Texas Labor Laws

Texas Labor Laws (2024 Guide For Employers)

It’s essential for employers and employees working in the state of Texas to have a solid understanding of Texas labor laws.

Are you…

  • Unsure about your rights as an employee under Tennessee labor laws?
  • Wondering about the minimum wage you should be earning in Tennessee?
  • Confused about break time regulations and how they apply to your workplace?
  • Concerned about discrimination and your rights in the workplace?

Understanding employment law, the Tennessee Labor Code, Tennessee payday law, and discrimination laws, including employment discrimination, is an essential part of leading a workforce in the state of Texas.

This article is for:

  • For employers aiming to ensure compliance with Tennessee labor laws and avoid legal disputes.
  • For employees seeking clarity on their rights and protections in Tennessee workplaces.
  • For HR professionals and legal advisors navigating collective bargaining, employee rights, and equal employment opportunity.

Texas employees have a wide range of rights and protections in the workplace. State and federal laws govern various aspects of the Texas employment relationship. Understanding these laws is key to ensuring you’re treated fairly. This article provides an overview of essential Texas labor laws, helping you navigate employment rights.

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 labor laws.

Texas Wage Laws

Minimum Wage

The current minimum wage in Texas mirrors the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. However, some cities or counties may have established a higher local minimum wage.

Tipped Employees

Tipped employees in Texas must be paid a minimum of $2.13 per hour, as long as their tips bring them to the federal minimum wage. If the tips don’t cover the difference, the employer must make up the shortfall.

Texas Payment Laws

Payday Frequency

Texas employers are required to pay non-exempt employees at least twice per month.

Overtime Pay

Non-exempt employees in Texas are entitled to overtime pay at a rate of time-and-a-half their regular wage rate for any hours worked over 40 in a workweek, as dictated by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Final Paycheck

When employment ends, Texas law mandates that employers issue the final paycheck within six days of separation, or by the following regularly scheduled payday, whichever comes first.

Texas Overtime Laws

Exemptions

Certain employees may be exempt from overtime pay requirements. This can include executive, administrative, professional, outside sales, and certain computer-related job categories. It’s essential to determine if your position qualifies for overtime exemption.

Recordkeeping

Employers in Texas must keep accurate records of hours worked by all employees, along with overtime calculations.

Texas Break Laws

Texas does not have a law mandating meal breaks or rest breaks for adult employees. However, employers may establish their own break policies, which should be communicated clearly to employees. Federal regulations do include provisions for nursing mothers to express breast milk at work.

Texas Leave Requirements

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The FMLA provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year for qualifying medical and family reasons including birth or adoption, caring for a seriously ill family member, or an employee’s own serious health condition. Texas employers with at least 50 employees within 75 miles must comply with the FMLA.

Sick Leave

Texas has no statewide mandatory sick leave law. Some cities like Austin and Dallas have ordinances requiring employers to provide paid sick leave.

Jury Duty Leave

Texas employers cannot fire an employee for serving jury duty. Employers are required to allow time off for jury service.

Military Leave

Texas laws ensure protections for employees serving in the military, including job reinstatement rights and some paid leave in specific situations.

Child Labor Laws in Texas

Strict child labor laws govern the employment of minors in Texas. These laws set age limits, work hour restrictions, and prohibit minors from working in hazardous occupations. Here are some highlights:

Age 14-15

Minors aged 14-15 have restrictions on work hours and the types of jobs they can hold.

Age 16-17

Minors aged 16-17 generally have fewer restrictions, but there are still limits during school hours.

Texas Hiring Laws

Discrimination

Texas employers cannot discriminate against job applicants or employees based on protected characteristics such as race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age (40 and over), disability, genetic information, or military status.

Background Checks

Employers in Texas may conduct background checks, but they must comply with federal and state laws regarding their use.

E-Verify

Texas mandates the use of E-Verify for certain new hires.

Texas Termination Laws

At-Will Employment

Texas is an “at-will employment” state. This means employers can generally terminate employees for any reason, or no reason at all, as long as it’s not illegal (such as discrimination or retaliation). Employees may also quit at any time, for any reason, or no reason.

Wrongful Termination

Exceptions to at-will employment exist, such as when an employee is fired for an illegal reason or in breach of an employment contract.

Occupational Safety in Texas

OSHA

While there is no state-run occupational safety plan in Texas, most private employers fall under federal jurisdiction. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) establishes workplace safety standards to reduce on-the-job hazards.

Workers’ Compensation

Unlike most states, Texas does not legally require employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. However, employers without workers’ compensation coverage face increased risk as they could be sued directly by an injured employee.

Important Notes

Federal vs. State Law

Where federal and Texas labor laws overlap, the law providing greater protection for employees generally takes precedence.

City and County Ordinances

Some cities and counties in Texas have their own additional labor laws and ordinances. These might cover topics like minimum wage or paid sick leave. Be sure to research local regulations.

Texas Workforce Commission (TWC)

The TWC is the state agency that enforces many Texas labor laws. It provides valuable resources and guidance on matters relating to wage claims, unemployment benefits, and other labor issues.

Department of Labor (DOL)

The federal DOL regulates areas like minimum wage, overtime, and federal leave programs.

Additional Resources

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.

US States

Need Help With Payroll?
Taxes filed for you, automatically.

Let Buddy Punch handle your payroll

Run payroll, pay employees & contractors, all in a few clicks.

Quickly pay your team, no matter where they are,