Texas Employment Law Update

Texas Employment Law Update

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Category Archives: Legislation

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Texas Legislature Passes Stolen Valor Act

Posted in Legislation
During the 84th Legislative Session, the Texas Legislature passed an employment provision that allows employers to end the employment of employees that have misrepresented their military record.  While most Texas employees are at-will, this law will likely have little impact, however, it does provide the voiding of written contracts with employees where the employee has… Continue Reading

Texas Legislature Adds Sexual Harassment Protection for Unpaid Interns

Posted in Harassment, Legislation, Uncategorized
Another legislative session ended with few changes affecting Texas employers on the labor and employment law front.  One bill that did become law is one that prohibits the sexual harassment of unpaid interns.  The law creates an offense if the employer’s agents or supervisors know or should have knowledge of conduct constituting sexual harassment was… Continue Reading

Texas Governor Signs Open Carry Law –Employers Have Time to Prepare

Posted in Human Resources, Legislation
Beginning in 2016, licensed individuals can openly carry handguns on their person. Prior to the implantation of the law, Texas law required that license holders carry their handguns in a concealed manner.  HB 910 authorizes individuals with a license to carry a handgun to openly carry their handguns in all locations that allow the licensed… Continue Reading

DOL Proposes Rule to Extend FMLA Benefits to Same-Sex Spouses in Texas

Posted in Leave of Absence, Legislation
Last week the U.S. Department of Labor published a proposed rule to extend FMLA benefits to same-sex spouses on the same terms as spouses of other legally recognized marriages.   This will confirm, if passed, that FMLA benefits must be provided to all eligible employees to: care for their legally married spouses who have a serious health… Continue Reading

Texas Legislature Opens 83rd Regular Session

Posted in Legislation, News & Commentary
Last week the Texas Legislature opened its 83rd regular session.  The Texas Legislature meets every other year and only for 140 days.  Here are the labor and employment related bills that have been introduced that may eventually effect Texas employers.  I will supplement this post with newly filed bills during the session. HB 372 (Deshotel) (Relating to… Continue Reading

Governor Perry Closes Loophole on Theft of Service Law

Posted in Legislation, Wage & Hour
Governor Perry signed SB 1024 eliminating a loophole that previously existed for a criminal theft of service charge.  Under prior law, a party obtaining services from another under a promise to pay could avoid a criminal charge of theft of service so long as the party was making minimal payments.  According to the bill’s analysis: Theft of wages occurs when… Continue Reading

Sigh of Relief: Legislature Does Little Damage to Employer’s Rights

Posted in Legislation
The Texas Legislature completed its regular session and is now in special session to address school financing legislation.  The good news for Texas employers is that the Legislature did little damage to employer’s rights during the regular session.  Bills to bring Obama-styled legislation to the Texas Labor Code such as the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay… Continue Reading

Texas Legislature Limits Employers’ Right to Prohibit Concealed Carry License Holder Employees from Carrying Firearms in their Cars on Employer Property

Posted in Legislation
The Texas Legislature passed SB 321 and sent it to the Governor for approval.  The bill restricts public and private employers from prohibiting employees who are concealed handgun license holders, or otherwise lawfully possessing firearms or ammunition, from transporting or storing firearms or ammunition in the employee’s privately-owned, locked car on the employer’s premises. This bill does not apply to an employer… Continue Reading

Texas Legislature Passes Limited “Loser Pay” Provisions for Frivilous Lawsuits

Posted in Legislation
Texas is known for its business/employer-friendly legal climate.  In a bill passed by the Texas Legislature, the climate just got friendlier.  HB 274, sent to the Governor for signature, requires the Supreme Court of Texas to adopt rules providing for the early dismissal of causes of action that have no basis in law or fact and provide for… Continue Reading

