Bill Text: TX HB87 | 2021-2022 | 87th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to requiring certain employers to provide paid sick leave to employees; providing administrative and civil penalties.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2021-02-25 - Referred to International Relations & Economic Development [HB87 Detail]

Download: Texas-2021-HB87-Introduced.html
  87R3306 RDS-F
 
  By: Reynolds H.B. No. 87
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to requiring certain employers to provide paid sick leave
  to employees; providing administrative and civil penalties.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Subtitle D, Title 2, Labor Code, is amended by
  adding Chapter 83 to read as follows:
  CHAPTER 83. EARNED PAID SICK LEAVE
         Sec. 83.001.  DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:
               (1)  "Commission" means the Texas Workforce
  Commission.
               (2)  "Employee" means a person employed by an employer.
               (3)  "Employer" means a person who is engaged in an
  industry affecting commerce and who employs one or more employees.
               (4)  "Family member" means:
                     (A)  the employee's spouse;
                     (B)  the employee's natural child, adopted child,
  stepchild, foster child, or legal ward;
                     (C)  a child to whom the employee stands in loco
  parentis;
                     (D)  a person to whom the employee stood in loco
  parentis when the person was a child;
                     (E)  the employee's parent, foster parent,
  stepparent, adoptive parent, or legal guardian or conservator;
                     (F)  a parent, foster parent, stepparent,
  adoptive parent, or legal guardian or conservator of the employee's
  spouse;
                     (G)  the employee's grandparent or
  step-grandparent;
                     (H)  the grandparent or step-grandparent of the
  employee's spouse;
                     (I)  the employee's brother or sister of the whole
  or half blood or by adoption;
                     (J)  a brother or sister of the whole or half blood
  or by adoption of the employee's spouse;
                     (K)  the employee's stepbrother or stepsister;
                     (L)  a stepbrother or stepsister of the employee's
  spouse;
                     (M)  the employee's foster brother or sister;
                     (N)  a foster brother or sister of the employee's
  spouse;
                     (O)  the employee's grandchild or
  step-grandchild;
                     (P)  a grandchild or step-grandchild of the
  employee's spouse;
                     (Q)  a person for whom the employee is responsible
  for providing or arranging care; or
                     (R)  a person related to the employee by
  consanguinity or affinity who lives in the employee's household.
               (5)  "Family violence" has the meaning assigned by
  Section 71.004, Family Code.
               (6)  "Harassment" means any conduct that constitutes an
  offense under Section 42.07, Penal Code.
               (7)  "Health care professional" means an individual who
  is licensed, certified, or otherwise authorized to administer
  health care in this state.
               (8)  "Household" has the meaning assigned by Section
  71.005, Family Code.
               (9)  "Sexual abuse" means any conduct that constitutes
  an offense under Section 21.02, 21.11, or 25.02, Penal Code.
               (10)  "Sexual assault" means any conduct that
  constitutes an offense under Section 22.011 or 22.021, Penal Code.
               (11)  "Stalking" means any conduct that constitutes an
  offense under Section 42.072, Penal Code.
         Sec. 83.002.  APPLICABILITY OF CHAPTER. This chapter does
  not apply to:
               (1)  an employee who is entitled to unemployment
  benefits or allowances under the Railroad Unemployment Insurance
  Act (45 U.S.C. Section 351 et seq.); or
               (2)  an employer who is an agency of the federal
  government.
         Sec. 83.003.  PAID SICK LEAVE REQUIRED.  Each employer shall
  provide paid sick leave annually to each employee in this state
  under the terms of this chapter.
         Sec. 83.004.  PAID SICK LEAVE ACCRUAL AND CARRYOVER. (a)  
  Paid sick leave under this chapter accrues beginning on the date of
  hire at a rate of one hour of paid sick leave for each 30 hours
  worked by an employee.
         (b)  Each employee is entitled to carry over unused paid sick
  leave from the current calendar year to the following calendar year
  unless the employer elects to pay an employee for unused sick leave
  at the end of the calendar year and make paid sick leave available
  at the beginning of the next calendar year as provided by Section
  83.005(b).
         (c)  Sick leave hours carried over from a previous calendar
  year must be immediately available to the employee in the following
  calendar year.
