For many Texas employees, monetary pay is only a part of the overall compensation package offered by employers. For employees who have children or care for a sick family member, the paid- and unpaid-leave benefits provided by many employers are just as important as one’s salary or wages. Unfortunately, Texas employers are not required under any state or federal law to provide paid-leave benefits to employees, except under certain circumstances.
As a general rule, a Texas employer can decide whether to offer benefits to its employees. There are times, however, where an employer is required to provide certain benefits to its employees. One example is where an employer’s written policy provides benefits to employees, but the employer denies a qualifying employee access to these benefits. The Texas Payday Law states that an agreement to provide paid or unpaid leave is an enforceable term of the wage agreement. Thus, an employer who may not be required by law to offer benefits becomes obligated to provide them if there is a written policy offering benefits to qualifying employees.
Another situation where an employer is required to provide unpaid leave is when a covered employee requests leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The FMLA is a federal law that requires qualifying employers to allow covered employees 12 weeks of unpaid leave. During this period, an employee’s insurance benefits must remain intact and, at the end of the 12-week period, the employee is entitled to return to their same position.
While FMLA leave is a great alternative for some Texas employees, there are a few caveats, including:
- The FMLA only applies to employers with 50 or more employees;
- To be eligible for FMLA leave, an employee must have worked at least 1250 hours over the past 12 months, and worked for the employer for the past year.
- FMLA leave is unpaid
- FMLA leave can only be taken for certain reasons related to an employee’s illness, the birth or adoption of a child, or to care for a sick loved one.
Are You Involved in an Employment Dispute?
If you are currently involved in an employment dispute and are unsure of how to proceed, contact the dedicated employment lawyers at Rob Wiley, P.C. We represent Texas employees in all types of employment-related issues, including discrimination claims, retaliation claims, and claims for the enforcement of employee benefits. We have decades of collective experience handling Texas employment law cases and know what it takes to succeed on our clients’ behalves. To learn more, call 214-528-6500 to schedule a consultation today.
More Blog Posts:
Can a Texas Employer Require Employees to Pool Tips?, Dallas Employment Lawyer Blog, October 25, 2018.
Responsibilities of Texas Employers under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Dallas Employment Lawyer Blog, November 2, 2018.