The 85th general session of the Texas Legislature started in January and will end in May 2017. Numerous employment-related bills have been filed during the general session, and while many of them will not become the law of the land, they provide a good insight into what’s on the legislators’ mind. A lot of times, even though a bill won’t pass on the first try, it will be reintroduced and passed during the second or even a third attempt. Here’s a summary of current 2017 employment-related bills filed in the house or senate:*
- HB 192 – Relating to the prohibition of housing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression and to the enforcement of that prohibition.
- HB 225 / SB 165 J – Relating to the prohibition of employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.
- HB 228 / SB 223 – Relating to unlawful employment practices regarding discrimination in payment of compensation.
- HB 258 – Relating to a prohibition on the award of a state agency contract to a person in a state with laws allowing or requiring discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.
- HB 290 – Relating to a prohibition on sex discrimination in compensation.
- SB 92 – Relating to prohibition of certain regulations by a county, municipality, or other political subdivision.
- SB 165 – Relating to the prohibition of certain discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.
- SB 296 – Relating to the liability of the state for a violation of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act
Employee / Family Leave
- HB 88 – Relating to an unlawful employment practice by an employer whose leave policy does not permit an employee to use leave to care for the employee’s foster child.
- HB 629 – Relating to leave for certain veterans obtaining medical and mental health care.
- HB 656 – Relating to employment leave for certain family or medical obligations.
- HB 718 – Relating to family care leave for certain employees.
- SB 73 – Relating to leave policy and procedures for state employees.
- SB 191 – Relating to the ability of a nonexempt employee to participate in certain academic, disciplinary, college and career readiness, and developmental activities of the employee’s child or grandchild.
- SB 285 – Relating to the right of an employee to time off from work to obtain an election identification certificate.
Human Resources – General
- HB 252 – Relating to the requirement that certain employers provide advance notice of employee work schedules.
- HB 317 / HB 334- Relating to the consideration by certain employers of the consumer credit reports of certain employees and applicants for employment.
- HB 329 – Relating to breast-feeding policies of state agency worksites.
- HB 334 / HB 317 – Relating to the consideration by employers of the consumer credit reports or other credit information of employees and applicants for employment.
- HB 548 – Relating to the consideration of criminal history record information regarding applicants for employment.
- HB 568 – Relating to authority for certain state employees to work flexible hours and to work from home or other authorized alternative work sites.
- HB 577 – Relating to the authority of a political subdivision to adopt or enforce certain regulations regarding whether a private employer may obtain or consider an employment applicant’s or employee’s criminal history record information.
- SB 75 – Relating to the requirement for parental consent for a minor to join a labor union.
- SB 279 – Relating to expression of breast milk in the Capitol and other public buildings.
Immigration / E-Verify
- SB 23 / SB 254 – Relating to requiring state contractors to participate in the federal electronic verification of employment authorization program, or E-verify.
- SB 85 – Relating to the verification of employment authorization by state contractors and state grant recipients, including the use of the federal E-verify program, and to authorization for the suspension of certain licenses held by private employers for the knowing employment of persons not lawfully present in this state; authorizing a fee.
Pay / Benefits / Wages and Hours
- HB 202 – Relating to a database of employers penalized for failure to pay wages or convicted of certain offenses involving wage theft.
- HB 253 – Relating to the period during which an employee may file a claim for unpaid wages with the Texas Workforce Commission.
- HB 285 / HB 475 Relating to the minimum wage. ($15/hour or federal minimum wage, whichever is higher)
- HB 326 – Relating to the payment of gratuities to certain employees.
- HB 373 – Relating to administrative penalties assessed by the Texas Workforce Commission against certain employers for failure to pay wages.
- HB 510 / SB 13 – Relating to payroll deductions for state and local government employee organizations.
- SB 70 – Relating to the required earnings statement provided by employers.
- SB 229 – Relating to the minimum wage. ($10.10/hour or federal minimum wage, whichever is higher)
Employment – Miscellaneous
- HB 92 – Relating to the entitlement of spouses of certain veterans with disabilities to a veteran’s employment preference.
- HB 108 – Relating to the creation of the Recruit Texas Program to facilitate the relocation to or expansion in this state of employers offering complex or high-skilled employment opportunities.
- HB 148 – Relating to electronic benefits transfer cards used for recipients of benefits under certain assistance programs.
- HB 436 / SB 268 – Relating to the drug testing of certain persons seeking benefits under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.
- HB 595 – Relating to a franchise tax credit for entities that employ certain students in certain paid internship or similar programs
- HB 230 – Relating to the eligibility of school bus drivers for unemployment compensation benefits.
- HB 463 – Relating to the disqualification from receiving unemployment benefits of certain individuals who are terminated from employment after giving notice of resignation.
- HB 563 – Relating to whom certain violations of the law by a state or local governmental entity may be reported.
- HB 665 – Relating to the requirement that contractors verify compliance with wage payment laws in contracts with public bodies.
- SB 283 – Relating to the offense of unlawfully prohibiting an employee from voting.
* The information was originally compiled by the Texas Workforce Commission and all bills have an effective date of September 1, 2017 unless otherwise noted.
Leiza is a business and employment litigation attorney in Dallas, Texas. If you need assistance with a business or employment dispute contact Leiza for a confidential consultation at Leiza.Dolghih@lewisbrisbois.com or (214) 722-7108.