(AUSTIN) — The Texas Senate delivered a major victory for employers and employees across Texas on Monday by giving preliminary approval to Senate Bill 14, which would provide consistency in government regulations on labor and employment practices at private-sector businesses.
Authored by Sen. Brandon Creighton, Senate Bill 14 would prohibit a city or county from adopting any policy that exceeds or conflicts with federal or state law related to any form of employment leave, hiring practices, employment benefits, scheduling practices or other terms of employment.
“Cities and counties are under severe political pressure from activists to enact mandates on businesses,” said Annie Spilman, spokeswoman for the Alliance for Securing and Strengthening the Economy in Texas. “These mandates make it more difficult to do business and keep Texans employed, especially for businesses that operate in multiple jurisdictions. Senate Bill 14 demonstrates a commitment to reasonable, consistent, affordable regulations that encourage economic growth.”
Senate Bill 14 would not prohibit private employers from enacting their own employment benefit packages; affect current law regarding employment discrimination; or affect a contract entered between a private employer or entity and a governmental entity voluntarily.
As Senate Bill 14 was heard in the Business & Commerce Committee, several business owners testified about the extreme difficulty, both practically and mentally, in operating over the last year. During the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of Texas businesses — including some 10,000 restaurants — have closed and 600,000 Texas jobs have disappeared.
“Senate Bill 14 is critically important to the recovery of the Texas economy,” Spilman said. “Texas businesses have done, and continue to do, all that they can to keep their workers employed during a uniquely difficult period. This legislation will make it easier for businesses to create and maintain good jobs.
Spilman added, “Texas businesses are profoundly grateful for the leadership of Senator Brandon Creighton and the members of the Senate who supported this bill. We look forward to working with members of the Texas House to pass this bill and help ensure Texas remains the best state to start and grow a business.”
The Alliance for Securing and Strengthening the Economy in Texas (ASSET) is a 501(c)(4), non-profit organization that advances policies that foster economic growth and allow the free market to operate without heavy government interference in business decisions. ASSET represents millions of businesses that provide opportunities for employees and are essential to Texas communities. For more information, visit www.ASSETtexas.com.