Employee Handbooks - Work Rules - Employee Conduct: Texas
Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.
Author: Maureen Jennings, Phelps Dunbar LLP
- Texas is an employment at-will state, with some exceptions. See At-Will Nature of Employment.
- The Texas Supreme Court has recognized only one exception to the employment at-will doctrine. Under this exception, a private employer may not discharge an employee solely because he refused to perform an illegal act that carries criminal penalties. Texas law protects public employees from discharge if they report in good faith a violation of law to an appropriate law enforcement authority. See Exceptions to Employment At-Will Doctrine.
- Other legislative exceptions to employment at-will in Texas relate to status or activities, including workers' compensation proceedings, jury service, union membership, compliance with a subpoena, withholding order for child or spousal support, participation in a general public evacuation, and providing information or reporting violations of law in certain health care or treatment facilities. See Exceptions to Employment At-Will Doctrine.
- Texas law requires that most employers allow an employee who has a concealed handgun license to transport or store a firearm or ammunition in the employee's privately-owned and locked vehicle on the employer's premises. The vehicle must be parked in an area the employer provides for employee parking, and the firearm must be hidden from view. See Violence in the Workplace.
- The Texas Payday Law requires that all private employers deliver the final paycheck to an employee who is discharged within six calendar days of termination, and pay an employee who voluntarily resigns by the next regularly scheduled payday. An employer may not withhold or deduct from any paycheck, including a final paycheck, any part of an employee's wages, unless the employer: (1) is under a court order to do so; (2) is authorized to do so by state or federal law; and (3) has written authorization from the employee for the deduction. See Texas Payday Law.
- Texas employers must allow leave and time off from work for voting, jury duty, and, in certain circumstances, attendance at a political convention. See Leaves.
- Localities including Austin and San Antonio have laws pertaining to work rules. See Local Requirements.