Consistent Employment Regulations

Consistent Employment Regulations

HB 1654 - (Rep. Goldman) - SB 15 - (Sen. Creighton)

SB 2485, 2486, 2487, 2488 (Sen. Creighton)

 

TRA's Position

TRA is working with the ASSET (Alliance for the Securing and Strengthening the Economy in Texas) coalition to support legislation that would create streamlined and consistent statewide employment regulations. 

Issue Overview

Texas cities have begun to pass local ordinances regulating private employment practices (hiring practices, scheduling, benefits, etc.), that are typically handled at the state and federal levels or left to the employer for the sake of improved consistency, compliance, and flexibility to work with their employees.

These inconsistent, patchwork employment regulations create massive compliance issues, confusion for employees, and bureaucratic hurdles for employers of all sizes. They also negatively affect Texas’ economic competitiveness, and cities' ability to attract jobs by making it difficult for employers to do business in multiple jurisdictions. Texas small businesses and their employees are struggling under these unfunded mandates, and the confusing web of red tape they create.

A recent WPA poll demonstrates that Texans overwhelmingly support consistent employment regulations:

- 63% of Texans said they do not want to enact a patchwork of local regulations by allowing cities to regulate private employment practices,
- 76% said the Legislature should make sure laws and regulations are uniform across the state,
- 86% of Republicans, 73% of Democrats and 69% of Independents agreed that labor regulations should not vary by city, creating confusion and compliance issues for employers and employees.

TRA, along with the ASSET coalition, is supporting Senate Bill 15 and House Bill 1654, or the Consistent Employment Regulations bills. This legislation would prohibit any municipality or county from requiring certain employment benefits or policies – and they may not adopt any policy that exceeds or conflicts with federal or state law relating to any form of employment leave, hiring practices, employment benefits, scheduling practices, or other terms of employment.

Streamlined statewide employment regulations allow job creators to spend less time sorting out often conflicting and complicated bureaucratic hurdles, and focus more time investing in their employees, their businesses and their communities.

Bill's Intent

This legislation would prohibit a municipality or county from requiring certain employment benefits or policies--A municipality or county may not adopt any policy that exceeds or conflicts with federal or state law relating to any form of employment leave, hiring practices, employment benefits, scheduling practices, or other terms of employment.

This legislation would NOT:

  • Prohibit an employer from instituting their own employment benefits packages, leave time, or flexible work schedules,
  • Affect any policy that prohibits employment discrimination,
  • Affect a contract entered between a private employer or entity and a governmental entity.

Status

Senate Bill 15 was filed by Senator Brandon Creighton on February 12, 2019. Its companion, House Bill 1654 was filed on February 12, 2019 by Representative Craig Goldman. SB 15 was voted favorably on February 28 in Senate State Affairs, as substituted, where it remains. In the meantime, Senator Creighton has filed SB 2485 (employment benefits), SB 2486 (scheduling practices), SB 2487 (leave policies), and SB 2488 (criminal history information) all of which would prohibit cities from enacting ordinances in these specific areas of employment law. These bills passed the Senate, passed out of House State Affairs, and were reported to the House Calendars Committee but were not considered on the House floor. Note: While these bills did not pass, TRA will be supporting the Third Court of Appeals ruling that finds local paid sick leave ordinances unconstitutional. That ruling is currently pending before the Texas Supreme Court. (updated May 23, 2019).