Step 4: Business Employer Requirements

The final step in starting a business is determining the federal and state employer requirements. As an employer, you have labor, safety, and tax obligations. The information below is the labor, safety, access, and new hire reporting regulations administered by federal and state agencies. For employer tax requirements, refer to "Step 2: Tax Responsibilities"

Federal Requirements

Americans with Disabilities Act Requirements

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides protection for people with disabilities in the areas of employment, public services and transportation, public accommodation, and telecommunications.

For federal information on how the Americans with Disabilities Act will affect a business and for technical assistance with provisions applying to employment, contact:

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
1801 L Street N W
Washington, D.C. 20507
800-669-4000 or 800-669-6820 (TDD)

For technical assistance on the ADA standards for accessible design and other ADA provisions applying to businesses, nonprofit agencies, and state and local government services, contact:

Office on the Americans with Disabilities Act: Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Civil Rights Division
Disability Rights Section - NYA
Washington, DC 20530
800-514-0301 or 800-514-0383 (TDD)

For specific information regarding the ADA requirements for telecommunications, contact:

Federal Communications Commission
445  12th Street SW
Washington, D.C. 20554
202-418-0600 or 202-418-7233 (TDD)

For information regarding the ADA requirements for accessible design in new construction and alterations, contact:

U.S. Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board
United States Access Board
1331 F Street NW, Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20004
800-872-2253 or 800-993-2822 (TDD)

For information regarding the ADA requirements for transportation, contact:

U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Transit Administration
East Building, 5th Floor
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
888-446-4511 or 800-877-8339 (TDD)

Equal Employment Requirements

Federal and state laws prohibit employment discrimination. The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Texas Workforce Commission, Civil Rights Division (TWCCRD) are charged with enforcing fair employment laws which prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, disability, age, or national origin. Current statutes cover all employment transactions. All employers with 15 or more employees engaged in an industry affecting commerce, employment agencies, and labor unions are prohibited from denying equal employment opportunities. Regardless of the number of individuals employed, a county, municipality, and any state agency or instrumentality including public institutes of education, are also prohibited from denying equal employment opportunities. The TWCCRD will provide technical assistance and training to employers to facilitate compliance with laws prohibiting employment discrimination. The TWCCRD has jurisdiction for investigating equal employment opportunity complaints in Texas. The EEOC promotes voluntary programs that allow employers and organizations to implement equal employment opportunity programs within their businesses. For information regarding federal equal employment requirements, contact:

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Dallas District Office
207 South Houston St., 3rd Floor
Dallas, Texas 75202
800-669-4000 or 800-669-6820 (TDD)

El Paso District Office
300 E. Main Dr., Ste. 500
El Paso, Texas 79901
800-669-4000 or 800-669-6820 (TDD)

Houston District Office
Total Plaza
1201 Lousiana St., 6th Floor
Houston, Texas 77002
800-669-4000 or 800-669-6820 (TDD)

San Antonio District Office
Legacy Oaks, Bldg. A
5410 Fredericksburg Rd., Ste. 200
San Antonio, Texas 78229
800-669-4000 or 800-669-6820 (TDD)

Safety Requirements

The Occupational Safety and Health Consultation (OSHCON) program is administered by the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation.  The program conducts free on-site safety and health consultations to help small, private sector employers understand and comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations.  The program is geared toward employers in high hazard industries with 250 or fewer employees per worksite and less than 500 employees nationwide.  

Free services include identification and evaluation of safety and health hazards; industrial hygiene services, such as noise level monitoring and air sampling; hazard correction assistance; hands-on training; technical updates on OSHA standards; safety and health management program assistance; and safety training audiovisual loans and publications.

For more information regarding state and federal occupational safety and health requirements, contact:

OSHCON
Texas Department of Insurance
Division of Workers' Compensation
7551 Metro Center Dr., Ste. 100, MS 22
Austin, Texas 78744
800-687-7080

For information regarding federal occupational safety requirements, contact:

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
U.S. Department of Labor, Regional Office
525 Griffin St., Room 602
Dallas, Texas 75202
972-850-4145

Wage and Labor Requirements

For information on federal minimum wage laws, overtime, and other questions regarding wages and hours, contact:

U.S. Department of Labor
Regional Wage and Hour Offices
Corpus Christi: 361-888-3152
Dallas: 817-861-2150
Houston: 713-339-5500
San Antonio: 210-308-4515
McAllen: 956-682-4631

For general information regarding federal labor laws, contact:

U.S. Department of Labor
Regional Office
525 Griffin St., Ste. 800
Dallas, Texas 75202
214-767-6895

State Requirements

Americans with Disabilities Act Requirements

For information and technical assistance on the Americans with Disabilities Act, state disability policy information, disability statistics, and local disability resources, contact:

Texas Governor's Committee on People With Disabilities
P.O. Box 12428
Austin, Texas 78711
512-463-5739 or 512-463-5746 (TDD)

