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New penalties under Texas wage-theft law? I heard it’s now a criminal offense

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

Q. I heard that a new law allows criminal prosecution of employers that commit “wage theft.” Is it true?

A. Yes. In an attempt to reduce wage theft, the Texas Legislature altered the Texas Penal Code earlier this year. The new law—known as the Wage Theft Law—closed a loophole that allowed employers that failed to pay workers for their services and time to merely pay a fraction of what they owe an employee.

The law—Gov. Rick Perry signed it last year—clarifies that employers that fail to pay their employees can be charged with criminal theft of service.

Moreover, the new law expands the ability of local law enforcement agencies to arrest employers that cheat their workers out of their pay.

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