Texas Labor Laws – Overtime & Minimum Wage Regulations
Texas follows the Federal minimum wage:
- $6.55 per hour from July 24, 2008 to July 23, 2009
- $7.25 per hour after July 24, 2009
Texas follows the Federal law. Overtime pay of time and a half is required for all non-exempt employees for hours worked over 40 during a workweek.
Texas does not have any state specific exemptions to the overtime pay requirements. Federal law exemptions apply, the most common of which include:
- Computer Employee
Holidays / Vacation
Texas does not have a state law requiring additional pay for work done on holidays or weekends. Employers are also not required to offer vacation, holiday or other pay for time not worked. These policies are at the discretion of the employer.
Meal Breaks / Rest Periods
Texas does not require an employer to provide breaks to employees. However if breaks are given, employers must follow the Federal requirements which state that when breaks of 20 minutes or less are given, they must be paid. Meal breaks of 30 minutes or more can be unpaid as long as the employee is relieved of all duties.
Reporting Time Pay
Neither Texas nor the Federal law requires payment if an employee reports to work expecting to work for a certain number of hours but does not get to work their full schedule.
Under the Texas Payday Law, all employees must be paid at least twice a month unless the employee is exempt from overtime regulation under the Federal Law. Exempt employees must be paid at least once per month.
If paid twice a month, each pay period should have as close to an equal number of days as possible.
The only payroll deductions allowed per the Texas Payday law are as follows:
- Court ordered deductions (such as child support, etc.)
- State and Federal Law deductions
- Deductions that the employee has authorized in writing.
Statute of Limitations
For overtime claims, the statute of limitations is the same as under Federal Law in that claims can be made for the prior 2 years (3 years if the violation is willful).
State Law Remedies / Penalties
The same Federal law remedies for overtime violations are available in Texas. Employees can recover all unpaid overtime for two or sometimes three years prior to the filing of a lawsuit. In almost all cases, they are additionally entitled to an award of "liquidated damages" equal to the amount of the unpaid overtime. This means that a successful employee can recover two times the amount of unpaid overtime. A successful plaintiff can also be awarded attorney’s fees and expenses.
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