August 31, 2023

Texas legislature holds sessions once every other year, typically meeting for roughly six months when they do. Since then, Texas has passed several bills that will have lasting effects on employers. They will take effect soon since the governor has signed them into law. Here are summaries of several laws that will soon take effect.

The Texas Regulatory Consistency Act 

First is the Texas Regulatory Consistency Act, which legislatures presented as House Bill 2127. This Act bans counties and cities from enacting laws that regulate labor practices if they conflict with or surpass state law. It intends to “provide regulatory consistency across this state and return the historic exclusive regulatory powers to the state where those powers belong.” 

This law will take effect on September 1, 2023. Before this legislation, cities could enforce local ordinances that regulated industries like agriculture, finance, insurance, or labor. As such, employers often encountered regulations that conflicted with state practices due to local laws. Examples of conflicts include the enjoined paid sick leave ordinances in Austin, San Antonio, and Dallas and the ban-the-box rules in Austin.

The Texas Regulatory Consistency Act also provides a private right of action. It applies to “Any person, including a taxpayer, adversely affected by a municipal or county ordinance, order, rule, or policy adopted or enforced by a municipality, county, municipal official or county official acting in their official capacity in violation” of Texas Labor Code. 

However, the cause of action must occur on or after the law’s effective date. Additionally, it limits the resolutions to the following:

 “A claimant is entitled to recover in an action brought under this chapter:

(1) declaratory and injunctive relief; and

(2) costs and reasonable attorney’s fees.”

Texas CROWN Act

The Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair Act will also take effect on September 1, 2023. This is House Bill 567, which legislators also call the CROWN Act. It addresses educational and employment settings, banning discrimination “on the basis of hair texture or protective hairstyle associated with race.” According to the law, protected hairstyles include “braids, locks, and twists.” 

As such, schools should review their student dress or grooming policies to ensure they do not discriminate against protected hair texture or styles. Discriminatory policies concerning hair texture or styles associated with race cannot appear in the workforce either. This ban means employers, labor unions, or employment agencies should review their policies to comply with the CROWN Act.

Group Family Leave Insurance

The Texas legislature also passed House Bill 1996, which addresses group family leave insurance. It “allows for the approval by state regulators of insurance policies that can be used to provide fully insured paid family leave benefits for employees through optional employer-sponsored group insurance coverage or voluntarily purchased employee policies.” 

As such, it covers leave an insured employee takes for various reasons. Such reasons include, but are not limited to, bonding with an adopted or newborn child, caring for a family member with a serious health problem, or the same reasons covered in the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993. This Act will take effect on January 1, 2024.

Requirements in the Event of a Security Breach

Another bill affecting employers includes Senate Bill 768. This bill addresses security breach reporting and explains the steps employers must take to report the incident properly. The new law takes effect on September 1, 2023.

Senate Bill 768 requires affected businesses to file an electronic form to the attorney general describing the security breach. They must do this within 30 days of the violation if it affects 250 or more employees. Before this law, employers had 60 days to file.

Employers should take immediate action to ensure compliance with these new laws. One step to ensure their employment screening programs align with newly changing regulations is working with a trustworthy screening provider. The right partner stays abreast of the constantly evolving regulatory environment for consumer reporting and reliably delivers swift and accurate reports.


Information provided here is for educational and informational purposes only and should not constitute as legal advice. We recommend you contact your own legal counsel for any questions regarding your specific practices and compliance with applicable laws.