Labor Laws in Houston, TX
Employers have a legal and ethical obligation to foster a positive work environment for their employees. By creating honest and respectful relationships, they can increase the productivity of their subordinates and make their jobsite a pleasant place to work.
Unfortunately, this is not always what happens. Some employers have been found to apply unfair and discriminatory practices in their workplace, causing hard-working employees to suffer unjustly. Federal and state labor laws were enacted to protect employees who fall victim to these toxic practices and to hold those responsible accountable for their actions.
If you or a loved one has become the victim of labor law violations, contact our Houston office today. Fill out a free, no-risk case evaluation today and see why there’s only one Morgan & Morgan.
Laws That Protect Workers in Texas
The Fair Labor and Standards Act (FLSA) provides labor standards that apply to the entire country. However, there are also state-specific laws that protect workers from the practices of unjust employers:
- Minimum Wage: The state of Texas has a mandatory minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, reflecting the federal minimum wage standard set in place by the Fair Labor and Standards Act (FLSA).
- Overtime: The FLSA requires employers to pay employees 150% of their normal wage for hours worked in excess of the 40 hour work week. Texas law mirrors this “time and a half” standard, but it also allows an employee to take compensatory time off at a rate of 1.5 hours per hour of overtime worked. Overtime regulations are commonly violated by employers, so it’s important to understand the laws that protect you.
- Emergency Leave: Employees are allowed 12 weeks of unpaid leave within a 12-month period under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This can be used for a personal illness/injury, a family illness/injury, or the birth of a child. Texas law allows employers to grant this leave for reasons outside those allotted by the federal law if their situation is legitimate.
- Unpaid Wages: Federal and state laws prevent employers from withholding an employee's wages unless there is an income withholding order against the employee.
While unfortunate, discrimination in the workplace still occurs. Employers have been found to not hire or promote employees based on protected characteristics such as age, religion, sexual orientation, and ethnicity, instead of merit and job performance. Some examples of this are:
- Failure to hire or promote based on personal attributes
- Including unnecessary job requirements to restrict certain groups
- Refusal to accommodate disabilities or religious or cultural practices
- Enforcing company policy unequally
- Advertising open positions in a manner that excludes specific groups
Hostile Work Environments
Discrimination, harassment, and the toxic behavior of an employer can create a hostile work environment for employees. In these environments, employees can’t properly perform their occupational duties and can suffer unnecessary emotional trauma. While the employer may not be fostering the toxic environment, they can still be held liable due to their responsibility to maintain control over their workplace.
No one should be discriminated against or harassed, especially in their place of employment. If you have been the victim of any of these practices, we’re here to help you secure the compensation you deserve.
Contact a Labor and Employment Attorney
In the most difficult moments of your life, Morgan & Morgan has your back. If you or a loved one have become the victim of labor law violations at the hand of an unethical employer, contact our Houston office today.
Complete a free case evaluation to get started.