         Sec. 83.005.  ENTITLEMENT TO USE PAID SICK LEAVE;
  LIMITATIONS. (a) An employee is entitled to use accrued paid sick
  leave under this chapter 60 calendar days after the date of hire,
  unless the employer agrees to an earlier date.
         (b)  An employer may make immediately available to an
  employee at the beginning of a year, quarter, or other period the
  entire amount of paid sick leave that the employee is expected to
  accrue during the year, quarter, or other period.
         (c)  At the employer's discretion, an employer may loan paid
  sick leave time to an employee in advance of accrual by the
  employee.
         (d)  Unless an employee policy or collective bargaining
  agreement provides for the payment of accrued fringe benefits on
  termination, an employee is not entitled to payment of unused
  accrued paid sick leave under this chapter on termination of
  employment.
         Sec. 83.006.  EMPLOYER COMPLIANCE.  An employer is
  considered to be in compliance with this chapter if the employer
  offers one or more other types of paid leave that:
               (1)  may be used for the purposes described by this
  chapter; and
               (2)  accrues at a rate equal to or greater than the rate
  described by Section 83.004.
         Sec. 83.007.  PAY RATE FOR SICK LEAVE. (a)  Each employer
  shall pay each employee for paid sick leave time taken at a pay rate
  equal to the normal hourly wage for that employee.
         (b)  For purposes of Subsection (a) and Section 83.004, an
  employee who is exempt from the overtime requirements under Section
  13(a)(1), Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. Section
  213(a)(1)), is presumed to work 40 hours each week unless the
  employee's regular workweek is less than 40 hours.
         Sec. 83.008.  USE OF PAID SICK LEAVE.  (a)  An employee may
  use paid sick leave accrued under this chapter for:
               (1)  the employee's mental or physical illness, injury,
  or health condition;
               (2)  the medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of the
  employee's mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition;
               (3)  preventative medical care for the employee;
               (4)  the employee's family member's mental or physical
  illness, injury, or health condition;
               (5)  the medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of the
  employee's family member's mental or physical illness, injury, or
  health condition; or
               (6)  preventative medical care for the employee's
  family member.
         (b)  An employee who is or whose family member is a victim of
  family violence, sexual assault, sexual abuse, stalking, or
  harassment may use paid sick leave accrued under this chapter:
               (1)  for medical care or psychological or other
  counseling for physical or psychological injury or disability;
               (2)  to obtain services from a victim services
  organization;
               (3)  to relocate due to the family violence, sexual
  assault, sexual abuse, stalking, or harassment; or
               (4)  to participate in a legal proceeding or
  court-ordered requirement relating to the family violence, sexual
  assault, sexual abuse, stalking, or harassment.
         (c)  An employee may use paid sick leave to attend a meeting
  at a child family member's school.
         (d)  An employee may use paid sick leave while the employee's
  place of business or the school or child care facility of the
  employee's child family member is closed due to a public health
  emergency.
         (e)  An employee may not use paid sick leave in increments of
  less than one hour.
         (f)  An employer may not require an employee to find another
  employee to work during the time the employee intends to use paid
  sick leave as a condition of using paid sick leave.
         Sec. 83.009.  NOTICE TO EMPLOYER. (a)  If an employee's need
  to use paid sick leave under this chapter is foreseeable, an
  employer may require advance notice of the intention to use paid
  sick leave.
         (b)  If an employee's need for paid sick leave is not
  foreseeable, an employer may require the employee to give notice of
  the employee's intention to use paid sick leave under this chapter
  as soon as practicable.
         Sec. 83.010.  EMPLOYER RECORDS. An employer shall retain
  records that document the amount of paid sick leave accrued and
  taken by each employee. The records must be maintained for at least
  three years.
         Sec. 83.011.  DOCUMENTATION. (a)  For paid sick leave of
  three or more consecutive days, an employer may require reasonable
  documentation that the leave is being taken for a purpose permitted
  under this chapter.
         (b)  If paid sick leave is taken for a reason described by
  Section 83.008(a), documentation signed by a health care provider
  who is treating the employee or the employee's family member
  indicating the need for the number of days of the leave is
  considered to be reasonable documentation.  An employer may not
  require that the documentation explain the nature of the illness,
  injury, or health condition.
