Everything’s bigger in Texas—including workforce safety and compliance risks. Between the region’s hot climate, large number of businesses, and concentration of hazardous industries, employers in the Lone Star State face myriad operational issues and compliance concerns.
Don’t put your business at risk of penalties, lawsuits, increased insurance expenses, and the other expenses that follow in the wake of avoidable safety incidents. Keep your people safe, remain on the right side of the law, and stay ahead of the competition with KPA’s EHS and workforce compliance resources.
Texas COVID-19 State Regulations
Below is a round-up of COVID-19 state regulations for employers navigating how to operate safely during the pandemic. If you believe there may be a discrepancy between a state and local order that affects you or your business, you should contact your local government and/or competent local counsel for further advice.
UPDATED 3/3/21: Face Covering Mandate Lifted
On March 2, 2021, Governor Greg Abbott issued Executive Order GA-34, lifting the state’s face covering mandate and business and facility occupancy restrictions starting on March 10, 2021. At that time occupancy rates can also increase to 100%.
Businesses may continue to require masks on business property, limit occupancy, and enforce other health and safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
If hospitalizations increase above 15%, county officials may enforce pandemic response strategies to limit the spread of the virus, but there will be no state-imposed restrictions.
What Should Employers Do?
- Conduct a hazards assessment program to evaluate the risk of your employees of exposure.
- Determine if you will require masks, occupancy restrictions or other measures.
- Develop and executive a communications plan for your employees and customers to set expectations with everyone.
- Evaluate your COVID-19 or pandemic response program and employee training against Executive Order GA-34’s guidance.
- Consult with your legal counsel and review your plan with them.
Executive Order GA-23 (Phase 2 Expanded Reopening)
HR and Workplace Compliance Regulations
Effective Immediately: Texas State Court Rules Intention to Become Pregnant is Protected Under Anti-Discrimination
Who: Texas employers
When: Effective immediately
What: The Texas Court of Appeals ruled on a case that involved a woman who claimed she had been disciplined, harassed, and terminated because she had announced her intention to become pregnant. The Court ruled that the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act (TCHRA) protects not only those who are pregnant, but those who announce their intention to become pregnant. The Court looked to the Federal Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the decisions that federal courts have already made on this issue for guidance when coming to a decision.
- Review your existing anti-discrimination policies to ensure they are in accordance with the ruling.
- Update your HR manual as necessary.
- Inform your managers, supervisors, and HR personnel of the ruling.