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.
An employer can’t base the decision to hire a person on any of the aforementioned factors.
Swift and severe legal repercussions await any employer who flouts these laws by any discriminatory actions against employees or potential employees.
Minimum Wage Laws in Austin
In Texas, the minimum wage is at par with the federal minimum wage of $7.25/hr. This wage is likely to be revised in the coming months.
Along with the minimum wage protection, the employment laws also offer additional protection of employee interests in the form of the overtime laws. According to these, employers are required to pay their employees an overtime wage if they demand work from them that exceeds 40 hours per week.
This overtime pay should be no less than 1.5 times the employee’s regular pay.The minimum wage and overtime laws are applicable on all non-exempt employees working in Austin.
Among those covered under these provisions are employees of businesses which have more than half a million dollars of gross annual sales as well as employees of smaller businesses conducting interstate commerce.
The employment laws exclude certain professions and stations from the overtime and minimum wage requirements. This is due to a range of factors that take onto account the weekly earnings and job responsibilities of the employee.
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.
You can contact The Ross Law Group for detailed information
Employee Safety Laws
The issue of employee safety at the workplace is addressed in the statutes under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA). They state that it is the employer’s imperative responsibility to ensure a safe and hazard free work environment for the employees.
OSHA covers almost everyone in the workplace except independent contractors.
Texas Department of Insurance Division of Workers’ Compensation and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are two such agencies that safeguard the interests of the employees at the workplace and keep a watchful eye on employee safety standards at the workplace.
Employers cannot in any way discriminate against workers making such a complaint.
Compensation of Workers
Worker’s compensation is a state-regulated, employer-funded insurance program that offers benefits to employees who are injured while on the job.
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.
The choice of participating in such a program is up to the employer. If an employer does offer injury compensation then they can limit their liability to injuries that take place at the workplace only.
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.
The FMLA (Family & Medical Leaves act), ensures that employers give their employees extended leaves of up to 3 months of the need comes up, due to medical or any other reasons.
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.
The laws also state that any employee selected for jury duty must be given an unpaid time-off to perform his/her duty. No employer can take any action against an employee who has taken time off to serve jury duty.
When an employer discharges an employee from his/her job then the employer, as per state employment laws, must ensure that adequate compensation is given to the employee in lieu of the lost job. However, if the employment has been terminated due to misconduct than this does not apply.
The state employment laws also provide the option for erstwhile employees to continue their health coverage at their own cost after they have left their job. But this is only applicable for businesses that have at least 20 employees.