HB 1620

84(R) - 2015
House Business & Industry
House Business & Industry

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Negative
  • Neutral


Rick Galindo

Bill Caption

Relating to the prohibition of certain employment discrimination regarding an employee who is a volunteer emergency responder.

Fiscal Notes

No significant fiscal impact is expected. 

Bill Analysis

HB 1620 would prohibit an employer from terminating, suspending, or discriminating against an employee who is a volunteer emergency responder and is absent from or late to the employee ’s employment because the employee is responding to an emergency in the employee ’s capacity as a volunteer emergency responder. 

Under this bill an employee is entitled up to 14 days per calendar year unless the absence is approved by the employer. An employee must make a reasonable effort to notify their employer of their tardiness or absence. 

An employer may reduce the wages otherwise owed to the employee for any pay period because the employee took time off. In lieu of reducing an employee ’s wages, an employer may require an employee who is a volunteer emergency responder to use existing vacation leave time, personal leave time, or compensatory leave time for an absence. 

An employee is entitled to reinstatement and compensation if they are terminated or suspended for an absence under this proposed legislation. 

Vote Recommendation Notes

The provisions under this bill would be telling businesses how to handle their employees. This should be an issue handled between the employer and the employee and does not require government intervention. We do understand and appreciate what our volunteer emergency responders do for Texas, however, they do have a duty to their employee to fulfill their contractual obligations. If this is an issue for the employee then perhaps they should consider a career change. We are opposed to this legislation.