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Texas PTO Laws: A Beginner’s Guide to Texas PTO Payout Laws

Texas PTO laws are regulations that lay the foundation of how paid time off is handled by employers in the state. Like other states, Texas follows federal laws as well as some of its state-specific rules and regulations regarding vacation leave, sick leave, maternity and paternity leave, bereavement leave, jury duty leave, military leave, and voting leave.

Understanding and complying with the various Texas PTO laws is essential for compliance. Employers must also share company policies regarding different types of leaves with employees to maintain a healthy work environment and avoid legal disputes.

Here, we look closely at various types of PTO and the laws governing them.

In Texas, there are no mandatory vacation leave quotas. There are no specific Texas PTO laws, and vacation time, if offered, is typically determined by employers’ policies and employment contracts. Here’s a general overview of how vacation leave quotas work:

Employers have complete discretion in offering paid or unpaid vacation time. If offered, the allocation of leave quotas is at the employer’s discretion. However, while there are state laws, if an employer offers a vacation leave quota, they must communicate the terms and conditions related to vacation leave in employment contracts or company policies.

There must be clear guidelines and procedures specifying how vacation leave is earned and accrued and how much leave employees are entitled to.

What is the Accrual vacation system of employers in Texas PTO laws?

As no Texas PTO payout laws or related provisions exist, employers are not obligated to create an accrual vacation system for employees. Still, many employers offer vacation accrual as a benefit to attract the best talent and retain employees.

The employer typically determines the accrual vacation system policies. The accrual vacation system is simply a method by which employees gradually accumulate paid time off (PTO) or vacation days. Generally, it is based on their length of service with the company and can vary.

For example, an employer may offer one day of vacation per month for the first year of employment and gradually increase the accrual rate for each subsequent year of service.

What happens to rollover (carry over, brought forward) leaves?

Texas permits Use-It-or-Lose-It policy. Therefore, employers can deny rollover (carry-over or brought forward) vacation leaves. Still, most employers allow employees to carry forward unused vacation days from one year to the next.

Employers can determine under what conditions the rollover of leave is possible. To ensure the availability of employees and prevent abuse, employers often set limits on the maximum number of vacation days that can be carried forward into the following year.

Additionally, no Texas PTO payout laws mandate employers to pay employees for unused PTO upon termination. In some cases, employers may provide an option for employees to receive a payout for unused vacation days instead of carrying them over. This allows employees to receive the monetary value of their unused time off.

Statutory Provisions Addressing Vacation Pay

Texas does not have specific statutory provisions addressing vacation pay. However, employers need to follow their established policies and contractual agreements consistently.

Also, employers should communicate the terms and conditions of vacation pay with employees, such as the accrual rate, maximum accrual limits, and any rules for taking and requesting vacation days.

Payment of Accrued, Unused Vacation on Termination

Suppose the payout of accrued, unused vacation time upon an employee’s termination is agreed upon in the contract. In that case, employees should receive compensation for any accrued, unused vacation days as outlined in the company’s policies or employment agreement.

As a Texas employer, do I have to approve my employee's every vacation request?

As a Texas employer, you can implement the Use-It-or-Lose-It policy. Therefore, you have complete discretion in approving or denying your employees’ vacation requests.

Employers can evaluate each request and decide whether to grant it, considering factors such as the timing of the request, the employee’s job responsibilities, and the impact on your business operations.

However, it’s crucial to follow the vacation request approval process consistently and fairly to avoid claims of discrimination or favoritism.

Can I deduct from paycheck if the employee uses more vacation time than what is accrued?

Yes, you can deduct from an employee’s paycheck for using more vacation time, as it is treated as advance pay that can be adjusted from the paycheck.

However, the decision also depends on your company’s policies and the employment agreement between you and the employee. This is a common issue for employers who allow incremental accrual of paid time off.

Keep in mind that, in Texas, employers are generally prohibited from making deductions that would reduce an employee’s pay below the minimum wage.

Is it within the authority of a Texas employer to require employees to utilize paid vacation time on specific days?

Yes, as a Texas employer, you can require employees to utilize paid vacation time on specific days or during particular periods. However, if you agree to allow employees paid time off in the employment contract or as part of a collective bargaining agreement, you must follow them.

The company’s vacation policies should outline whether employees must use their paid vacation time. These policies should be communicated to employees through handbooks or written policies.

In Texas, employees can be given several types of leave, but most are not mandatory. Here, we look at state laws regarding various kinds of leaves, such as sick, maternity, paternity, bereavement, jury duty, military, and voting leave.

Laws regarding various kinds of leaves

1. Sick leave

Texas does not have specific state laws mandating paid or unpaid sick leave. Usually, all employers follow the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to determine how employees can avail of sick leave. If an employer agrees to offer sick leave in the company policies, they must follow those policies.

2. Maternity, Paternity, & FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act)

Texas employers are not required to allow employees any family or medical leave under state laws, but they must adhere to the FMLA.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that applies to eligible employers in Texas and provides clear guidelines that all employers must follow.

