Everyone has the right to fair treatment in the workplace, and you are protected by federal and state employment laws upholding those worker’s rights. You should speak up if you suffer any unfair treatment at work, such as discrimination, sexual harassment, breach of employment contracts, employment discrimination, or wrongful termination.
At Galo Law Firm, our San Antonio labor lawyers have been handling labor and employment law cases since 1995. We have the skills and resources necessary to handle your case. Our law firm represents clients from both sides of the courtroom, whether plaintiff or defendant. We believe that by representing both sides, our employment attorneys are better equipped to help our clients.
Our labor lawyers in San Antonio can help with a broad range of issues related to employment law. Our narrow legal specialization means that we have a deep understanding of the complexities surrounding your case.
We are an esteemed employment law firm that is committed to your rights. We are prepared to take your case to trial if an out-of-court settlement cannot be reached. We are proud of our highly personalized approach and commitment to the attorney-client relationship.
Contact our labor law firm in San Antonio, TX, today and arrange a consultation at 210-361-8043.
What Are the Labor Laws in Texas?
Texas has strict labor laws that cover factors such as fair treatment of employees, proper workplace environment, and minimum wage. They work in conjunction with federal laws which cover things such as discrimination, overtime pay, and meals and breaks.
Whatever labor law issues you are facing, a San Antonio labor attorney at Galo Law Firm can help. We can advise you on your best course of action and ensure that your rights are protected.
Although there are no state laws regarding the payment of overtime, there are federal laws that must be adhered to.
Overtime should be 1.5 times that of regular pay. The Fair Labor Standards Act also requires that overtime rate is paid for any hours worked beyond 40 in a given week. However, there are some types of employees who are exempt from this rule.
It is also worth knowing that in Texas, employers must keep detailed records of hours worked by employees. As an employee, you can review your worked hours and ensure that you are properly paid.
Minimum Wage in Texas
In Texas, the minimum wage remains at the federal level of $7.25 an hour. The Texas Minimum Wage Act provides further guidelines as to the minimum wage for employees who are non-exempt. Exempt employees are not entitled to minimum wage or overtime pay.
If you are a non-exempt employee then you must be given a written statement of earnings that outlines your pay. You also have a right to ask for higher wages.
Employees who receive tips can be paid less than minimum wage, so long as their tips are sufficient to bring their hourly wage at least up to the minimum of $7.25 per hour. Texas law sets the minimum wage for tipped employees to $2.13 per hour.
Under the Texas Minimum Wage Act, employees must have access to earning statements which include their name, pay rate, net pay, deductions, and hours worked.
Frequency of Wages
Exempt employees must be paid at least monthly, while non-exempt employees must be paid at least twice a month.
Bi-monthly pay must be paid on designated paydays on the first and 15th of each month. If an employee is not paid on payday for whatever reason, they must be paid as soon as possible. Every business that is not a public employer must comply with these standards, in accordance with Texas Payday Law.
Employees are only entitled to unused vacation time if it is in a written policy or in their employment agreement. Any policies related to vacation time should be issued in writing.
Severance pay is paid to an employee if their contract is terminated early and unwillingly. There are no state or federal laws that require employers to provide severance pay, however, they are bound by the terms of severance agreements, company policies, or employment contracts.
Wages can only be withheld if the employer has authorization under state or federal law. An example could be if the court requires withholding, however, employers must have standardized authorization forms to implement deductions.
Meals and Breaks
Texas does not have labor laws in terms of breaks and meals for employees. Federal laws also do not require employers to provide breaks, however, they do require that any breaks under 20 minutes are paid.
However, lunch breaks of 30 minutes or more do not legally need to be paid. If an employee does have unpaid breaks, then they are permitted to do whatever they wish during that time.
If an employee is issued a final paycheck after leaving voluntarily it must be completed in full at the next scheduled payday. If the employee is terminated then they must receive a payment within six days.
Both state and federal law protects children from unfair labor practices. Minors in Texas are restricted as to both the hours they work and the type of work they can do before the age of 16.
Leaving a Job
Texas is an at-will employment state, which means that employees can be dismissed or leave a job for any reason, and at any time.
Workplace Safety and Injuries
The Occupational Safety and Health Act is a federal law that requires employers to keep the workplace safe from known hazards, including safety equipment, training, and good working conditions.
If an employee feels that these laws are not being adhered to they can request an OSHA inspection. Employers are prohibited from retaliating against an employee who makes a complaint.
If an employee suffers an injury, they have the right to seek out a San Antonio labor law lawyer and file a lawsuit in order to claim compensation for their medical expenses, any lost wages, and their emotional anguish. If an employer acted particularly recklessly then they may also be able to claim punitive damages. However, both the plaintiff and the defendant should have high-quality legal representation.
Discrimination and Harassment Laws in Texas
The Civil Rights Act, of 1964 makes discrimination based on sex, race, religion color, or national origin illegal. There are also additional federal laws that prohibit discrimination based on genetic information, disability, or age discrimination. In Texas, military personnel are also a protected class.
No job decision can be based on these protected characteristics, and employers cannot discriminate during the working relationship. That includes promotions, benefits, termination, and more.
Employees who make harassment or discrimination claims are legally protected against retaliation. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigates all complaints and mediates any disputes. However, it is a good idea to contact a San Antonio employment law attorney regardless of whether you are making the claim, or fighting against one.
In Texas, employers cannot discriminate against anyone who receives an order of evacuation and complies, for example in the case of a natural disaster. Medical personnel are excluded from this law if the employer can provide shelter. People who maintain and restore vital services, or are responsible for public safety are also excluded.
Laws on Attendance and Leave
In Texas, employees are not legally entitled to any paid leave, such as holidays or sick time. However, employers may be required to offer unpaid leave for things like medical issues, or jury duty.
The family and medical leave act is a federal law that entitles employees to up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave if they require time to care for a close family member with a serious injury or illness, a newborn baby, or bonding with a foster or adopted leave.
Employees who wish to receive FMLA leave in Texas must have worked a minimum of 1,250 hours over the previous year, and there must be 50 employees employed by the same employer within a 75-mile region.
An employee must continue to receive health benefits during FMLA leave, and they have the right to have their job back at the end.
Contact a San Antonio Labor Attorney Today
Galo Law Firm can help you with all legal issues related to labor and employment law. We represent people on both sides of the courtroom in both state court and federal court.
An experienced labor attorney will ensure that you follow the proper legal procedures, and will fight aggressively to protect your rights.
The founder of Galo Law Firm, Michael V. Galo Jr. has numerous professional associations including the State Bar of Texas. He has also received many hours including Super Lawyers 2007 – 2021 and boasts the highest possible AV Rating.
Michael Galo combines his extensive experience with full dedication to your case. He will take the time to listen to your concerns and keep you informed throughout the process.
Galo Law Firm can help you with all employment law matters. Give our San Antonio labor lawyers a call today to arrange a consultation at 210-361-8043.