This post will guide you through employee leave laws for businesses and workers located in the state of Texas.
Follow this guide to understand employers’ obligations for vacation time, paid time off (PTO), sick leave, parental leave, bereavement and more, along with state holidays observed in Texas.
This page is intended for reference purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please see official government sources or consult a legal professional for actual legal advice.
Employers in Texas do not have to provide paid or unpaid vacation time.
Employers in Texas are free to apply a Use It or Lose It policy in their business. This should be mentioned in writing via company policy and/or employment contracts, and agreed to in writing by employees.
Employers in Texas do not have to pay out any unused PTO when an employee leaves their job, voluntarily or otherwise.
Payout of unused PTO is only required if promised in an employee’s contract or company policy.
Texas does not require employers to provide paid or unpaid sick leave.
Besides any state laws or provisions written into employment contracts, employers in Texas must comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which entitles eligible employees the right to take 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for serious health conditions, or to care for spouses, children or parents with a serious health condition.
The following official state holidays are observed in Texas:
|January 1||New Year’s Day|
|3rd Monday in January||Martin Luther King, Jr. Day|
|3rd Monday in February||Presidents Day|
|Last Monday in May||Memorial Day|
|July 4||Independence Day|
|1st Monday in September||Labor Day|
|November 11||Veterans Day|
|4th Thursday in November||Thanksgiving|
|Day after Thanksgiving||Friday after Thanksgiving|
|December 24||Christmas Eve|
|December 26||The Day after Christmas|
There is no requirement to allow employees a paid or unpaid day off for state holidays, and employees required to work on state holidays are not legally entitled to extra compensation (such as higher pay or a compensatory day off), unless promised in their employment contract.
Texas state law does not cover maternity leave, and does not require employers to provide paid or unpaid maternity leave.
The FMLA does apply to eligible employees however, entitling new mothers to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for the birth of a new child, as well as the placement of a new adoption or foster.
Paternity leave is not covered by Texas law either, but fathers have the same right to unpaid, job-protected leave of up to 12 weeks for the birth of their child, or a new adoption or fostered child.
There is no legal requirement to provide bereavement leave in Texas.
Paid jury duty leave is not required, but employers must allow employees to serve jury duty without being penalized, threatened or discharged.
Employers must provide paid time off to vote, unless an employee has at least two consecutive hours outside of working hours with which to vote while polls are still open.
Federal Law (the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)) applies in Texas, which states that military service members receive up to five years of unpaid leave for military service, and upon returning, must be reinstated to the same position (or an equivalent position) as they had before their leave.
Anything not covered in Texas state leave laws is up to the discretion of the employer, such as whether or not to provide paid sick leave or PTO, or whether PTO rolls over from year to year.
However, if any benefits are laid out in an employee’s contract or company policy, employers must comply with what has been agreed in that document.
For example, if an employee’s contract states that they are to receive 12 days of PTO each year, the employer is legally required to provide this, even though paid time off is not required by state law.