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Know your rights: Texas Pay Day Law

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An adult will spend most of their waking hours at work, so it is important that, whether you work full time or part time, in an office or from home, that your employer is not exploiting your labor. One of the most obvious ways an employer can exploit you is by not paying you for your work. According to the Texas Workforce Commission, there are neither state nor federal laws that require businesses to give you additional compensation for working holidays or weekends, and they are also not under any obligation to give you vacation pay or paid leave (unless they say so in writing). Even so, there are many other sneaky ways that a business can get around paying you for your hard work, so it is important to know your rights as an employee.

Does your employer require you to clock out for your lunch break? If your break is 20 minutes or shorter, then you cannot be asked to clock out. It is scientifically proven that short breaks throughout a full work day can increase concentration, increase productivity, and keep workers happy. This means that taking a short break provides immense benefits to the employer, so even though you are not actively “working”, you’re making yourself a better employee. Your lunch break must be at least 30 minutes, and the employer must not make you do anything work related during those 30 minutes for it be off the clock.

Are you paid for on-the-job training? If the training you’re receiving is in any way related to the work you will be doing, then your employer will need to compensate you for your time. What about meetings? Even if the meetings are outside normal working hours, if any useful work occurs or decisions are made that benefit the company, then you are entitled to compensation. The only way an employer can get around paying you for training or meetings is it meets multiple criteria: If the meeting or training is voluntary, it’s unrelated to the work you do on a daily basis, it’s outside your typical working hours, and if no useful work gets done at the meeting or training that benefits the employer. That is a lot of conditions to satisfy at once!

If you were terminated from your job for any reason, you must be paid for all of the work you performed up to the date you were terminated within just six days of that date, NOT the end of the next pay period, like many people assume. Whether you were given notice of the termination or not, six days is the rule.

If any of these stand out to you, then you can either file a report directly to the Texas Workforce Commission, or you can find an attorney that works in Texas employment law like the Leichter Law Firm PC. Knowing these rules will ensure that you’re taking home everything you’re owed.

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