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation reviews construction documents for the construction or substantial renovation, modification, or alteration of buildings or facilities defined as public or commercial accommodations for architectural barriers. This review is mandated through the Americans with Disabilities Act. For additional information on architectural barriers, contact:

Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation
E.O. Thompson State Office Building
P.O. Box 12157
Austin, Texas 78711
512-463-6599 or 800-803-9202

Drug-Free Workplace

Advice is available to Texas employers with 15 or more employees who maintain workers' compensation coverage. Employers must comply with certain drug-free workplace requirements, and are also subject to federal regulations. These federal regulations include the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 and U.S. Department of Transportation regulations requiring drug and alcohol testing. For information, contact:

Texas Drug-Free Workplace Initiative
2525 Wallingwood, Bldg. 5
Austin, Texas 78746
512-328-1144 or 800-343-3822

Equal Employment Requirements

See listing under Federal Requirements for general explanation. For information regarding state equal employment requirements, contact:

Texas Workforce Commission, Civil Rights Division
101 East 15th St., Room 144-T
Austin, Texas 78778
512-463-2642

New Hire Program

New Hire Reporting may be accomplished online. It is mandated by federal law under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, and requires employers to report new hires and rehires within 20 days.
For more information about the State of Texas New Hire Program, how and when to report, visit Office of the Attorney General's New Hire website or contact the Texas Employer New Hire Reporting Operations Center at:

Phone: 1-888-TEX-HIRE (1-888-839-4473)
Fax: 1-800-732-5015
E-mail:employer.newhire@cs.oag.state.tx.us
Mail: Texas Employer New Hire Reporting
Operations Center
Post Office Box 149224
Austin, Texas 78714-9924

Plant Closures

The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), Public Law 100-379 (29 U.S.C. 2101 et seq.), requires certain employers to provide notice 60 days in advance of covered plant closings and covered mass layoffs. Notice must be made to either the affected workers or their representatives (e.g., a labor union), to the Dislocated Workers Unit at TWC, and to the appropriate unit of local government. For more information or a copy of the Act, contact:

Services for Dislocated Workers
Texas Workforce Commission
101 East 15th St., Suite 212T
Austin, Texas 78778-0001
512-463-2245

Safety Requirements

The Occupational Safety and Health Consultation (OSHCON) program is administered by the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation.  The program conducts free on-site safety and health consultations to help small, private sector employers understand and comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations.  The program is geared toward employers in high hazard industries with 250 or fewer employees per worksite and less than 500 employees nationwide.  

Free services include identification and evaluation of safety and health hazards; industrial hygiene services, such as noise level monitoring and air sampling; hazard correction assistance; hands-on training; technical updates on OSHA standards; safety and health management program assistance; and safety training audiovisual loans and publications.

For more information regarding state and federal occupational safety and health requirements, contact:

OSHCON
Texas Department of Insurance
Division of Workers' Compensation
7551 Metro Center Dr., Ste. 100, MS 22
Austin, Texas 78744
800-687-7080

Wage and Labor Requirements

The Texas Workforce Commission is charged with investigating and notifying appropriate county and/or district attorneys regarding all labor law violations. The Labor Law Department is charged with the enforcement of state and federal labor laws as well as the prosecution of offenders of these laws. State statutes include the Pay Day and Child Labor laws. For additional information, contact:

Labor Law Department
Texas Workforce Commission
101 East 15th St.
Austin, Texas 78778
512-837-9559 or 800-832-9243

The Texas Workforce Commission provides a general employer information package for employers. To obtain this package, contact:

Employer's Representative
Texas Workforce Commission
101 East 15th St.
Austin, Texas 78778
512-463-2826 or 800-832-9394

For information relating to labor questions, please contact:

Labor's Representative
Texas Workforce Commission
101 East 15th St.
Austin, Texas 78778
512-463-2829 or 800-832-2829

Standards for apprenticeship training programs in Texas follow guidelines set forth by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training. Specific details on these programs may be obtained by contacting:

Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training
U.S. Department of Labor
525 Griffin St., Ste. 628
Dallas, Texas 75202
214-767-9263

Workers' Compensation Insurance

In Texas, private employers can choose whether or not to carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage.  Texas employers who carry and who do not carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage are required to comply with certain reporting and notification requirements under the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act.  Refer to the Texas Workers’ Compensation Employer Requirements/Resources webpage for more information.    

Texas Department of Insurance
Division of Workers’ Compensation
7551 Metro Center Dr., Ste. 100
Austin, Texas 78744
512-804-4000

For information on purchasing workers' compensation insurance, contact:

Texas Department of Insurance
333 Guadalupe
Austin, Texas 78701
512-322-3493


Labor Poster Requirements

Certain federal and state labor posters are required to be posted at a place of business. The Texas Workforce Commission maintains current, comprehensive information about workplace poster requirements.



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