Texas Leave Laws


Vacation Leave

In Texas, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. TX Labor Law FAQs. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. TX Labor Code 61.001(7)(B); TX Admin. Code 821.25(a).

An employer may lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract denying employees payment for accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment. TX Admin. Code 821.25(a); See Instate Hosts, Inc. v. Thompson, 435 S.W.2d 957 (TX App.-Dallas 1968).

An employer may also lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract disqualifying employees from payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment if they fail to comply with specific requirements, such as giving two weeks notice or being employed as of a specific date of the year. See TX Labor Law FAQs.

An employer is required to pay accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract requires it. See Instate Hosts, Inc. v. Thompson, 435 S.W.2d 957 (TX App.-Dallas 1968); Chester v. Jones, 386 S.W.2d 544 (TX App.-Tyler 1965).

An employer is not required to pay accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment if the employer’s established policy or employment contract is silent on the matter, unless the employer has an established practice of doing so. TX Admin. Code 821.25(a); See Instate Hosts, Inc. v. Thompson, 435 S.W.2d 957 (TX App.-Dallas 1968).

An employer may cap the amount of vacation leave an employee may accrue over time. See TX Labor Law FAQs.

An employer may implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it. See TX Labor Law FAQs.


Sick Leave

Texas law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid. TX Labor Law FAQs. If an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

An employer in Texas may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act or other federal laws.


Holiday Leave

Texas law does not require private employers to provide employees with either paid or unpaid holiday leave. TX Labor Law FAQs In Texas, a private employer can require an employee to work holidays. A private employer does not have to pay an employee premium pay, such as 1½ times the regular rate, for working on holidays, unless such time worked qualifies the employee for overtime under standard overtime laws. If an employer chooses to provide either paid or unpaid holiday leave, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

State holidays

Visit our Texas State Holidays page for a list of holidays recognized and observed by the state of Texas as well as information regarding state laws governing holiday leave for public employers and employees.


Jury Duty Leave

An employer may not discharge, threaten to discharge, intimidate, or coerce any permanent employee because the employee serves as a juror or for the employee’s attendance or scheduled attendance in connection with the service, in any court in the United States. However, an employer is not required to pay an employee for time spent responding to a jury summons or serving on a jury. TX Civil Practice and Remedies Code 122.001


Voting Leave

Texas law requires an employer to provide an employee with paid time off to vote if the employee does not have two (2) consecutive hours outside their scheduled work hours in which to vote while polls are open. An employer that fails to provide the paid voting leave as required or subjects or threatens an employee for attending the polls on election day to vote commits a Class C misdemeanor. TX Election Code 276.004


Bereavement Leave

Texas law does not require employers to provide employee bereavement leave. Bereavement leave is leave that is taken by an employee due to the death of another individual, usually a close relative. Employers may choose to provide bereavement leave and may be required to comply with any bereavement policy or practice it maintains.


Family and Medical Leave

Texas labor laws do not require employees to provide employees with family and medical leave. However, as with the rest of the states, employers in Texas must adhere to the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This allows eligible employees to take an unpaid leave of absence for various circumstances, with the right to be reinstated to the previous job position upon return.

Who is Covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act?

If an employer in Texas has more than 50 workers for more than 20 weeks in the previous or current year, they must adhere to the provisions set out in the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Employees in Texas who wish to take Family and Medical Leave Act leave must meet specific qualifications, including the following:

  • An employee must have worked for the same employer for 12 months.
  • The employee must have worked for at least 1,250 hours during the previous year.
  • The employee must have worked at a business with a minimum of 50 employees within a 75-mile radius.

Qualifying Reasons for Leave Under the Family and Medical Leave Act

Under the FMLA, workers in Texas are eligible to take leave for various reasons, including the following:

  • To take care of a member of the family with a severe health issue
  • To bond with or care for a new child
  • To recover from a serious illness or health condition
  • To handle qualifying circumstances that arise out of the military service of a family member
  • To take care of a member of the family injured during active military duty
  • To care for a sick foster child or a sick child

How Much Leave is Available Under the FMLA?

Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, employees in Texas may receive as much as three months in one year for any of the above reasons. In addition, as long as the worker meets the eligibility requirements, this leave can renew every 12 months.

A circumstance states that an employee who has to care for a family member injured during active military duty is entitled to 26 weeks off in 12 months.

This military leave is per-service member or per-injury. Therefore, unless the same family member is injured again, or another family member suffers an injury during service, the employee is not entitled to more leave.

Reinstatement and Other Rights

When the Family and Medical Leave Act period ends, an employee in Texas is entitled to be reinstated back into the same or an equivalent position.

Moreover, while on leave, employees have the right to continue paying into and receiving their health insurance at the same cost they must pay while on the job. FMLA leave is not paid, although individuals may be required or allowed to use accumulated paid leave.


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We hope you find our newsletters help you better navigate employment and labor law issues.