Employers with 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius must follow the FMLA guidelines. It provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in 12 months for specific medical and family needs. An employee must have worked 1,250 hours the previous year to be eligible.

Maternity or paternity leave under FMLA for qualifying reasons that include the birth or adoption of a child, the serious health condition of the employee or a family member, or specific military-related purposes.

For family members of an individual serving in the military, FMLA includes provisions for military family leave, which allows eligible employees to take up to 26 weeks of leave in a single 12-month period to care for a covered servicemember with a serious injury or illness.

3. Bereavement leave

Texas does not have specific state laws requiring employers to provide paid or unpaid bereavement leave to employees. Individual employers can determine all the policies regarding bereavement leave.

Some employers allow workers to use accrued paid time off (such as vacation or personal days) to address bereavement needs, but this is at the employer’s discretion.

4. Jury duty leave

Like every other state, federal law dictates that employees must be given unpaid time off to perform their civil duty as jury members in Texas. Under no circumstances can an employer threaten or discharge employees for fulfilling their civic duty by serving on a jury.

Employees should check their company policies to understand whether they will receive their regular pay during jury duty service. There are no Texas PTO laws governing jury duty leave.

5. Military leave

Again, there are no Texas state laws, and it abides by federal law, specifically the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), which governs military leave for employees in Texas.

USERRA provides certain employment protections for individuals who serve in the U.S. military, including the National Guard and Reserves. It includes 24 months of healthcare plan during their leave and unpaid leave of 5 years from employment.

Additionally, employers must provide reemployment rights and benefits to employees returning from military service, subject to certain conditions.

6. Voting leave

Like every other state, employers in Texas must allow employees at least two hours of paid time off to vote if they don’t get time to vote outside work hours. However, employees must request the time off before Election Day and provide documentation if necessary.

How can Truein help with Paid time-off management?

Truein is a time and attendance management software chosen by employers across industries to manage employees’ paid time off (PTO) effectively.

An AI-based facial recognition attendance management system, Truein, can be deployed on smartphones, and employees can request PTO through their phones, which then notifies the relevant managers for approval. This streamlines the process, reducing the administrative burden and speeding up response times.

All data regarding leave management is centralized to all managers and employees to track how much PTO each employee has accumulated and used and how much remains. This real-time tracking helps in better planning and avoids confusion over PTO balances.

Furthermore, the customizable PTO policies can be configured to align with your organization’s specific policies regarding accrual rates, carry-over rules, and different types of leave, like sick and personal leave.

For faster payroll, Truein integrates with most payroll software. Employers can manage more efficiently by generating reports on PTO usage, trends, and patterns. This data can inform management decisions regarding staffing and workforce planning.

Ultimately, Truein can help organizations reduce administrative workloads, maintain compliance, and improve employee satisfaction with the PTO process.

Texas State Holidays for 2024

Holiday

Date in 2024

Generally observed date

New Year’s Day 2024

Monday, January 1

January 1

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Monday, January 15

3rd Monday in January

Confederate Heroes’ Day

Friday, January 19

January 19

Presidents’ Day

Monday, February 19

3rd Monday in February

Texas Independence Day

Saturday, March 2

March 2

Good Friday

Friday, March 29

2 days before Easter

Cesar Chavez Day

Sunday, March 31

March 31

San Jacinto Day

Sunday, April 21

April 21

Memorial Day

Monday, May 27

Last Monday in May

Emancipation Day

Wednesday, June 19

June 19

Independence Day

Thursday, July 4

July 4

LBJ’S Birthday

Tuesday, August 27

August 27

Labor Day

Monday, September 2

1st Monday in September

Rosh Hashanah

Friday, October 4

It varies

Yom Kippur

Saturday, October 12

It varies

Veterans Day

Monday, November 11

November 11

Thanksgiving Day

Thursday, November 28

4th Thursday of November

Thanksgiving Friday

Friday, November 29

Day after Thanksgiving

Christmas Eve

Tuesday, Dec. 24

December 24

Christmas Day

Wednesday, Dec. 25

December 25

Day After Christmas

Thursday, Dec. 26

December 26

Conclusion

Texas has one of the largest industrial establishments in the United States. For every employer in the state, complying with Texas PTO laws is mandatory.

An employer can offer several types of leave, and they have the flexibility to establish their policies. However, it is crucial that employers clearly communicate the policies regarding different kinds of leave with employees and consistently adhere to them to avoid legal complications.

Employers can also benefit from utilizing Truein to streamline PTO management and ensure state and federal regulations compliance.

FAQs

1. Is an employer liable to pay health insurance to employees on leave?

No specific Texas laws require employers to continue providing health insurance to employees on leave. However, some employers may choose to maintain health insurance coverage for employees during periods of leave. Such employers must give full disclosure about the terms of employment contracts and policies.

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