Texas Sick Leave Laws
There is currently no law that requires employers to provided paid sick
live for employees. Attempts to pass a bill through Congress have been
made as recently as 2009, but no change is in the works. No state or
federal law requires employers to provide paid leave of any kind,
including paid holidays, paid vacations, or paid sick leave.
Employers may provide benefit packages that give paid vacation, paid
sick leave, or paid holidays, which is at the employer's discretion.
Because employers are not required to offer paid leave, if an employer
creates a written paid leave policy, he or she is bound to legally
provide payment for vacations, sick leave, and holidays.
Some employees offer paid leave where leave can be accumulated if not
used. If an employee was terminated prior to receiving all of his or
her yet to be paid sick leave, he or she may claim this payment through
a court hearing. Not all employee policies will allow accumulated paid
sick leave to be obtained after termination.
Texas Meal Laws
The state of Texas does not have a required lunch law, like some other
states. The United States also does not have a federal law mandating
that employees receive a meal break be provided by employers. Under
these terms employees can legally require their employees to work
eight, ten, or sixteen hours without a meal break. Most Human Resources
departments would not recommend that employers undertake this practice,
even though it is perfectly legal to do so.
Human Resources recommends that employers provide a thirty-minute
unpaid meal break each work day, along with one or more ten-minute or
fifteen-minute paid breaks on a eight-hour shift. Human Resources
recommend this practice as providing breaks often leads to more
productive work. Like meal breaks, short, paid breaks are not required
through Texas law. However federal agencies do require that employees
be provided with meal breaks for public safety. Other federal agencies
allow restroom breaks whenever needed but may not provide meal breaks.
Employers have the right to require employees to take a meal break, if
company policy permits it. Mandatory meal breaks can be anywhere from
thirty minutes long to sixty minutes long and employees are required to
abide. Discipline can follow if policy is broken, along with
termination, if necessary.
Texas Maternity Leave Laws
The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 requires employers to provide
expectant mothers with unpaid maternity leave. This leave can be up to
twelve weeks and can also include other medical reasons, such as
cancer, disease, heart attack, and others. Maternity leave allows new
mothers the opportunity to bond with their newborn children or adoptive
parents to bond with their new child.
This twelve-week leave also allows employees to care for elderly, ill
parents, spouses, and children. An employee cannot, normally, be
terminated from his or her occupation because he or she uses the
allotted FMLA personal leave. Upon returning to work, an employer is
required to provide the same job before leave or a job of equal salary.