         (c)  If paid sick leave is taken for a reason described by
  Section 83.008(b), reasonable documentation includes:
               (1)  a copy of a court document;
               (2)  an incident report or other record maintained by a
  law enforcement agency or official; or
               (3)  documentation from a victim's assistance counselor
  from a state or local agency or other entity.
         (d)  An employer may not require the documentation under
  Subsection (c) to include details of the family violence, sexual
  assault, sexual abuse, stalking, or harassment, including any
  references to specific acts.
         (e)  Documentation and information provided to an employer
  is confidential.
         (f)  If an employer requires documentation under this
  section, the employer is responsible for the cost of obtaining
  copies of that documentation.
         Sec. 83.012.  NOTICE TO EMPLOYEES.  (a)  Each employer
  subject to this chapter shall, at the time of hiring, provide notice
  in both English and Spanish to each employee:
               (1)  of the employee's entitlement to paid sick leave,
  the amount of paid sick leave provided to employees, and the terms
  under which leave may be used under this chapter;
               (2)  that retaliation by the employer against the
  employee for requesting or using paid sick leave to which the
  employee is entitled is prohibited; and
               (3)  that the employee has a right to file a complaint
  with the commission or bring a civil action for damages for any
  violation of this chapter.
         (b)  An employer may comply with this section by displaying a
  poster in a conspicuous place, accessible to employees, at the
  employer's place of business that contains in both English and
  Spanish the information required by this section.
         (c)  The notice under this section must also be provided in a
  language other than English or Spanish if that language is the first
  language spoken by at least 30 percent of the employer's workforce.
         (d)  The commission by rule shall prescribe the form and
  content of the notice required under this section.
         (e)  The commission may adopt rules to establish additional
  requirements concerning the means by which employers provide notice
  required under this section.
         Sec. 83.013.  BREAK IN SERVICE. (a)  Termination of an
  employee's employment by an employer, regardless of whether
  voluntary or involuntary, is considered a break in service for
  purposes of this chapter.
         (b)  An employee who is subsequently rehired by the employer
  following a break in service:
               (1)  begins to accrue paid sick leave under this
  chapter; and
               (2)  is not entitled to any unused hours of paid sick
  leave that had accrued before the employee's break in service,
  unless the employee is rehired within 30 days of separation or the
  employer agrees to reinstate some or all of the employee's
  previously accrued paid sick leave.
         Sec. 83.014.  TRANSFER OF EMPLOYEE. (a)  The transfer of an
  employee to a separate division, entity, or location of the same
  employer is not considered to be a break in service for purposes of
  this chapter.
         (b)  Following a transfer described by Subsection (a), the
  transferred employee is entitled to:
               (1)  retain all accrued paid sick leave under this
  chapter; and
               (2)  immediately access the retained paid sick leave
  time without any waiting period, except that the employee remains
  subject to any remaining period of the initial waiting period
  described by Section 83.005(a), if applicable.
         Sec. 83.015.  SUCCESSOR EMPLOYER. If an employer succeeds
  or takes the place of an existing employer, employees of the former
  employer who are employed by the successor are entitled to:
               (1)  retain all accrued paid sick leave under this
  chapter; and
               (2)  immediately access the retained paid sick leave
  time without any waiting period.
         Sec. 83.016.  LIMITATIONS OF CHAPTER.  This chapter does
  not:
               (1)  prevent an employer from providing more paid sick
  leave than is required under this chapter;
               (2)  prohibit an employer that provides paid leave in
  addition to the paid sick leave required under this chapter from
  restricting the purposes for which an employee may take that
  additional leave; or
               (3)  diminish any rights provided to any employee under
  a collective bargaining agreement.
         Sec. 83.017.  COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT. A collective
  bargaining agreement may waive the requirements of this chapter by
  clear and unambiguous language within the agreement.
         Sec. 83.018.  RETALIATION PROHIBITED.  An employer may not
  take retaliatory personnel action or otherwise discriminate
  against an employee because the employee:
               (1)  requests or uses paid sick leave in accordance
  with this chapter; or
               (2)  files a complaint with the commission alleging the
  employer's violation of this chapter.
