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 Dolghih is the founder of Dolghih Law Group PLLC. She is board certified in labor and employment law and has 16+ years of experience in commercial and employment litigation, including trade secrets and non-compete disputes. You can contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or (214) 531-2403.