Houston Wages & Benefits: The Houston Employment Law Blog

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Wages & Benefits in Houston

All Houston employees have legal rights involving wages and employment benefits, which include a minimum wage, overtime pay, employee health insurance, retirement plans, and tipping for certain service sector employees. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in particular establishes minimum wages, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor standards affecting full-time and part-time workers.

If you need advice on an employment law issue, including advice on wages or benefits, you should speak with a Houston employment lawyer. Houston employment lawyers can assess your legal issue and can tell you how to go about filing a claim. You can find a local lawyer by viewing FindLaw's directory of Houston employment lawyers.


Recently in Wages & Benefits Category

What Legal Protections Exist for Interns?

If you're an intern currently, do you have any legal protections? Interns have been the subject of a lot of legal controversy lately -- in New York, for example, a federal judge ruled unpaid interns don't have a right to sue for harassment because they're not employees.

This problematic ruling does not necessarily mean that interns don't have any rights. But, some rights are limited or just not addressed under labor laws when it comes to interns. Here's a general overview of what interns in Texas have and don't have rights to.

Employers: Do You Know Enough About Employment Contracts?

On the surface, it might seem like all employment contracts look the same.

But they're not all the same. And depending on the situation in front of you and the type of person you're hiring, you might find yourself in a position where you need to have different contracts for different people.

Now, there's nothing wrong with using a template for your contracts. But at times, those contracts may need to be tweaked here and there.

3 Things to Do If You Haven't Received Your W-2

What do you do if you haven't received your tax forms from your employer in the mail?

How do you go about filing for your taxes when you don't have the necessary paperwork? Or if you have your paperwork, what do you do if it's incorrect?

Your employer is required to file a Form W-2 for employees, but not for independent contractors. If you're an employee, then you should receive your Form W-2 by February 1.

Which Employment Tax Forms Do You Need, W-2 or 1099?

Which tax forms do you give to your workers to report their income?

When filing one's federal income tax returns, one key document is the employee's W-2 statement of wages. Or, in the case of an independent contractor, Form 1099 provides the information on how much the worker earned.

But many employers don't realize that the form is only one part of the critical question: Is a worker more properly classified as an employee or contractor? Only after making that determination can they determine which form they need to send.

Cook Accuses Chinese Restaurant of Falsifying Wage Records

A Chinese restaurant in Dallas is being accused by a former employee of tampering with its records, after the employee filed a complaint.

The employee alleged that Mr. Chopsticks Inc. failed to pay her overtime wages. She also claims that the company altered its records after she filed a complaint with the Department of Labor.

The plaintiff, Marlene Lopez, worked as a cook at the restaurant for over ten years. She claims that she worked an average of 60 hours a week and was paid between $9 and $11 an hour.

COBRA: Is Your Employer Subject to It?

Since Obamacare was signed into law, there’s been much talk of health care and employment. People have been arguing that small businesses will suffer from Obamacare and that the government is interfering with small businesses and employment by mandating health coverage.

What many don’t realize is that the government had its hands in health care for years, when it passed a law called COBRA.

COBRA or the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, is very important for people to know — both for employers and for employees. It’s an extension of health coverage that certain employees are entitled to, in the event that they lose their job.

FMLA, Sick Leave Rules Explained for City of Houston Employees

Feeling a bit under the weather? If you work for the city of Houston, it seems you're probably covered when it comes to paid sick leave.

City of Houston employees are entitled to accrue two-and-a-half hours of sick leave per pay period. This is capped at 65 hours of sick leave per fiscal year, with the year running from Sept. 1 to Aug. 31.

Open Enrollment: Time to Change Plans?

For those of you with employer sponsored health care insurance, open enrollment season is coming up.

During this time, employees have the option to make changes to their benefits. Or even to enroll in benefits for the first time.

So if you're unhappy with your current benefits package or if you want change, now's the time.

Good Call: NFL, Referees Union in Talks Again After 'MNF' Debacle

Anyone who has even a passing interest in football knows of the call heard 'round the world during the Packers-Seahawks game on Monday Night Football. In fact, there would be no reason to explain exactly what happened because you know.

You know because everyone knows. It was on the front page of the Houston Chronicle's website Tuesday. What you might not know is that it actually caused some movement in the lockout between the referees' union and the NFL, according to the Associated Press. The league and the refs returned to the bargaining table, trying to resolve the impasse over pensions.

What will ultimately decide this question? Will it be business judgment or popular outcry?

Dig This: Texas Landscapers Sue for Overtime

It may come as a surprise, but the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") does not apply to everyone. Even so, it seems like every week there is a new case about some employer failing to pay minimum wage or overtime to its employees.

In federal court in Sherman, two landscape workers have filed a lawsuit against A&A Landscape and Irrigation on behalf of themselves and all other A&A employees claiming they worked as long as 12 hours a day, six days a week, without being paid overtime, according to The Southeast Texas Record.

The workers' lawsuit alleges a violation of the FLSA. So what types of employers must comply with the FLSA?