Texas workers should take some time to find out if they are actually employees or contractors. This is an issue that affects their employment rights, wages and benefits. For many workers, the line becomes blurred when their employers misclassify them. Employers often do this to avoid paying certain taxes and to cut back on their labor expenses. The following criteria can help workers to determine their employment status:
Workers in occupations like construction and other industries that are characterized by significant amounts of subcontracting may be at risk from employers who deny them their rights. These companies commonly engage in a process known as misclassification, where they treat employees as independent contractors who lack the rights and protections guaranteed to workers. According to the Department of Labor, companies that engage in such practices are breaking the law, but many employers continue to do so in order to avoid payroll taxes and shirk other important duties.
Texas workers who are employed in the information technology field may be interested to learn that 30 former IT workers have filed a lawsuit against Walt Disney World. They claimed that they had been discriminated against by being terminated so that they could be replaced by contractors from India.
Many Texas residents who are 55 or older may find that they have difficulty finding a new job after becoming unemployed. In fact, an analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that U.S. workers who were in that age bracket were out of work an average of 54.3 weeks as of December 2014, more than twice the length of time for workers who were younger.
The Americans with Disabilities Act was passed in 1980 to give disabled workers in Texas and around the country greater rights. The ADA stipulates that employers must make reasonable accommodations to such workers to help them earn and keep a job. While this requirement has been a boost for those with disabilities, there are questions as to what constitutes a reasonable accommodation.
Certain categories of contractors and subcontractors performing work for the U.S. government will have increased sick leave requirements once Executive Order 13706 becomes effective on Jan. 1, 2017. People employed by these companies in Texas and around the country will gain a right to sick leave that goes beyond any employment rights established by the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.
Salaried employees in Texas and throughout the country will have to wait to see if they will become eligible for overtime pay. Recently, a federal judge in Texas issued a relatively last-minute injunction blocking a new rule that would have applied to 4.2 million more salaried employees, making them eligible to receive time-and-a-half pay for overtime hours.