Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Monday, February 10, 2003

Last Week At the Texas Legislature

Four new bills were introduced that would impact employment practices generally. In addition, some of the bills previously reported on have been referred to committee. The new bills are:
H.B. 705 Burt Solomons (R - Carrollton) Provides a defense against a claim of negligent hiring for employers whose employees enter another's home for purposes of repairs or delivery of goods. The defense would only be available if the employer obtained a criminal record from the Department of Public Safety. The bill gives the employer the right to have that access.
H.B. 772 Dawnna Dukes (D - Austin) Similar to H.B.105, would allow an employee to quit a job if advised to by a law enforcement officer, a licensed medical practitioner or a licensed counselor because of domestic violence or stalking and still receive unemployment benefits. The employer's account would not be charged.
S.B. 374 Tommy Williams (R - Woodlands). Limits liability of employer utilizing a staff leasing company to those items for which it has contracted to pay.
S.B. 390 Rodney Ellis (D - Houston) The first Senate bill to prohibit use of cell phone while driving.
Other bills previously mentioned have now been referred to committee. Among those are:
H.B. 105 Allows unemployment for domestic violence, referred to Econcomic Development.
H.B. 126 Would require parity for mental health coverage, referred to Insurance.
H.B. 152 Prohibiting peasant's insurance, referred to Insurance.
H.B. 181 Limits required dislcosure of deferred adjudication for purpose of obtaining employment, referred to Criminal Jurisprudence.
H.B. 281 Banning use of cell phones while driving, referred to State Affairs.
H.B. 328 Allows employers to obtain and use past workers compensation history of applicants, referred to Business and Industry.

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