Texas Laws

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Published: Dec 14, 2023

Texas Bans COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates for Employees and Contractors

Texas Bans COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates for Employees and Contractors
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Update Effective: February 6, 2024

Governor Greg Abbott recently signed Senate Bill 7 (SB 7) into law, which bans private employers of any size from enforcing COVID-19 vaccine mandates as a condition of employment. Under the law, effective February 6, 2024, covered employers are prohibited from enforcing COVID-19 mandates for employees, contractors, or job applicants for employment or contract positions; or taking adverse employment actions against the aforementioned groups for refusal to be vaccinated. Employees who believe they have suffered an adverse action have the right to file a complaint with the Texas Workforce Commission. Employers who violate the law may be subject to fines unless certain conditions are met. 

There are limited exceptions to this law for healthcare facilities and providers to establish and enforce reasonable policies such as requiring the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). 

Employers should review their policies and procedures to ensure compliance with this update.

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Published: Aug 15, 2023

Texas Issues Workplace Violence Reporting Requirements for Employers

Texas Issues Workplace Violence Reporting Requirements for Employers
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Update Effective: September 1, 2023

Starting September 1, 2023, all Texas employers will be required to post a notice for employees about reporting workplace violence and suspicious activity to the Texas Department of Public Safety. The notice must be placed in clear and accessible locations in English and Spanish for both in person and remote employees. Although this requirement and other provisions of the law begin on September 1, 2023, the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) has until March 1, 2024 to provide the required notice. Thus, legal experts contemplate that enforcement of notice requirements is unlikely until the TWC has made the notice available to employers.

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Published: Jul 13, 2023

Texas CROWN Act Passed

Texas CROWN Act Passed
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Update Effective: September 1, 2023

Texas joined over 20 other states in passing their own CROWN Act, which prohibits discrimination based on hair texture or hairstyle in decisions related to fair employment and housing and in educational settings. The CROWN Act provides protection to individuals against discrimination based on hairstyles which have been commonly associated with race.  Employers should review and revise their anti-discrimination, dress code, and appearance policies to comply with this new law.

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Published: Nov 11, 2021

Texas Issues Executive Order Prohibiting COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

Texas Issues Executive Order Prohibiting COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate
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Update Effective: October 11, 2021

Governor Abbott issued an Executive Order on October 11, 2021 prohibiting COVID-19 vaccine mandates that would compel receipt of a COVID-19 vaccine by any individual “who objects to such vaccination for any reason of personal conscience, based on a religious belief, or for medical reasons, including prior recovery from COVID-19.” Governor Abbott has also proposed legislation on the same topic.

For certain employers, including those with 100 or more employees, this may conflict with obligations under the Federal OSHA ETS regarding COVID-19 vaccine mandates. Such employers should continue to check with federal and state agencies for additional updates and confer with legal counsel to determine how this applies to their employees.

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Published: Sep 16, 2021

Texas law expands sexual harassment protections for Texas employees

Texas law expands sexual harassment protections for Texas employees
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Update Effective: September 1, 2021

The Texas legislature has passed a law to expand employer liability for claims of workplace sexual harassment. Beginning in September 2021, employers of any size in Texas may face claims of sexual harassment in the workplace. The length of time during which an employee must file a charge has also been increased.

Though not required for Texas employers, anti-harassment training aids in promoting a healthy, inclusive workplace. Justworks teams up with EVERFI to provide all of our customers with access to harassment and discrimination training directly in Justworks.

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Published: Apr 14, 2021

(Dallas) Dallas Paid Sick Leave Ordinance Barred

(Dallas) Dallas Paid Sick Leave Ordinance Barred
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Update Effective: Immediately

The Dallas Paid Sick Leave Ordinance became law in 2019, but in 2020 a preliminary injunction halted the ordinance on the claim that it is preempted by the Texas Minimum Wage Act and therefore violates the Texas Constitution. As an update, last month, a federal district court ordered a permanent injunction against the ordinance for the same reason. This conclusion is similar to the determination made for both San Antonio and Austin paid sick leave ordinances that have been blocked by state court orders.

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Published: Dec 12, 2019

(San Antonio) Court Blocks San Antonio Paid Sick Leave Law

(San Antonio) Court Blocks San Antonio Paid Sick Leave Law
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Update Effective: November 22, 2019

The revised sick and safe leave law recently passed by the San Antonio city council was blocked by a court ruling on November 22 pending a lawsuit challenging its validity, and did not take effect on December 1, 2019 as planned. Similar to the situation in San Antonio, Austin recently passed a sick/safe leave law that is currently blocked by a state court order, while Dallas’ has been in effect since April 1, 2019.

We will update The Scoop as we receive any further updates on this developing situation, and customers can continue to monitor the city’s site for updates.

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Published: Nov 14, 2019

(San Antonio) Amended San Antonio Safe and Sick Leave Law Set to Go into Effect

(San Antonio) Amended San Antonio Safe and Sick Leave Law Set to Go into Effect
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Update Effective: December 1, 2019

Previously set to go into effect on August 1 of this year, an updated version of the sick leave law has been approved by the San Antonio city council and will start to impact employers operating in the city next month. Employers of all sizes will be required to provide San Antonio employees with paid sick leave in accordance with the law. Other Texas cities with safe and/or sick leave laws include Dallas, and Austin recently passed a sick leave law that is currently blocked by a state court order.

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Published: Aug 15, 2019

(San Antonio) San Antonio Paid Sick Leave Delayed until December

(San Antonio) San Antonio Paid Sick Leave Delayed until December
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Update Effective: December 1, 2019

San Antonio’s paid sick leave law, originally slated to go into effect this month, has become tangled up in the courts. A district judge in the state has approved a plan to delay the effective date of the law until December 1. This will allow additional time to sort out any issues that may further delay or prevent the law from going into effect.

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Published: Jul 11, 2019

(Dallas and San Antonio) Paid Sick Leave Laws in Dallas and San Antonio to Proceed

(Dallas and San Antonio) Paid Sick Leave Laws in Dallas and San Antonio to Proceed
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Update Effective: August 1, 2019

The Texas State Legislature closed its session last month without passing any legislation addressing local paid sick leave laws. Employers in Dallas and San Antonio should prepare to comply with their respective paid sick leave laws, where applicable. As with Austin’s paid sick leave law, a Texas court could place a hold on these laws going into effect, but employers should proceed with complying with these laws until further updates are made official.

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Published: Dec 19, 2018

(Austin) Austin Paid Sick Leave

(Austin) Austin Paid Sick Leave
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Update Effective: Immediately

As previously mentioned in The Scoop, the City of Austin had passed an Earned Sick Time Ordinance, set to go into effect on October 1, 2018. This decision was held up in court for some time, and ultimately, the Texas Court of Appeals declared the City of Austin’s Ordinance unconstitutional and ordered the district court to grant a temporary injunction barring its implementation.

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This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.
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