With a few exceptions, Texas labor laws regarding hourly and salaried employees follow federal guidelines established by the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. The Texas Workforce Commission enforces these laws. Texas employers must base salaries on the number of hours the employee must work to meet the job requirements, and the salary must reflect payment of at least the minimum wage rate for those hours.
Minimum Wage and Overtime
"Texas adopts the federal minimum wage rate by reference," according to the Texas Workforce Commission's summary of the Texas Minimum Wage Act. This means the state minimum wage is always the same as the federal minimum wage. As of 2010, the federal and state minimum wage was $7.25 an hour. If employees work more than 40 hours in a seven-day workweek, employers must pay an overtime rate of at least one and a half times the minimum hourly rate for each hour worked over 40. If employers expect a salaried employee to work more than 40 hours each week, the salary must reflect the time-and-a-half rate for overtime hours.
Certain salaried employees under Texas and federal law are exempt from the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act -- meaning they are not entitled to overtime rates even if they routinely work more than 40 hours a week. Employees in administrative or professional positions -- such as teachers or academic administrators -- and those who work in outside sales positions may not be entitled to overtime. Some computer professionals are also exempt, as are highly compensated employees who earn $100,000 or more a year. To be exempt, however, workers in these positions must make a base salary of at least $455 per week.
Texas Payday Law
Under the Texas Payday Law, employers must pay employees not covered under the Fair Labor Standards Act at least once a month. They must pay workers covered by the act at least twice a month. The standard paydays for non-exempt employees are the first and 15th of each month. If employers opt to pay on different days, they must post payday notices of those dates prominently in the workplace. Employers may not deduct any amount from an employee's pay except for IRS deductions, court-ordered deductions, or deductions authorized in writing by the employee. If authorized by the employee, the deductions must serve a "legal purpose," according to the Texas Workforce Commission.