COVID-19: Employment Rights


COVID-19 Employment Rights


The Equal Justice Center is still operating during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic. Out of concern for the health and safety of our clients, staff and communities, our offices are currently closed to the public. Our staff will be working remotely during this time. Our phone lines will remain open, and we will continue to provide legal services to protect worker rights. 

This page has information about workers’ employment rights during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic, and links to additional resources that are important to working people in Texas.

Most employees in Texas have the right to:

  • Work in a safe workplace;
  • Be free from discrimination in the workplace;
  • Take unpaid leave to care for yourself or a family member;
  • Take paid Emergency FMLA leave if you cannot work because your child’s school is closed or child care provider is unavailable due to COVID-19;
  • Take paid leave if you or a family member is sick with, or severely impacted by, COVID-19;
  • Be paid for the work you have performed;
  • Be paid in a timely manner and, if you lost your employment, to receive your last paycheck;
  • Advocate for safer and better working conditions for you and your coworkers;
  • Be free of retaliation;
  • Receive unemployment benefits.​​​​

These rights are explained in more detail in this document prepared by the Equal Justice Center, Disability Rights Texas, Lone Star Legal Aid, and Workers Defense Project:


If you believe your rights have been violated or you have questions about your rights at work relating to the Coronavirus pandemic, you should consult an attorney. Please call 800-853-4028, or contact the EJC location nearest you.

You can find additional resources providing information about workers' rights in Texas during the pandemic at the following sites:

Texas RioGrande Legal Aid: Employment Rights

Texas Employment Lawyers Association: Resources for Employees

Notice: This is general information and is not legal advice. These laws are changing rapidly and we recommend you consult an attorney about protections in the workplace.