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Employment relationship

State-specific laws
What state-specific laws govern the employment relationship?

The Texas Labor Code contains many of the statutes governing the employment relationship, although they generally follow federal law. Chapter 21 of the Texas Labor Code contains prohibitions on discrimination in employment, Chapter 61 governs payment of wages and Chapter 451 prohibits retaliation against an employee who files a workers' compensation claim in good faith.

Who do these cover, including categories of workers?

It is generally the same as federal law.

Misclassification
Are there state-specific rules regarding employee/contractor misclassification?

Generally, no. 

Contracts
Must an employment contract be in writing?

No, although Texas has a strong policy in favor of employment at will. This means that, absent a statute or express agreement (e.g., an employment contract) to the contrary, either party in an employment relationship may modify any of the terms or conditions of employment, or terminate the relationship altogether, for any reason or no reason at all, with or without advance notice. Thus, Texas employers may develop and change personnel policies, reassign employees, and change such things as work locations, schedules, job titles, job descriptions, pay, and other aspects of jobs at will.

Are any terms implied into employment contracts?

No, although Texas has a strong policy in favor of employment at will. This means that, absent a statute or an express agreement (e.g., an employment contract) to the contrary, either party in an employment relationship may modify any of the terms or conditions of employment, or terminate the relationship altogether, for any reason or no reason at all, with or without advance notice. Thus, Texas employers may develop and change personnel policies, reassign employees, and change such things as work locations, schedules, job titles, job descriptions, pay, and other aspects of jobs at will.

Are mandatory arbitration agreements enforceable?

Yes. The precise wording is extremely important, and there are several key strategic decisions to make when considering an arbitration agreement.

How can employers make changes to existing employment agreements?

If the agreement is in writing, then a written agreement supplementing or superseding the prior agreement will usually be required. If the agreement is not in writing, advance reasonable notice of the change typically suffices. For example, two weeks or 30 days would typically be sufficient notice.

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