         Sec. 83.019.  COMPLAINT; HEARING; PENALTY. (a)  Any
  employee aggrieved by a violation of this chapter may file a claim
  with the commission in the manner prescribed by Subchapter D,
  Chapter 61.
         (b)  On receipt of a complaint, the commission shall
  investigate and dispose of the complaint in the same manner as a
  wage claim under Subchapter D, Chapter 61.
         (c)  An employer who is found by the commission, by a
  preponderance of the evidence, to have violated a provision under
  this chapter is liable to the commission for an administrative
  penalty.
         (d)  The commission may award the employee all appropriate
  relief, including payment for used paid sick leave, rehiring or
  reinstatement to the employee's previous job, payment of back
  wages, and reestablishment of employee benefits for which the
  employee otherwise would have been eligible if the employee had not
  been subject to retaliatory personnel action or other
  discrimination.
         (e)  A party may appeal a final decision of the commission by
  filing suit in district court.
         Sec. 83.020.  CIVIL PENALTY.  An employer who wilfully
  violates this chapter is liable for a civil penalty not to exceed
  $100 for each violation. The attorney general may bring an action
  to collect a civil penalty under this chapter. Civil penalties
  assessed under this section shall be deposited in the general
  revenue fund.
         Sec. 83.021.  CIVIL ACTION BY EMPLOYEE. (a) An employee
  aggrieved by a violation of this chapter may bring a civil action to
  enforce rights protected by this chapter, including an action for
  appropriate injunctive relief, in the district court in the county
  in which the alleged violation occurred or in which the alleged
  violator's residence or principal place of business is located.
         (b)  An action under this section must be brought not later
  than the second anniversary of the date of the violation.
         (c)  The employer of an employee who prevails in a civil
  action under this section is liable to the affected employee for
  damages equal to the amount of any wages, salary, employment
  benefits, or other compensation denied or lost to the employee by
  reason of the violation or, if wages, salary, employment benefits,
  or other compensation has not been denied or lost, any actual
  monetary losses sustained by the employee as a direct result of the
  violation.
         (d)  An employer described by Subsection (c) is also liable
  for equitable relief as appropriate, including reinstatement and
  promotion.
         (e)  In addition to any judgment awarded to an employee, the
  court may require the employer to pay reasonable attorney's fees,
  reasonable expert witness fees, and other costs.
         Sec. 83.022.  INFORMATION FROM AND OUTREACH BY COMMISSION.
  (a) The commission shall make available to the public on the
  commission's Internet website information regarding:
               (1)  the requirements of and the rights and remedies
  under this chapter; and
               (2)  best practices for employers with respect to paid
  sick leave.
         (b)  The commission shall develop a pamphlet containing the
  information provided under Subsection (a) and make the pamphlet
  available at no cost for distribution at child care facilities,
  health care facilities, family violence shelters, and other
  community centers.
         (c)  The commission shall make the information under
  Subsections (a) and (b) available in both English and Spanish.
         (d)  The commission shall conduct additional public outreach
  efforts to inform employees and the public about this chapter.
         SECTION 2.  (a) The change in law made by this Act applies to
  an employee hired on or after January 1, 2022. For an employee
  hired before January 1, 2022, paid sick leave under Chapter 83,
  Labor Code, as added by this Act, begins to accrue on that date, and
  the employee may begin to use the paid sick leave 90 calendar days
  after that date, unless the employer agrees to an earlier date.
         (b)  Chapter 83, Labor Code, as added by this Act, does not
  preempt or override the terms of any collective bargaining
  agreement effective before January 1, 2022.
         SECTION 3.  Not later than December 1, 2021, the Texas
  Workforce Commission shall:
               (1)  prescribe the form and content of the notice
  required by Section 83.012(a), Labor Code, as added by this Act;
               (2)  post on the commission's Internet website the
  information required by Section 83.022(a), Labor Code, as added by
  this Act; and
               (3)  adopt rules necessary to implement Chapter 83,
  Labor Code, as added by this Act.
         SECTION 4.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2021.
feedback