Texas Payday Law

In the normal course of any business, employers hire individuals to perform a task or service. In turn, the employees expect to compensated for that service. For the purposes of this article, an independent contractor or anyone who has is close family relative of the employer, is not considered an employee. The Texas Payday Law is applicable to all employees regardless of the size of the employer’s organization. What is the Texas Payday Law? Let’s discuss.

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What is the Texas Payday Law?

Chapter 61 of the Texas Labor Code, which outlines the Texas Payday Law, is purposefully designed to deter employers from withholding payment to their employees.

Section 61.011 of the Law states,

(a) An employer shall pay wages to each employee who is exempt from the overtime pay provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. Section 201 et seq.) at least once a month.
(b) An employer shall pay wages to an employee other than an employee covered by Subsection (a) at least twice a month.
(c) If wages are paid twice a month, each pay period must consist as nearly as possible of an equal number of days.

This subsection ensures that employees are to be paid in a timely matter. Depending on how employees are characterized as per the law, payment may be received at least once a month or at least twice a month; if payment is received twice a month, there should be an equal number of days between the two days of payment.

What is Considered Proper Payment under the Texas Payday Law?

Under the Texas Payday Law, compensation could be rendered through payment of regular compensation for the services provided by the employee; bonuses and commissions; and fringe benefits depending on the employer.

Payment to the employee may be delivered in a check, cash, or electronic wiring of funds directly to the employee’s designated bank account. It is important to note that all other forms of payment might not be covered under the Texas Payday Law and may be challenged.

What Happens to an Employee’s Payment if the Employment is Terminated?

Under Section 61.014 of the Texas Payday Law,

(a) An employer shall pay in full an employee who is discharged from employment not later than the sixth day after the date the employee is discharged.
(b) An employer shall pay in full an employee who leaves employment other than by discharge not later than the next regularly scheduled payday.

How are Employers Penalized for not Paying Employees in a Timely Manner?

The Texas Payday law allows the Texas Workforce Commission to penalize employers in a monetary amount.

Additionally, Section 61.019 of the Texas Payday Law states,

(a) An employer commits an offense if:

  1. at the time of hiring an employee, the employer intends to avoid payment of wages owed to the employee; and

  2. the employer fails after demand to pay those wages.

(b) An employer commits an offense if the employer:

  1.  intends to avoid payment of wages owed to an employee;

  2. intends to continue to employ the employee; and

  3. fails after demand to pay those wages.

Failure to pay employees under this section is considered a felony of the third degree under Texas law. An attorney general may also seek injunctive relief in district court against an employer who repeatedly fails to pay wages to the employee.

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