Session Updates

Hearings on Wednesday 4/3!

i Apr 3rd Comments Off by

A couple of our bills are in hearings this morning, Wednesday, April 3! SB 676, by Senator Carona, strengthens penalties against payroll fraud. After months of meeting, we have reached consensus with the construction industry associations, business groups, and unions on a bill to create penalties for misclassification! The bill is heard by the Senate Economic Development Committee at 8am.  HB 1131, by Representative Mary Gonzalez, creates a registry of employers who have criminal wage theft convictions. The bill is heard by the House Economic and Small Business Development Committee at 8am. We are anticipating a committee substitute that will include outstanding wage orders from the Texas Workforce Commission and court decisions in the registry.

Penalties bill voted out of Senate!

i Apr 3rd Comments Off by

SB340, by Senator Jose Rodriguez, strengthens the penalty that the Texas Workforce Commission can levy against employees who act in bad faith when they don’t pay their workers.  This bill was voted out of the Senate this week! The vote was 24 Yeas and 6 Nays. WDP’s member, Guillermo Perez, gave an awesome testimony in the committee hearing last week, and Chairman Deuell was so moved by the testimony he asked Guillermo to stay after and have their picture taken!!

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Pay discrimination complaints passed out of committee!

i Apr 3rd Comments Off by

The Lilly Ledbetter Act, HB950/SB248, allows Texas to file pay discrimination complaints within 180 days of their discovery of any alleged unequal compensation rather than 180 days from the initial occurrence of the unequal compensation. This bill was passed out of committee in both the House and the Senate! Even though this is not a WDP bill, we support it.

HB 475

i Mar 27th Comments Off by
HB 475 (Rep. Walle) Require construction employers to provide workers’ compensation
  • Still pending in committee. We are working on getting support from committee members to vote it out of committee.
  • Supporters who live in the district of Reps. Bohac, Orr, Workman, and Villalba should contact their Representative to encourage them to vote for HB 475 to ensure that construction employers provide their workers with workers’ compensation. Find out who your Representative is here.

HB 298

i Mar 27th Comments Off by
HB 298 (Rep. E. Rodriguez) Prohibit retaliation for workers who file a wage claim
  • Still pending in committee. We are working with Rep. Rodriguez to see how we can address committee members’ concerns to get enough votes to move it out of committee.
  • Supporters who live in the district of Reps. Bohac, Orr, Workman, and Villalba should contact their Representative to encourage them to vote for HB 298 to protect workers from retalation when they file wage claims. Find out who your Representative is here.

SB 340/ HB 3625

i Mar 27th Comments Off by
SB 340 (Sen. Jose Rodriguez) Strengthen the Penalty that the Texas Workforce Commission can levy against employees who act in Bad Faith when they don’t pay their workers.
  • SB 340 was heard in the Senate Economic Development Committee on 3/20/13
  • Awesome testimony was provided by WDP member Guillermo Perez. Chairman Deuell was so moved by the testimony he asked Guillermo to stay after and have their picture taken!
  • A committee substitute was discussed that provided additional guidelines for what actions are considered Bad Faith.
  • SB 340 was voted out of committee with 6 Ays and 1 absent (but supportive).
  • We hope it will be placed on local and consent calendars and quickly voted out of the Senate.
  • HB 3625 was filed as a house companion on 3/8/13 by Rep. Mary Gonzalez.
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HB 372

i Mar 27th Comments Off by
HB 372 Workplace Fraud Prevention Act (Rep. Deshotel) Creates penalties for construction employers who misclassify their workers.
  • Was given a hearing in the Business and Industry Committee on 3/12/13.

HB 731

i Mar 27th Comments Off by
HB 731 (Rep. Pena Raymond) Require rest breaks for construction workers on government sites
  • Was given a hearing in the Business and Industry Committee on 3/12/13
  • Supporters who live in the district of Reps. Bohac, Orr, Workman, and Villalba should contact their Representative to encourage them to vote for HB 731 to ensure that construction workers get the rest breaks they need to keep them safe and healthy on the job. Find out who your Representative is here.

SB 741/ HB 494

i Mar 27th Comments Off by
SB 741 (Sen. Rodriguez)/ HB 494 (Rep. Hernandez Luna) Extend the deadline to file a wage claim with the Texas Workforce Commission from 180 days to two years
  • SB 741 was reported favorably from the Senate Economic Development Committee with 6 votes in favor and 1 against (Sen. Fraser)
  •  The bill will now be taken up on the Senate floor for debate and vote.
  • HB 494 was given a hearing in the House Economic and Small Business Development Committee on 3/21.
  • HB 494 was left pending in committee. We are optimistic that there will be enough support to vote it out!
  • Supporters who live in the district of Reps. Workman, Bell, Murphy, John Davis, Vo, should contact their Representatives to urge them to vote HB 494 out of committee. Find out who your Representative is here.

HB 1131

i Feb 22nd No Comments by

Representative Mary Gonzalez files a bill to create a database of employers convicted of wage theft! HB 1131 would create a database on the Texas Workforce Commission so that the general public can stay informed about what businesses have outstanding wage theft convictions.