"A fair day's wage for a fair day's work: it is as just a demand as governed men ever made of governing. It is the everlasting right of man." Thomas Carlyle, Scottish Author and Philosopher

"If a man or a woman puts in an honest day's work, they should be able to earn a living wage." Richard J. Codey, Politician

"It is but equity...that they who feed, clothe and lodge the whole body of the people, should have such a share of the produce of their own labor as to be themselves tolerably well fed, clothed and lodged." Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, 1776

"Wages are determined by the bitter struggle between capitalist and worker." Karl Marx, German political and economic philosopher

Texas Wage Laws

“Honest Wages for an Honest Day’s Work!”

General

The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA” or Act) requires that most employees in the United States be paid at least the federal minimum wage (i.e., $7.25/hour) for all hours worked and overtime pay at time and one-half the regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek, except for those employer’s employees exempted under the Act.

Additionally, most states have their own minimum wage laws and rates. A few states in the southern part of the United States have no minimum wage rate. In either case, non-exempted employees are entitled to receive the greater of the federal or state minimum wage rate. Thus, in those states with no minimum wage requirement, covered employees are entitled to receive the federal minimum wage rate of $7.25/hour.


I. State Minimum Wage: $7.25/Hour

The state minimum wage rate for Texas is $7.25/hour. Employers generally must pay their employees the federal minimum wage as set forth in the FLSA.

Coverage: The state minimum wage provision does not apply to a “person” covered by the federal FLSA. A “person” means “an individual, partnership, association, corpora­tion, business trust, legal representative, or any orga­nized group of persons.”  An employer is exempt from the state minimum wage provision with respect to employment of the following persons:

  • members of religious orders (under prescribed circumstances);
  • certain religious officials (under prescribed circumstances);
  • workers for religious, educational, charitable or nonprofit organizations where no employment relationships exists or the services are rendered gratuitously;
  • workers for certain scouting groups for boys or girls;
  • workers for religious, educational, charitable or nonprofit camps;
  • certain caregivers of children;
  • bona fide executive, administrative and profes­sional employees;
  • workers who are outside salespeople or collectors and are paid commissions;
  • workers performing services for political subdivi­sions as elected officials or members of legisla­tive bodies;
  • domestic service workers in or about a private home, including those who babysit in or out of an employer’s home;
  • workers who live in or about a private home and give personal care to a resident of the home;
  • certain workers under age 18 who are not gradu­ates of a high school or vocational training program;
  • certain students under age 20;
  • certain disabled workers not more than 21 years old;
  • certain inmates of correctional institutions; and
  • certain close family members of the employer

An employer also is exempt from the state minimum wage provision with respect to employment in certain seasonal recreational establishments. An employer also generally is exempt (with some exceptions) from the minimum wage requirement if it is not liable for payment of certain unemployment compensation fund contributions.

The provision does not apply to certain agricultural workers. Certain nonprofit charitable organizations that provide designated services to disabled clients and that comply with applicable federal regulations are “considered to have complied” with the state minimum wage requirements.

Tipped employees: Qualifying tipped employees may be paid a cash wage, at no less than a predetermined amount, plus the amount of tips received, as long as the total is no less than the minimum wage and if other requirements are met.

Board and lodging: An employer may include as part of wages the “reasonable cost” to the employer of furnish­ing an employee with meals, lodging or both, if certain conditions are met.

Overtime Pay

The FLSA generally requires that non-exempt employees working more than 40 hours a week be compen­sated at a rate of one-and-a half times their regular rate of pay for any time exceeding 40 hours in the workweek. An employer is not allowed to average an employee’s work hours during a workweek over a two or more week period. Overtime payments need not be made to exempt or non-covered workers; only to non-exempt, covered employees.

Employer and Employees cannot agree to waive overtime Pay. The FLSA overtime requirement may not be waived by agreement between the employer and an employee. Anytime, an employer requires or permits an employee to work overtime, they are than generally required to pay the employee additional pay for overtime work. Also, an announcement by your employer that no overtime work will be permitted, or that overtime work will not be paid for unless authorized in advance, will generally also not prevent your employer from owing you overtime pay if your employer had knowledge of you working overtime.


II. State Employer Exemptions: Executive, Administrative and Professional

  • Overtime: None
  • Minimum wage: Texas has a minimum wage exemption for qualifying executives, administrators and profession­als.

Additionally, such employer exemptions exist and are available to some employers under the federal wage law (See “Employer Exemptions” located on the homepage under the “Employee Resource Center”).


III. Meal Break Requirements

  • None


IV. Rest Break Requirements

  • None


V. State Contact Information

Workforce Commission

101 E. 15th St.

Austin, TX 78778-0001

Phone: (800)832-9394

Fax: (512) 475-2152

E-mail: employerinfo@twc.state.tx.us

Web site: http://www.twc.state.tx.us/


Dallas District Office

US Dept. of Labor

ESA Wage & Hour Division

1701 E. Lamar Blvd., Suite 270,

Box 22

Arlington, TX 76006-7303

Phone: 1-866-4-USWAGE


Houston District Office

US Dept. of Labor

ESA Wage & Hour Division

8701 S. Gessner Drive, Suite 1164

Houston, TX 77074-2944

phone: 1-866-4-USWAGE


San Antonio District Office

US Dept. of Labor

ESA Wage & Hour Division

Northchase 1 Office Building

10127 Morocco, Suite 140

San Antonio, TX 78216

Phone: 1-866-4-USWAGE

West Texas Panhandle and Northwest Quad­rant:

  • Contact office in Albuquerque, N.M


Are you covered by the federal wage Law?

For starters, to determine if you maybe covered by the Fair Labor Standard Act, you are encouraged to take the three minute "Step 1: Wage Law Test" found on the upper right-hand side of this webpage.


Does your employer owe you wages?

To determine if your employer may owe you wages under the Fair Labor Standard Act, take the two minute "Step 2: Wage Owed Test" found on the upper right-hand side of this webpage.


Do you believe you have a wage and hour claim?

If you believe that your existing or former employer may have violated your legal rights as an employee by failing to pay you "honest wages for an honest day's work" please feel free to contact the law firm of JonesSatreWeimer for a free consultation (Need a lawyer?).