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Texas Legislation Round-Up

12 Sep


Update Applicable to:

Texas employers (multiple industries and/or employee count depending on applicable law)

What happened?

Texas Governor Abbott has signed several bills in legislation that are of interest to private sector employers.

What are the details?

Posting Requirements for State Workplace Violence Hotline

Effective Date: March 1, 2024

HB 915 necessitates a 24-hour hotline established by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) for workplace violence reports in the state. Employers must post notices in English and Spanish.

State Preemption of Conflicting Local Laws (AKA the “Death Star Law”)

Effective Date: September 1, 2023

The Texas Regulatory Consistency Act, or HB 2127, known as the “Death Star” law, aims to centralize commercial regulatory power by preventing cities from enacting local laws conflicting with state labor regulations. The law nullifies local ordinances that exceed state regulations on employment matters, triggering legal challenges from major cities. This law will affect any municipality or county laws inclusive of employment leave, hiring practices, breaks, employment benefits, scheduling practices, and any other terms of employment that exceed or conflict with federal or state law for employers other than a municipality or county.

*****Travis County judge declared it unconstitutional. The ruling means that the law will not go into effect, and its provisions will not be enforced. This decision has implications for the regulation of workplace safety and health in Texas, particularly concerning the authority of local governments to set their own standards. The state has already appealed the ruling, a spokesperson for the Texas Attorney General’s Office said.

Human Trafficking Training Requirements for Drivers

Effective Date: September 1, 2023

HB 2313 mandates annual human trafficking awareness training for rideshare drivers. Training covers identification, reporting, and response, and companies must maintain records to verify compliance.

Security Breach Reporting Requirements

Effective Date: September 1, 2023

SB 768 reduces reporting time for security breaches involving sensitive personal data from 60 to 30 days. Businesses must report breaches promptly and provide detailed descriptions through an electronic form.

Texas CROWN Act

Effective Date: September 1, 2023

HB 567, the CROWN Act bars discrimination based on hair texture or protective hairstyles tied to race. The law applies in education and employment, protecting braids, locks, and twists. Employer grooming policies must align with these protections.

More Restrictions on COVID-19 Regulations

Effective Date: September 1, 2023

SB 29 amends current laws relating to the prohibited enforcement of vaccine mandates, mask requirements, and private business or school closures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. SB 29 prohibits government entities (excluding state-supported living centers, correctional facilities, and hospitals) from mandating or requiring persons from wearing a face mask or other face covering to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Updates to Child Labor Investigations and Administrative Process

Effective Date: September 1, 2023

HB 2459 addresses child labor issues, introducing penalties of up to $10,000 for violations. Child Labor Tribunals handle disputes, providing clarity to the process. Repeat violators may face injunctive relief sought by the attorney general.

Paid Family Leave Insurance Option

Effective Date: January 1, 2024

HB 1996 establishes a framework for voluntary group family leave insurancecovering various absences for family care, bonding, or FMLA-covered reasons, this expands beyond existing short-term disability policies.

For more information, please see the links below:

Bills Signed by Governor Abott

Posting Requirements: HB 915

Death Star Law (Texas Regulatory Consistency Act): HB 2127 (See Page 6 Section 10)

Human Trafficking Training: HB 2313 

Security Breach: SB 768 

CROWN Act: HB 567

Child Labor: HB 2459

Paid Family Leave: HB 1996 

Covid Regulations: SB 29 

Littler Law Firm Summary: Link

What do employers need to do?

Employers should review the above links to each of the bills mentioned in this update as well as the Littler law firm summary to become familiar with the requirements and whether or not it will be applicable to their industry and employees.

Need help understanding how changes to employment laws will affect your business?

Learn more about how Vensure's Texas PEO services can help you navigate complex employment laws and keep your business compliant.

This communication is intended solely for the purpose of conveying information. The present post might incorporate hyperlinks directing readers to websites managed by third-party entities. The inclusion of any links within this communication is meant to serve as points of reference and could encompass opinion articles from various law firms, articles from HR associations, official websites, news releases, and documents of government agencies, and other relevant third-party sources. Vensure has no authority over these external websites and bears no responsibility for their content. Furthermore, Vensure does not endorse the materials present on these websites. The contents of this communication should not be interpreted as legal advice or as a legal standpoint concerning specific facts or scenarios. Nor should it be deemed an exhaustive compilation of facts potentially pertinent to federal, state, or local laws. It is strongly advised that employers solicit legal guidance from an employment attorney when undertaking actions in response to any legal updates provided. This is due to the possibility of future alterations occurring in federal, state, and local laws, regulations, as well as the directives and guidelines issued by governing agencies. These changes may transpire at any given time, potentially rendering certain portions of the content within this update void or inaccurate.

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