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Know Your Rights

Get guidance from NEA’s legal experts relating to your rights, responsibilities, pay, and benefits amid school reopenings.
A bus driver with folded arms wears an N95 mask

It didn’t seem possible, but educators have been asked to do even more for students since the outbreak of the coronavirus. These resources, vetted by NEA’s Office of General Counsel, will help you take care of yourself and your family while you do the work you love.

Ask Alice

NEA General Counsel Alice O'Brien on educators' rights and protections during COVID-19.
A close-up shot of a hand signing a contract

FAQ: COVID-19 and Liability Waivers

Before you sign, learn about your rights.
A man carries a mask and briefcase into workplace

COVID-19 and Workers Compensation

Learn about your rights and remedies if you contract COVID-19 at work.
Filling out an unemployment form

FAQ: Paid Leave and Unemployment Rights

We answer questions submitted during NEA’s webinar on Members’ Paid Leave and Unemployment Rights.

Webinar: COVID-19 sick leave, family leave, and unemployment benefits

NEA’s Office of General Counsel discusses educators’ rights to new paid sick and family leave benefits under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Want more? Check out our other webinars.

More Resources

A teacher speaks to students, including a young girl in a wheelchair

Paraeducator and Other Education Support Professional Rights: In-Person Instruction and Other Student Supports

This guidance provides information about safety practices as well as your rights to accommodation and leave under federal law.
People wearing masks wait in line to apply for unemployment benefits

FAQ: COVID-19 and Unemployment Insurance

Learn how the CARES Act impacts your unemployment benefits.
A mom tends to a sick child

FAQ: Educator Rights to Leave Under Federal Law

Learn how the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) impacts your right to take sick leave.
A middle-aged woman uses an asthma inhaler

Educator Rights to Accommodations

Learn how COVID-19 impacts your right to accommodations under the ADA.
A woman works on her laptop while holding a baby

Educator Rights and Benefits Amid Schools Closings: FAQ

What are educators’ legal rights and remedies? We have some answers.
Two teachers wearing masks converse

Additional Resources

Don't see what you're looking for here? Browse our entire library of COVID-19–related resources.
50% of our students are students of color. As an African-American male, I know firsthand that we feel that politicians and corporations are rushing to reopen at our expense.
Quote by: Deondra Poole, faculty leader at Florida Atlantic University

Latest Updates

teacher with facemask

NEA: Educators Should Receive Priority Access to COVID Vaccine

We have an opportunity to return to an in-person education where every student can thrive, said NEA President Becky Pringle, but only if vaccination distribution is equitable and education campaigns are transparent.
parents hold signs protesting school openings

Parents Opt for Safety First, Stand with Educators on Reopening Schools

Parents nationwide join educators in demanding reopening plans that protect the health and safety of students, teachers and staff.
U.S. Capitol Building

Updates on COVID-19 Financial Relief

We’ve compiled some information and resources to make it easy for you to find out about important changes that are impacting your budget.
Colleagues meet while wearing masks

Amplifying Educator Expertise Through Collective Bargaining and/or Collaboration to Address COVID-19 Issues

As states and communities consider how to resume in-person instruction, the voices and expertise of educators have never been more important.
A young boy walks down an empty school hallway

Returning Safely to In-Person Instruction: What Educators Need to Know

As debate over reopening schools intensifies, NEA recently took questions from its members to address the unprecedented challenges facing educators and students.
Four teachers pose in #RedForEd T-shirts

Educators Organize to Resist Unsafe Reopening Plans

Educators are being handed reopening plans that require them to be in their classrooms—and they are resisting.
woman collaborating online

Join the Community of Educators Navigating COVID-19 Together

Join our Facebook group to connect with NEA members in your states and locals to seek and share important information about how COVID-19 is affecting your communities and what’s being done to support your students and one another.
National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.