Fact Check: Has Texas banned cities from requiring businesses to provide heat and water breaks to their employees?

Editor’s note: El Paso Matters collaborates with Gigafact to produce “Fact sheet” investigate claims about issues that shape our community.


A state law passed in June 2023 prevents local governments in Texas from requiring companies to implement practices such as work holidays and breaks that exceed or conflict with federal or state law for employers. The law took effect on September 1, 2023, despite a state district judge ruling it unconstitutional.

House Bill 2127 would eliminate such local ordinances nationwide, including mandatory water breaks for construction workers previously enacted in Austin and Dallas.

The law does not affect the work requirements of private employers or organizations, which may establish their own water break policies.

A similar law in Florida prevents local governments from enacting regulations on heat stress, minimum wage and working hours. It takes effect on July 1, 2024.

California, Washington, Oregon, and Colorado are the only states that have laws establishing requirements for workers exposed to heat outdoors. Minnesota has a law regulating indoor heat exposure.

This fact brief is a response to conversations like this one.