Texas State Labor Laws & Overtime Laws
Overtime Laws & Overtime Pay Rates
The state of Texas follows the federal labor laws and has not adopted any of their own as some other states have done. According to Texas overtime laws, employers are required to pay their employees overtime pay for hours worked over forty hours a week.
Texas overtime laws require that overtime pay should be no less than one and one-half times the employee’s regular rate of pay. The only employees that should not receive overtime pay are those that are exempt.
Overtime Exempt Employees
Texas follows the federal laws regarding exempt employees. Exempt employees are strictly defined by the Department of Labor and include certain executive, administrative, professional, and commissioned positions.
Texas overtime laws do not require time and a half pay for working on a holiday Some companies will pay their employees time and a half for working on federal holidays but the decision to do so is left to the discretion of the employer.
Comp Time vs Overtime
Because Texas overtime laws are sometimes complex, it can be difficult for an employee to know if he or she should be paid overtime and there are many common misconceptions regarding overtime. If your private employer is giving you comp time (paid time off at a later date) instead of paying you overtime, they are likely breaking the law. Many private employers assume it is OK to give their employees comp time instead of the overtime pay they are entitled to, but it is illegal!
FLSA Work Laws
The Supreme Court has stated that employees subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) must be paid for all the time spent in “physical or mental exertion (whether burdensome or not) controlled or required by the employer and pursued necessarily and primarily for the benefit of the employer of his business.”
Hours worked include all the time during which an employee is required or allowed to perform work for an employer, regardless of where the work is done, whether on the employer’s premises, at a designated workplace, at home, or at some other location. It is the duty of management to exercise control and see that work is not performed if the employer does not want it to be performed.
Employers often assign employees more work than can be done in forty hours. The employee often stays late without being paid or takes the work home. If your employer is aware of this, you are entitled to overtime. When an employee must correct mistakes in his or her work, the time must be treated as hours worked. The correction of errors, or “rework”, is hours worked, even when the employee voluntarily does the rework. Time that an employee is required to be at work or allowed to work for his or her employer is hours worked. A person hired to do nothing or to do nothing but wait for something to do or something to happen is still working.
An employer cannot sit back and accept the benefits of an employee’s work without considering the time spent to be hours worked. Merely making a rule against such work or claiming that overtime is not approved is not enough. The employer has the power to enforce the rule and must make every effort to do so.
Generally, employees may not volunteer to perform work without pay. Typically, the employer would still need to count this time as hours worked.
Have your own questions? Contact us and we can give you more information and review your specific circumstances. You can submit your information using the convenient case-evaluation-form, send an email, or call us at 866-559-0400.
Frequently Asked Questions About Texas Labor Laws & Overtime Laws
Who is exempt from overtime in Texas?
To be considered as exempt from overtime in Texas, you must be working in a job with both duties and compensation that qualify the position as exempt. The most common overtime exemptions include the executive, administrative, professional, computer employee and outside sales exemptions. For most exemptions, you must be guaranteed at least $684 per week paid on a salary basis.
What should I do if I believe I am a victim of wage theft in Texas?
If your issue involves an employer’s failure to timely issue paychecks, making improper or unauthorized deductions or final pay, you may want to start by filing a claim with the Texas Workforce Commission up to 180 days after the date that the wages would have been due.
If your issue involves an employer’s failure to pay overtime wages, you should start by contacting a Texas wage theft lawyer to help you determine if you have a valid claim and, if warranted, file a claim to recover up to double the amount of back overtime you (and other similar workers) are owed. Note that such claims must usually be filed within two years of when the wages were due to be paid to you.
Can my employer discharge me if I sue them for unpaid overtime wages in Texas?
Federal and state overtime laws make it illegal for an employee to be discharged or retaliated against as a result of them filing an unpaid overtime wages lawsuit.
Am I entitled to receive unpaid wages or back pay in Texas?
Yes, if you have not been paid for hours you have worked, you are entitled to file an unpaid wage or back pay claim in Texas to pursue the financial compensation you are owed.
What is considered overtime in the state of Texas?
In Texas, if an employee works over 40 hours per week, those excess hours are considered overtime.