On Tuesday, I witnessed the inauguration of a new Governor and Lt. Governor on the south steps of the Texas Capitol, marking a new chapter in our history after 14 long years under Governor Rick Perry.
In his inaugural speech, Governor Greg Abbott noted that “we must keep Texas on a path that ensures that years from now people will stand on this very ground as grateful to this generation as we are to past generations.” Although our ideologies may differ greatly, I remain optimistic and hopeful that we will work to find common ground this legislative session. It will always be my priority to advance strong public policy over weak petty politics.
Employer Retaliation Bill
Earlier this week, I filed House Bill 860 to protect workers who are seeking to recover unpaid wages from their employer. It is unacceptable that one out of every five construction workers in Texas experiences wage theft. My bill will help to ensure that an employer cannot retaliate against an employee who reports them.
Under HB 860, an employer would be prohibited from suspending, terminating or otherwise disciplining or discriminating against an employee who in good faith seeks to recover wages owed to them. Moreover, if an employer is found guilty of wage theft, my bill will require them to pay for damages, court costs and attorney’s fees, plus an additional $500.
Last night, my good friend State Representative Rafael Anchía and I gave a preview of the 84th Legislative Session for members and supporters of Environment Texas, an organization dedicated to cleaner air, water and open spaces. We discussed the importance of keeping vigilant on the bills that will be going before the Committees on Energy Resources, Environmental Regulation and Natural Resources this session.
It will take all of us working together to keep Texas beautiful and healthy for the next generation.