The federal Fair Labor Standards Act and Texas labor laws classify employees as salaried exempt, salaried non-exempt, hourly, commissioned and piecework employees. Employers must ensure that exempt employees qualify, based on salary and job duties, for the exemption from overtime. Regardless of classification, all Texas employees have certain rights under the Texas Payday Law or the FLSA.
If an employee is exempt from overtime under the federal FLSA, the employer may pay him as infrequently as once per month. All other employees must receive at least two paychecks each month. The employer may choose paydays, but must post conspicuous notices stating what the paydays are. If the employer does not choose a payday, Texas law states that paydays will be on the first and 15th of every month.
When an employee quits voluntarily, the employer must issue his final check no later than the next scheduled pay date. If the employer terminates the employee, the final check is due within six days of termination. An employer cannot withhold a final paycheck for reasons such as the recovery of company property and cannot take a deduction for such property without a written authorization from the employee.
Types of Wage Payments Covered
Wages include salaries as well as bonuses or commissions earned under an employer-employee agreement. If the employer has a policy regarding fringe benefits, such as paying accrued vacation time at separation, such payments are considered wages as well. Reimbursements for expenses, gifts and gratuities are not included.
Employers may take deductions only for court-ordered payments, legitimate withholdings under a state or federal law or if the employee agrees to the deduction in writing. If the employee authorizes a deduction, such as an advance repayment, the authorization must include the amount and timing of the deduction.
All Texas employees are entitled to a check stub or other record each payday that specifies how many hours he worked, his pay rate, his gross pay and an itemized list of deductions. If the employer bases earnings on a non-hourly rate, such as a set amount per piece produced, the statement must show the number of units the employee produced during the pay period.
Texas labor laws do not cover breaks, and neither federal nor Texas laws require an employer to furnish breaks for adult employees. Texas defers to the federal guidelines if an employer chooses to offer breaks. The FLSA requires employers to pay employees for breaks that do not exceed 20 minutes. Employers do not need to pay for lunch breaks lasting at least 30 minutes if the employee is completely relieved of work during the break.
Holiday and Vacation Pay
No Texas or federal law entitles an employee to receive paid time off, including holiday and vacation pay. If the employer chooses to enact a policy to offer such payments, he must apply the policy in a standard and non-discriminatory manner.
Notice of Resignation
Texas law does not require an employer to allow an employee to continue to work after the employee gives notice of his resignation. The employer does not have to pay the employee for the time remaining under the notice that the employee does not actually work.