Certain legal protections have been guaranteed to the employee sector in Austin, which ensures that their basic rights are not trampled by unscrupulous employers.These laws protect workers at all stages of the employment process, from hiring to post-termination.
This article looks at some of the vital things that workers should know about employment laws in Austin.
Right from the commencement of the hiring process these laws govern how the hiring is conducted. As per the employment laws, no employer can show bias against a potential employee because of race, religion, gender, age or disability etc.
None of these factors of race, religion etc. can be cited as a viable reason to reject a qualified candidate. Doing so is an offence against state employment laws.Swift and severe legal repercussions await any employer who flouts these laws by any discriminatory actions against employees or potential employees.
Minimum Wage Laws
$7.25 per hour is the legal minimum wage in Austin, Texas.On top of the minimum wage conditions, the employment laws provide for overtime wages for employees. Under the overtime provision, if weekly work hours exceed 40 for any employee, then they deserve overtime pay from their employer. And the overtime hourly rate must be one half times more than their usual rate.
Apart from a few exempt professions and positions, these provisions of the employment laws cover all employees. The minimum wage and overtime stipulations encompass employees of large and small businesses alike. There are certain parameters that have been set to differentiate businesses that fall under the gamut of these laws.
A few of the professions that have been exempted from overtime stipulations of the employment law are executive and administrative employees. These, along with a few others, do not qualify for overtime wages based on a set of criteria which includes, among other things, the condition that their weekly pay must be in excess of $455.
Consult with Ross Law Group today.
The minimum wage stipulations also are not applicable on many professions in the service industry in which employees receive tips as part of their job. In these cases the law requires that their hourly rate plus tips must not be less than the equivalent hourly minimum rate.
Safety at the Workplace
A major concern for employees is safety at the workplace. Thus the employment laws make it necessary for the employer to make sure that the safety of the employee is taken care of while at the workplace.
With the exception of independent contractors, every employee and workplace is included in these protective laws. For any employees who wish to register formal complaints against safety issues at their workplace, the Texas Dept. of Insurance Division of Workers’ Compensation and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration offer grievance redressal.
If an employer takes any form of retaliatory action against an employee who has submitted a grievance with this agency, then that employer may suffer legal penalties. Health Compensation:If an employee of a business suffers an injury while working for the employer then the employer is liable to pay that employee a proportionate amount as compensation. This compensation should be drawn from an insurance program that the employer must have in place as a matter of legal policy.
This compensation should include the injured employee’s medical expenses as well as a reasonable portion of the wages lost due to being unable to work. An employer may choose whether or not to take part in such a program. However, if the employer chooses to provide such compensation, then their employees can only get compensation and benefits for injuries that occur at work.
The lack of such a program allows the employees, who have been hurt at the workplace, the freedom to seek appropriate damages by whatever legal means they deem fit.
Laws Governing Time Off
Employers are required by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to give covered workers unpaid leave for covered events of up to 12 weeks. The provisions of this act are applicable on any private business enterprise that has more than 49 workers and also on government employees. Additionally, employees in Texas are provided a 2 hour time off with pay for voting. Employers cannot deny their employees this benefit.
As per the stipulations of the state laws, any employee called upon for jury duty is entitled to a time off, albeit unpaid, from the employer.
Post Employment Benefits
If a worker’s position is terminated due to any other reason apart from misconduct, the worker is eligible to get unemployment compensation benefits. Another provision of the state employment laws provides a former employee the choice to keep on having the health benefit coverage they had during employment, but the catch is that post employment, they must bear the cost of the coverage themselves.