Newly Enrolled Bills Effecting Texas Employers

Posted in Legislation
Its getting near the end of the time to sponsor bills for consideration during this Texas legislative session.  Here are the most recently enrolled bills potentially effecting Texas employers. HB 2609 (Guillen) (relating to employment at or by certain facilities serving the elderly or persons with disabilities) HB 2695 (Davis) (relating to acquiring Human Health… Continue Reading

Employment Bills Enrolled the Week of January 11, 2011

Posted in Discrimination, Legislation
The blog has been updated with bills enrolled in the Texas Legislature the week of January 11, 2011 likely to effect Texas employers.  This week’s bills include bills targeted at prohibiting workplace smoking; prohibitions against sexual orientation discrimination; payment of wages through payroll card accounts and a bill to require employers to use the federal… Continue Reading

S.B. 314 Prohibiting Chargebacks to Employer Unemployment Benefit Accounts for Benefits Paid to Victims of Sexual Assault

Posted in Legislation, Unemployment
Senate Bill 314 was enrolled in the Texas Legislature and would exclude, from an employer’s unemployment tax account (i.e., no chargeback), unemployment benefits paid to an employee who left employment because he or she (or their immediate family member) is a victim of sexual assault.  Bill text here.  … Continue Reading

Bill to Add Lilly Ledbetter Act Provisions to Texas Labor Code Enrolled

Posted in Legislation
The Texas Legislature commences its 82nd Legislative Session on January 11, 2011.  One of the bills recently enrolled for consideration is a bill to add Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act provisions to the Texas Labor Code.  Senate Bill 280 would extend the statute of limitations for allegations of discrimination in payment of compensation (or other undefined practices) to the last date… Continue Reading

Texas Legislative Update 2011

Posted in Legislation
In less than a month, the Texas Legislature starts its 82nd Legislative Session.  In Texas the Legislature only meets in regular session for 140 days every two years.  The 82nd Legislative Session kicks off on January 11, 2011.  Over the term of the session, I’ll try to identify the bills that, if passed, will impact Texas employment… Continue Reading

Texas Relaxes Requirements to Enforce Noncompetes Against Physician-Owners

Posted in Legislation, Noncompetes and Restrictive Covenants
In addition to containing reasonable restrictions as to time, geographic scope and scope of activity to be restrained, Texas imposes additional requirements for enforceable covenants not to compete with licensed physicians.  Those additional requirements include that the covenant:  not deny the physician access to a list of his patients whom he had seen or treated… Continue Reading

Texas Expands Employment Rights for Disabled

Posted in Disability, Human Resources, Legislation
This legislative session the Texas Legislature passed, and the Governor signed, amendments that significantly expands the scope of the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act ("Act") as it relates to individuals with disabilities. The amendment provides that: The definition of "disability" is to be broadly construed to the maximum extent possible and shall include impairments that are episodic or in… Continue Reading

Texas Legislative Update 2009 (2 Minute Warning)

Posted in Legislation
With only a few weeks left in the 2009 Texas legislative session, here is an update on the status of several bills to watch for Texas employers.   To see a bill’s current status, click on the links below that are updated by the Texas legislature. HB 32  Prohibiting discrimination against employees of workers’ compensation nonsubscribers who sustain an… Continue Reading

Texas Legislative Update: Bills Affecting Texas Employers

Posted in Discrimination, Legislation
On March 20, 2009 I posted an entry about several leave of absence bills pending in the Texas Legislature.  Today I want to highlight a few other bills that will effect Texas employers if passed. HB 32  Prohibiting discrimination against employees of workers’ compensation nonsubscribers who sustain an injury in the course and scope of their employment.… Continue Reading

Texas Legislature Update: Employee Leaves of Absence

Posted in Leave of Absence, Legislation
There are several pending bills in the Texas legislature that could effect the leaves of absence private employers must make available to their employees.  Some of these types of leaves have already been passed in more liberal states such as California and Massachusetts.  Pending leave of absence bills in the Texas legislature include:   HB 615 Permitting employees with a child enrolled… Continue Reading