Workplace Rights

The Texas Senate today advanced SBs 2486 and 2488, two more bills that would prevent cities from improving workplace benefits.

Both bills are by Sen. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, who authored two related bills that passed the Senate last Thursday. SB 2486 bars local governments from approving rules on scheduling practices. The problem: Some companies do not notify workers of their schedules enough in advance to allow them to plan their lives. An amendment to the bill by Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, also bars local rules with regard to overtime.

The Texas Senate approved two bills that would take away the ability of cities to improve benefits for working people.

The attacks on local voter power came in the form of SB 2485, a general attack on benefits, and SB 2487, which applies specifically to paid sick leave and similar policies. The bills by Sen. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, won passage on identical 18-12 votes. All Republicans present voted for the measures and all Democrats voted against.

The Texas House on Wednesday advanced HB 48 by Rep. Mary Gonzalez, D-El Paso, which would create a state database of employers who are found to have committed wage theft.

The bill has been percolating for several sessions and now has momentum on its way to the Senate. A database would impose no monetary penalty, but the sunlight would serve as a deterrent to low-road employers who deliberately refuse to pay working people what they have earned. 

Today's bipartisan vote in support of the measure was 102-41.

A bill heard yesterday in a House committee would create a separate unelected court system for deep-pocketed businesses, billionaires and others who might be involved in lawsuits involving giant dollars, corporate CEOs and large-scale business matters.

HB 4149 by Rep. Jeff Leach, R-Plano (companion is SB 2259 by Sen. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola) would let the Governor appoint judges selected by an advisory group to hear cases for the wealthy, as opposed to the elected judges most working people would face when navigating the state court system.

Death Star for Local Workplace Benefits; 'Bathroom Bill II'

Texas AFL-CIO President Rick Levy issued this statement in the wake of a Senate committee's approval of SB 15, which not only blocks any and all local rules that improve workplace benefits, but now paves the way for cancellation of non-discrimination ordinances:

Food Drive Continues in Solidarity With Federal Workers 

The Texas AFL-CIO will host a coalition protesting the government shutdown in front of Sen. John Cornyn’s downtown Austin office.

Focus on Fair Shot for Working Families

The Texas AFL-CIO launched a Fair Shot legislative agenda that includes both perennial wage and benefit topics and cutting-edge issues that affect a broad spectrum of working families in Texas.

On behalf of the Texas AFL-CIO, a federation of public and private-sector labor unions, I am here to submit oral testimony that supplements the public comments we have submitted on the proposed unemployment insurance rules relating to the so-called “gig economy last month. Specifically, we wish to object to the proposed rules for amending Chapter 815 of the Texas Administrative Code in their entirety.

Texas AFL-CIO Opposes Workforce Commission Proposal That Could Convert Some Gig Economy Workers Into ‘Marketplace Contractors’

The Texas AFL-CIO has formally opposed a pending rule that would give employers who conduct business via digital networks blanket authority to deny basic employment benefits to employees simply by calling them “marketplace contractors.” 

The Texas Workforce Commission voted to publish the rule proposal in December and could enact it later this month. 

Texas AFL-CIO Opposes Workforce Commission Proposal That Could Convert Some Gig Economy Workers Into ‘Marketplace Contractors’

The Texas AFL-CIO has formally opposed a pending rule that would give employers who conduct business via digital networks blanket authority to deny basic employment benefits to employees simply by calling them “marketplace contractors.” 

The Texas Workforce Commission voted to publish the rule proposal in December and could enact it later this month.