Texas Agriculture Code
Sec. § 125.016
Complaints, Investigations, and Penalties


(a)

Complaints received in writing from agricultural laborers or their designated representatives relating to alleged violations of this chapter by employers covered by this chapter shall be investigated in a timely manner by the department as provided by this section.

(b)

Officers or representatives of the department, on presentation of appropriate credentials, have the right of entry into any workplace at reasonable times to inspect and investigate complaints for purposes of determining compliance with this chapter.

(c)

The department shall complete an investigation of a complaint not later than 90 days after the date on which the complaint is filed. A hearing shall be conducted under Section 12.032 and an enforcement order issued, if appropriate, not later than 90 days after the date on which the investigation is completed. If it is necessary to commence an action relating to an alleged violation, the action must be commenced not later than 60 days after the date on which the investigation is completed.

(d)

After providing at least 14 days written notice and an opportunity for a public hearing, the department may issue an enforcement order requiring any employer or chemical manufacturer covered by this chapter to comply with this chapter or rules adopted under this chapter. A public hearing held under this subsection is a contested case under Chapter 2001, Government Code, and may be appealed under that chapter. In the case of a medical emergency, the department may issue an enforcement order immediately and shall provide the opportunity for a hearing on the order within 10 days after the date on which the order is issued.

(e)

In the case of a medical emergency, the department may sue in the name of the State of Texas to enjoin any violation of this chapter or a rule adopted or enforcement order issued by the department under this chapter.

(f)

If required under this chapter, employers who knowingly disclose false information or negligently fail to disclose a hazard are subject to a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 per violation. This section does not affect any other right of an agricultural laborer or any other person to receive compensation for damages under other law.

(g)

If required under this chapter, employers who proximately cause an injury to an individual by knowingly disclosing false hazard information or knowingly failing to disclose hazard information are subject to a criminal fine of not more than $25,000. This section does not affect any other right of an agricultural laborer or any other person to receive compensation for damages under other law.

(h)

The department may request the attorney general to represent the department in any legal proceeding authorized under this chapter. An action for civil or criminal penalties or injunctive relief shall be brought in the county in which the alleged violation occurred or is occurring.

(i)

Each violation of this chapter or a rule adopted under this chapter constitutes a separate offense.
Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 903, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1988. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 5.95(49), eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 419, Sec. 3.26, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.
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Last accessed
Nov. 18, 2019