The following memo is an Employment Law Compliance Plan for Landslides Limousines. The plan summarizes key federal and Texas State employment laws. This report also includes recommendations and consequences of these laws. Please note that Landslide Limousines is subject to additional laws if the business exceeds employing more than 50 individuals. If Landslide Limousines fails to comply with the laws highlighted in this memo, the company is subject to serious penalties, including hefty fines, lawsuits, and possible prosecution. The federal law requires that all businesses in the United States comply with standard laws. Some of the laws include the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification, and the Social Security Act (1935).
Additional laws include the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Federal Unemployment Act. It is imperative that Landslide Limousines complies and understands what these laws detail. The EEOC law prohibits any business from discriminating against its employees. Both the EECO and the Texas Workforce Commission Civil Rights Division (TWCCRD), mandate that businesses cannot discriminate against any employee based on race, sex, religion, disability, or age (Employee Rights & Laws, 2013). According to the law, “Employers with 15 or more employees engaged in an industry affecting commerce, employment agencies, and labor unions are prohibited from denying equal employment opportunities” (Business Employer Requirements, 2013, para. 3). Failure to comply with either of these laws will result in potential lawsuits by employees and potential financial loss for the company.
Employees have the right to file a claim against their employer if they believe that they experiencing discrimination. According to the Department of Labor (2013), if the complaint is valid the “Employee may be entitled to a remedy that will place you in the position you would have been in if the discrimination had never happened. You may be entitled to hiring, promotion, reinstatement, back pay, a pay raise, or reasonable accommodation, including reassignment” (para. 12). The I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification is required for any employee. The Immigration Reform and Control Act, states that the United States employers must verify the identity of all workers (Employee Verification Compliance, 2013). Employers must check documentation like identification, social security card, work visa, passport, etc., to ensure that employees are legally able to work in the United States (Employee Verification Compliance, 2013).
The EEOC and the TWCCRD, work to enforce the law. If a business violates these employment laws, penalties like fines, and possible prosecution will ensue. The Department of Homeland Security, Department of Labor, or office of Immigration can investigate any business, when they so chose. If errors are found in the I-9 documentation, forms are missing, or if it is discovered that an employer knowingly employs an unauthorized worker, Landslide Limousines is subject to serious penalties (Employee Verification Compliance, 2013). Penalties for I-9 paperwork errors can include fines up to $1,100 per employee (Employee Verification Compliance, 2013). Studies show that the number of employers, who violate I-9 employment eligibility verification, continues to rise (Employee Verification Compliance, 2013). Therefore, it is imperative that Landslides Limousines pays close attention to this.
Texas Payday Law is a law that Landslides Limousines needs to be knowledgeable of. The law states that employers are not required to pay employees additional wages for working holidays or weekends (Texas Payday Law, 2013). This is at the digression of the employer. Rest breaks over 20 minutes and lunch breaks exceeding 30 minutes must be paid. Texas law requires that wages “must be delivered to the employees at their regular place of work during working hours, mailed by registered mail, or by direct deposit to be received by the employee no later than payday” (Texas Law, 2013, para. 2). Under Texas law, employees can file a claim for unpaid wages. They may do this up to 180 days from when pay is due (Texas Law, 2013). If an employee is laid off, quits or is fired, the employer must pay the employee owed wages by the next pay period (Texas Law, 2013).
Employers are not required to pay employees vacation pay, unless this benefit is offered in writing before or during employment (Texas Law, 2013). The Texas Department of Safety Health Consultations (OSHCON) is a program that is available to businesses by the Texas Department of Insurance. Companies with fewer that 150 employees are entitled to a free inspection (Business Employer Requirements, 2013). If companies “meet the federal requirements, they are exempt from a scheduled inspection for 12 months” (Business Employer Requirements, 2013, para. 1). This is a program that Landslides Limousines needs to take advantage of. All businesses must meet federal requirements to operate legally. Landslide Limousines is eligible for a free inspection because it employs fewer than 150 employees. A free inspection also saves the company money. To comply with Texas child labor laws the company should refrain from hiring individuals under the age of 21.
Due to the limited hours that a minor is able to work in the state of Texas, Landslides Limousines should hire individuals over the age of 21, have excellent driving records, and at least five or more years of driving experience. A background check and a copy of employees driving records are needed from the insurance company. The limousine industry requires that employees have flexible hours such as graveyard shifts. This is illegal for anyone under the age 18. Minors are unable to work before 5 a.m., or after 10 p.m. (Chapter 15 Texas Labor Code, 2013). Federal law also states that minors cannot exceed more than three hours of work on a school day. In addition, minors cannot exceed or 18 hours during a school week (Chapter 15 Texas Labor Code, 2013). Employers who violate the child labor law can be charged with a misdemeanor (Chapter 15 Texas Labor Code, 2013). Under Texas State law, “ If an employer violates child labor law, in addition to criminal penalties TWC may assess an administrative penalty against the employer up to $10,000 per violation” (Texas Child Labor Law, 2013, para. 3).
To save the Landslides Limousine money, we recommend that Landslide Limousines refrain from offering employees benefits, until the company exceeds 200 employees. This approach saves the Landslides Limousines money, which allows the company to expand its clientele. Federal law states that employers are not required to offer health insurance benefit plans (Cascio, 2013, p. 477). However, beginning in 2014, “employers with more than 50 employees, including full time-equivalent employees, who do not offer healthcare coverage and have at least one employee receiving a tax credit for health-coverage premiums will have to pay a penalty of $2.000” (Cascio, 2013, p. 477).
Landslide Limousines will need to be aware of this law should employment exceed 50. As Landslide Limousines begins to grow, the company will need to be aware of the laws required for medium and large businesses. The company needs to continue to follow and stay current with all Texas State and federal laws. This will help avoid penalties like prosecution and fines. We recommend that an additional evaluation be conducted at the end of the year. Please let us know if there are any further questions regarding the information provided. The company is more than happy to discuss the above listed laws further in detail.
Business Employer Requirements. Texasopenwideforbusiness.com. Retrieved from: http://www.texaswideopenforbusiness.com/small-business/requirements.php Cascio, W.F. (2013). Managing Human Resources (9th ed.). New York: The McGraw Hill
Chapter 15 Texas Labor Code. 2013. Texasworkforcecomission.com Retrieved from: http://www.hrp.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/childlaborlaws_faq.pdf Employee Rights and Laws. 2013. Texas Workforce Commission. Retrieved from: http://www.twc.state.tx.us/customers/jsemp/employee-rights-laws.html Employee Verification Compliance. 2013. Cmrkmurrah.com.
Retrieved from: http://cmarkmurrah.com/lawyer//I-
Department of Labor. 2013. DOL.com
Retrieved from: http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/regs/compliance/factsheets/wprights.htm#Q12 Texas Child Labor Law. 2013. Texasworkforcecomission.com
Retrieved from: http://www.twc.state.tx.us/ui/lablaw/texas-child-labor-law.html#penalties