Texas Employment Laws: What are Employment Laws in Texas?
Employment laws protect the rights of both employers and employees in workplace environments. They set ethical codes and standards that have to be followed by both parties to ensure the smooth progression of work and efficient management of labor. The kinds of rules and regulations that fall within the sphere of employment laws include minimum wage, days off, vacation, overtime, work hours, lunch breaks and much more.
Working is an important part of everyone’s life – without employment, it would not be possible for people to make the income they need to live healthy, happy lives. Employment laws regulate workplace relationships and ensure that people, both employers as well as employees, can develop balanced and fruitful relationships at work.
What are employment laws in Texas?
Employment laws in most states form a combination of federal and state laws. While federal laws set general standards that must be followed in all states, such as minimum wage, state laws can work to improve this. What this means is that states are not bound to federal laws provided that they can make better provisions to protect the rights of their citizens. In Texas, the minimum wage is the same as what has been provided for under federal law. However, Texas places stricter laws against child labor that protect the rights of minors in the state.
Texas also has provisions for minimum wage, the number of paid leaves an employee can take, vacations, for whistleblowers, protecting employees’ right to work, as well as other laws about work.
What is a general overview of the employment laws in Texas?
It is always recommended that an employer be aware of the state’s employment laws before starting their organization. Employees who are aware of at least general laws ensure that they can protect their rights in case of any unethical or illegal behavior at work. Should an employer refuse to pay an employee’s wages without any proper reason, for example, the employee can take legal action against the employer.
Some important employment laws in Texas include but are not limited to:
- Minimum Wage: While Texas provides the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, it has also employed the Texas Minimum Wage Act that has guidelines for employees who are non-exempt. The act ensures that employers cannot pay their workers below federal minimum wage levels. Employees in Texas are also provided with the right to ask their employers to pay higher than the minimum wage at the time of employment. Only those people that make money in tips can be paid less than minimum wage. But even in such scenarios, the employee can only be paid less if the sum of their tips altogether brings up their per hour earnings to a minimum of $7.25.
- Overtime: Texas does not make any special provisions for overtime, and instead the federal laws are followed. According to the Federal Standard Labor Act, overtime is 1.5 times higher per hour than standard pay. Anyone who is working more than the established forty hours a week is eligible for overtime pay.
- Lunch Break: Neither federal nor state laws in Texas make provisions for these breaks. However, the employer can, on their prerogative, make time for their employees to eat or rest. If the employer is providing lunch breaks, then breaks of twenty minutes or less come within paid time while breaks bigger than thirty minutes are unpaid.
- Paydays: Employers must provide payments by the state law – that is either the first and fifteenth day of the month or on days that fall within the mandate of the employment laws followed in Texas.
There are other laws, such as those about vacations or time off, civil rights and more. Awareness of these laws help in fostering and maintaining workplace relationships by making people aware of what they can or cannot do in work environments, and protecting the rights of employers and employees.