Texas will allow the open carrying of handguns in public and the carrying of concealed handguns on university campuses beginning in 2016 under two bills signed by Governor Greg Abbott.
Articles Discussing General Topics In Texas Labor & Employment Law.
In its most recent session, the Texas legislature passed two bills related to handgun possession in Texas. House Bill No. 910 (HB 910) legalizes open carry of handguns in Texas. Senate Bill No. 11 (SB 11) allows handgun license holders in some circumstances to carry a concealed handgun on college campuses in Texas. This article summarizes some of the important provisions in the new laws that will affect employers and educational institutions in Texas beginning in 2016. Employers and educational institutions should review, and consider revising, their existing policies regarding handgun possession in the workplace. In some cases, employers and educational institutions may need to promulgate new policies and procedures to adapt to these new laws.
In response to concerns of franchisors that recent National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) actions threaten to undermine the common understanding of a franchisor-franchisee relationship, the Texas Labor Code was amended by the Texas Legislature. The amendment, which goes into effect on September 1, 2015, was introduced to protect franchisors from unmitigated exposure to employment claims asserted against franchisees. The amendment is reportedly in response to the NLRB’s General Counsel issuance of unfair labor practice complaints asserting that certain franchisors are “joint employers” with their franchisees. Specifically, S.B. 652 amends the Texas Labor Code to confirm that a franchisor is not considered an employer of its franchisee’s workers for any purpose, including employment discrimination, wage and hour laws, workers compensation, and workplace safety.
Executive Summary: On November 4, 2014, voters in Dallas approved an amendment to the City Charter to add nondiscrimination protections for LGBT city employees.
A new Houston ordinance prohibits private employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, familial status, and marital status. The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (“HERO”), which takes effect on June 27, 2014, expands the types of “protected characteristics” beyond those which are covered currently by federal and state anti-discrimination laws.
On May 28, 2014, the Houston City Council passed the city’s first ordinance to ban discrimination in private workplaces, and to expand the types of prohibited discrimination for employers subject to this ordinance, as noted below. Houston is one of the last major cities in the United States to adopt such an ordinance, and joins Texas cities Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, and San Antonio, which have already adopted their own similar ordinances. In addition to banning discrimination in the workplace, the Houston ordinance applies to housing, public city employment, and city contracting. The ordinance goes into effect on June 27, 2014.
Matching bills introduced in the Texas House and Senate would amend the Texas right-to-work law to require that labor unions be elected in a secret ballot election by a majority of employees in the unit the union seeks to represent. The current right-to-work law requires a “majority vote of the members present and participating.”
A recent decision from the Fifth District Court of Appeals in Dallas held that federal immigration laws do not preclude illegal workers from recovering damages, including lost wages, for Texas tort claims.
Beginning in 2011, Texas law prohibits most public and private employers from preventing employees who otherwise lawfully possess a firearm or ammunition from transporting or storing those items in a locked, privately owned motor vehicle in employer-provided parking areas. Texas employers may not impose handgun bans by posting a notice under the Texas Penal Code or by including such a ban in a mandated, federally approved facility security plan, the Attorney General of Texas has said in an opinion released November 5, 2012. In addition, the Attorney General noted that, although the Texas Labor Code (Section 52.061) does not provide a specific remedy to employees for any such violation by an employer, employees might be able to pursue claims for violations against employers under the Uniform Declaratory Judgments Act.
The 82nd session of the Texas legislature resulted in several new laws affecting employers. We summarize the more noteworthy legislation in this article. All laws are effective September 1, 2011, unless otherwise noted.