Texas Workforce Commission updates businesses on employment laws

The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) hosted the Texas Business Conference on Friday, June 16 at the Omni Hotel in Fort Worth. The event featured sessions pertaining to employment law.

“We put these on across the state so we can educate employers about employment law, unemployment claims and the appeals process, as well as state and federal laws and regulations,” Ruth Hughs, TWC Commissioner Representing Employers, said. “We are committed to providing employers with the information they need to succeed. The Texas Business Conference brings valuable resources to effectively navigate employers through state and federal employment laws.”

The TWC holds this conference two times a year to reach out to as many people as possible from all over the state.

“We want to give employers the resources they need so they can grow their business and continue to operate and expand and not be worried about whether or not they’re in compliance,” Hughs said. “There are so many laws and regulations they need to stay ahead of, and we’re trying to be a resource to help them so they can focus on their business. We found it to be incredibly helpful to employers to navigate all the myriad rules and regulations that they need to stay ahead of.”

Darla McCuen, co-owner of Kookie Haven, attended the conference before the grand re-opening of her bakery in July. McCuen and her family started a bakery in Mesquite and are now in the process of moving to the Bishop Arts area. She attended the conference because her bakery will soon hire employees from outside of the family.

“We’re trying to learn the rules and regulations, because we want to make sure that we’re in compliance,” McCuen said. “We want to make sure we’re following the rules, and it’s just a world of information.”

Between sessions, McCuen spent some one-on-one time with one of the guest speakers, William (Tommy) Simmons. One of the main topics Simmons talked about during the conference was wage and hour law.

“That topic is always on our agendas at every Texas Business Conference because pay related questions are the most frequently asked,” Simmons said. “We get more questions about wage and hour law than probably any other topic.”

During the conference, TWC provides attendees with a copy of a reference book, Especially for Texas Employers. The book provides information on employment issues.

“I think the main benefit from being at a conference like this is employers have a chance to find out that there are actually people available at the workforce to help them as employers and who want to help them and make sure all their questions get answered,” Simmons said.

The workforce receives about 1,200 calls a month. Employers can call Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 1-800-832-9394.

“I think one of the greatest things is that we have access to them,” McCuen said. “We can call them and they’ve given us their phone numbers. The way it’s presented makes it feel like we can reach out to them. We can call them and they’ll answer our questions. I think that’s going to be the greatest benefit that I leave with today, because there’s so much information.”