Governor Perry Signs Sovereign Immunity and Worker Classification Bills


On Friday, June 14, Governor Perry signed into law HB 586 (Sovereign Immunity) and HB 2015 (Worker Classification)

HB 586 by Representative Paul Workman (R-Austin) and Senator Bob Deuell (R-Greenville) waives the state’s immunity in construction contract disputes.  For disputes of $250,000 or more, district court will be an option.  For disputes under $250,000, the state office of administrative hearings, commonly known as SOAH, will be the venue.  This bill becomes effective 9/1/13.

HB 2015 by Representative John Davis (R-Houston) and Senator Kirk Watson (D-Austin) amends the Texas Labor Code to require that employers awarded a contract for public works must ensure that any individual performing services under the contract for that employer is properly classified as an employee or independent contractor.  HB 2015 also requires a subcontractor employer under that contract for public work to classify properly an individual as an employee or independent contractor.  An employer who misclassifies is subject to a $200 fine for each individual misclassified. This bill becomes effective 1/1/14.

View the text of HB 586 and HB 2015.

 Representative Paul Workman, Spicewood, TX, Author of HB 586

 Senator Bob Deuell, Greenville, TX, Senate Sponsor of HB 586

 Representative John Davis, Houston, TX, Author of HB 2015

 Senator Kirk Watson, Austin, TX, Senate Sponsor of HB 2015