can work, depending on their age.
For example, 14 and 15-year-olds are limited to working no more than 8 hours in a day, 48 hours in a week, and only between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. during the school year.
During the summer months (June 1 through Labor Day), these minors can work until 9 p.m.
Minors aged 16 and 17 have fewer restrictions on their work hours, but they are still subject to certain limitations.
Texas Labor Code: Payday Requirements & Wage Payments
The Texas Payday Law, found in the Texas Labor Code, regulates the payment of wages to employees by their employers.
Under this law, employers must establish regular paydays and pay employees at least twice per month for non-exempt employees and at least once per month for exempt employees.
Wages must be paid on the next regularly scheduled payday following the pay period in which the wages were earned.
If an employee is terminated or leaves their job, the employer must provide their final paycheck within six calendar days if the employee was laid off or terminated, or by the next regularly scheduled payday if the employee resigned.
Additional Payroll Considerations (Key Areas)
Vacation Pay & Sick Leave
Texas does not have specific laws requiring employers to provide paid vacation or sick leave.
However, if an employer chooses to offer these benefits, they must adhere to their established policies and any agreements made with employees.
Accrued vacation time may be considered a form of wages due, and employers may be required to pay out unused vacation time upon an employee’s separation from the company, depending on their policy.
Rest Breaks & Meal Periods
Texas does not have specific laws mandating rest breaks or meal periods for adult employees.
However, federal law requires that short rest breaks (usually 5 to 20 minutes) be counted as compensable time, while meal periods (typically 30 minutes or more) can be unpaid if the employee is completely relieved of duties during that time.
Employers in Texas are required to keep accurate records of their employees’ hours worked, wages paid, and other employment-related information.
The Department of Labor (DOL) enforces these requirements, and failure to maintain proper records can result in fines and penalties.
Independent contractors are not covered by many employment laws, including the FLSA and Texas Payday Law.
Employers must be careful not to misclassify employees as independent contractors, as doing so can result in significant legal and financial consequences.
Texas Workforce Commission (TWC)
The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) is the state agency responsible for enforcing Texas labor laws, including the Texas Payday Law, child labor regulations, and wage claim disputes.
Employees who believe their rights have been violated can file a wage claim with the TWC to seek unpaid wages, overtime pay, or other compensation owed to them.
Employers who receive notice of a wage claim should respond promptly and provide the necessary documentation to support their position.
The TWC will investigate the claim and determine whether the employer has violated any wage laws.
Texas Holiday Pay & Severance Pay
Texas labor laws do not mandate employers to provide paid holidays or severance pay to their employees.
However, if an employer has a policy or agreement in place that includes provisions for holiday pay or severance pay, they must honor those commitments.
Employers should ensure that their policies regarding holiday pay and severance pay are clearly communicated to employees and applied consistently.
Texas Overtime Hours & Regulations
As previously discussed, employers in Texas must pay non-exempt employees overtime for any hours worked beyond 40 in a single workweek.
Overtime pay must be at least one and a half times the employee’s regular rate of pay.
Employers should carefully track employees’ overtime hours to ensure accurate payment and compliance with both state and federal laws.
Texas Payroll Laws (Closing Thoughts)
We hope this guide has provided you with some useful insights into Texas payroll laws. With a solid understanding of minimum wage, hour laws, overtime pay, and other labor law requirements, employers can avoid legal headaches and pour their attention into productivity and performance.
Disclaimer: Not Legal Advice
This blog post provides a general overview of Texas labor laws but does not constitute legal advice. Laws and regulations are subject to change, and there may be additional requirements or exemptions that apply to specific situations. Employers and employees should consult a qualified labor law attorney for advice on their specific circumstances.
If you have any questions about your rights or obligations as an employer or employee in Texas, it is essential to consult with a labor law attorney to receive accurate information and guidance tailored to your situation. By seeking professional legal advice, you can ensure that you are taking the appropriate steps to comply with labor laws and protect your rights.
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