What Employment-Related Bills are on the Texas Legislature’s Plate in 2017?

Tcapitold_1024he 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:*

Discrimination

  • 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 LDolghih@GodwinLaw.com or (214) 939-4458.

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