In Texas the current hourly minimum wage for employees not exempt from minimum wage is $7.25. The state adopts the federal minimum wage rate, so whatever the federal minimum wage rate is, that is the minimum non-exempt employees are entitled to in Texas. Additionally, the FLSA requires non-exempt employees to be paid at one-and-one-half times the regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek.
Employees are generally required to be paid for all time spent in activities that are considered a regular part of the job. According to the Department of Labor’s “Fact Sheet #22: Hours Worked Under the Fair Labor Standards Act,” a workday is “The period between the time on any particular day when such employee commences his/her principal activity and the time on that day at which he/she ceases such principal activity or activities.”
Furthermore, even if work is not requested but is permitted to be performed, the employer must pay for that time. So if an employee voluntarily stays behind shift to finish up a task, that time spent working must be paid. It is considered on the clock and the employee must be paid. Problems - and lawsuits - arise when employees are not paid the minimum wage, when they are classified as exempt from overtime when they are not, and when employees are asked to perform tasks off the clock that they should be paid for.
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Employees who have not been paid properly for regular or overtime hours can file a lawsuit against their employer to recover lost wages. They may also recover punitive damages, depending on the circumstances of the missing pay.