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Employers' Guide to General Employment Law

Although written for employers, this handbook contains information you may find useful in answering your questions about Employment Law in Texas. 

Table of Contents: Introduction and Hiring Your First Employees

Introduction

Every employer should be familiar with employment law. If an employer does not comply with state and federal employment requirements, it risks civil or criminal liability. But the myriad state and federal statutes relating to the hiring, termination, and compensation of employees can be difficult for a new or first-time employer to identify and understand. This handbook is meant to provide a brief overview of the overlapping state and federal requirements so that new or first-time Texas employers can avoid employment disputes with their employees.

This handbook is intended to provide general guidance only and is current as of April 2011. Laws frequently change and this guide is not a substitute for the advice of a lawyer. The Texas Young Lawyers Association hopes, however, that by providing Texas small businesses with a better understanding of their legal rights and remedies, this handbook will help prevent many legal problems from ever arising

Hiring Your First Employees - Page 1

  • Impermissible basis for making hiring decisions - Page 2
    • Title VII - Page 2
    • Americans with disabilities act - Page 1
    • Age Discrimination in Employment Act - Page 3
    • Genetic Information - Page -3
    • Texas Commission on Human Rights Act - Page 3
  • Permissible application and interview questions - Page 3
  • Negligent Hiring and Negligent Retention - Page 3
  • I-9 (work eligibility requirements - Page 4
  • New-employee reporting requirements - Page 4

Table of Contents: Hours and Pay

  • Fair Labor Standards Act - Page 5
    • Minimum Wage - Page 5
    • Minimum Wage Exemptions - Page 5
    • Opportunity Wage - Page 5
    • Tipped Employees - Page 5
    • Special Employment Certificates - Page 6
    • Overtime - Page 6
    • Fair Labor Standards Act Compliance Requirements - Page 7
      • Required Records - Page 7
      • Record Retention - Page 8
      • Where Records Are To Be Maintained - Page 8
    • Child Labor Provisions - Page 9
  • Texas Payday Law - Page 10
    • Frequency and Methods of Pay - Page 10
    • Limitations on Wages Paid "In Kind" - Page 10
    • Final/Severance Pay - Page 10
    • Deductions From an Employee's Pay - Page 10
      • Deductions Allowed Without an Employee's Authorization - Page 11
      • Deductions Requiring an Employee's Authorization - Page 11
    • The Wage Claims Process Before the Texas Workforce Commission - Page 11
      • The Texas Workforce Commission Rules Against Employee - Page 12
      • The Texas Workforce Commission Rules Against Employer - Page 12
    • Potential Criminal Penalties Against an Employer - Page 12

Table of Contents: Treatment of Employees

As is mentioned in Section 2, [of the handbook], several state and federal laws govern the hiring and treatment of employees. Most of these laws have been enacted to prevent workplace discrimination. In addition to these duties to prevent discrimination, employers have additional duties regarding work-related injuries, privacy rights, and safety.

  • Discrimination & Harassment - Page 13
    • Title VII & The Texas Commission on Human Rights Act - Page 13
    • Race Discrimination & Harassment - Page 14
    • National Origin Discrimination - Page 14
    • Sexual Discrimination & Sexual Harassment - Page 14
    • Religious Discrimination - Page 15
    • Disability Discrimination - Page 15
    • Age Discrimination - Page 16
    • Family Medical Leave Act - Page 16
    • Retaliation - Page 18
    • Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act - Page 18
  • Preventing Discrimination and Harassment - Page 18
  • The EEOC and The Texas Workforce Commission - Page 19
  • Workers' Compensation Insurance - Page 20
    • Employer's Benefits & Responsibilities - Page 20
    • Employee's Benefits & Responsibilities - Page 20
  • Employee's Privacy Rights - Page 21
  • Employer's Duties to Employees - Page 22

Table of Contents: Resignations and Terminations

  • Employment at Will - Page 23
  • Jury Service, Military Leave, and Voting - Page 23
    • Jury Service - Page 23
    • Military Leave - Page 24
    • Voting - Page 24
  • Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 or "COBRA" - Page 24
  • Handling Inquiries From Potential Employers - Page 25
  • Unemployment Insurance - Page 25

Table of Contents: Protecting Your Business

This section explores ways for employers to protect against liability for their employee's actions. Additionally, it explains some of the different forms of insurance that employers should consider carrying.

  • Liability For An Employee's Acts - Page 26
    • Common Situations for Employer's Liability - Page 26
    • Different Forms of Business Insurance - Page 27

Table of Contents : Required Postings and Other Helpful Resources