As you begin the venture of establishing your new business, hiring your first employee or building an entire team of employees brings forth a whole new area for compliance regarding employment and labor laws; this includes both federal and state laws.
Atwood and Allen Consulting has compiled an Employment Law Compliance Plan specifically for Landslide Limousines so that you are aware of any and all laws you must abide by as a new employer. Outlined below you will find a brief overview of each law (both state and federal), as well as a summary of consequences if you do not abide by these laws.
The Texas Payday Law
Under the Texas Payday Law, all Texas private employers must abide by this law regardless of the size or number of employees. This law requires employers to pay employees in full and on time on regularly scheduled paydays (Kizziar, Bracewell & Guiliani, 2012). Various types of compensation is subject to the Texas Payday Law, which includes compensation for services rendered regardless of how they are computed; commission and bonuses according to the agreement between the employee and employer; and certain fringe benefits due under written agreement with or by policy of the employer. An employer must also meet other obligations for payment of wages to remain compliant with this law, this includes the following: An employer must pay wages to FLSA exempt employees at a minimum of once per month; FLSA non-exempt employees must be paid at a minimum of twice per month. Employers must have a designated payday, and must also post sufficient notice that is made available to all employees regarding the designated payday. If an employer fails to establish designated paydays, the paydays will be the first and fifteenth day of each month (Kizziar, Bracewell & Guiliani, 2012).
An employee who is terminated from employment must be paid no later than six (6) days from the termination date. Employees who voluntarily terminate their position must be paid on the next regularly scheduled payday. Commissions and Bonuses must be paid in the same manner and time frame in which other wages are paid. All wages must be paid to employees in US currency by check or direct deposit. Employees may receive wages earned in another form only if it is agreed upon between the employer and the employee. An employer may not withhold or garnish employee wages earned unless it is ordered upon by the court, federal or state law, or has the written authorization from the employee to do so.
Consequences for Non-Compliance
If employers do not abide by this law, an employee has the right to file a wage claim with the Texas Workforce Commission. If the employer is found guilty of non-compliance of any of the above named provisions outlined in this law, the employer may suffer both civil and criminal penalties (Texas Workforce Commission, 2013).
The Texas Minimum Wage Act Requirements
The Texas Minimum Wage Act was adopted to establish a minimum wage rate for FLSA non-exempt employees in the state of Texas. Effective on July 24, 2009, Texas began to follow the federal minimum wage requirement of $7.25 per hour; as the federal minimum wage requirements change, the state requirements will also change resulting in an automatic wage increase (Texas Workforce Commission, 2013).
The Texas Minimum Wage Act also requires employers to provide each of their employees with a written earnings statement, which provides information that enables employees to determine from a single document whether they have been paid correctly for a given pay period.
This Act also pardons numerous employers from its coverage. The primary exemption from the Texas Minimum Wage Act is for any person covered by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Other specific exemptions include: Employment in, of or by religious, educational, charitable or nonprofit organizations; Professionals, salespersons or public officials; Domestics; Certain youths and students; Inmates; Family members; Amusement and recreational establishments; Non-agricultural employers not liable for state unemployment contributions; Dairying and production of livestock; and Sheltered workshops (Texas Workforce Commission, 2013).
Consequences for Non-Compliance
If for any reason the employer does not comply with the Act, the employee may file a claim with the Texas Workforce Commission. If the employer is found guilty, they may be subject to civil penalties, with the addition of attorney fees and court costs.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
This law makes it illegal to discriminate against any individual on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex. This law also makes it illegal to retaliate against an employee if they may have complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit. Title VII of the Act mandates employers to make reasonable accommodation for both applicants and employees in regards to religious practices, unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the employer’s business.
The Equal Pay Act of 1963
The Equal Pay Act of 1963 makes it illegal for an employer to pay different wages to men and women
Kizziar, J. H. (2012). The Texas Payday Law: Where Is My Paycheck? Retrieved from http:// (2012, January). The Texas Payday Law: Where Is My Paycheck?
Kizziar News. Retrieved from http://www.bracewellgiuliani.com/assets/KizziarJan2011News.pdf
Texas Workforce Commission. (2013). Texas Minimum Wage Law. Retrieved from http://www.twc.state.tx.us/ui/lablaw/texas-minimum-wage-law.html