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.
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!!
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.
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.