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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' employment 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.
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COVID-19 and Educator Workload

Guidance on bargaining and other forms of engagement to address the workload crisis among educators in the United States.
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

covid vaccination educators

Let's Vaccinate Educators Now, Biden Tells States

Pringle applauds the decision. “The President heard us.”
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.
social distancing in school

NEA: CDC Guidance Good First Step - But Now It’s Time For Action

With clear guidance, leaders cannot pick and choose which guidelines to follow and which students get resources to keep them safe.
fauci townhall nea aft

Dr. Anthony Fauci Answers Educator Questions About COVID-19

NEA and AFT host a virtual “fireside chat” with the nation's leading infectious-disease expert.
reopening school safely

Let’s Reopen Schools — But Safely, Say Educators

Without adequate funding and the political will from lawmakers, safety measures won’t be met and lives will be put at risk.
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.
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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.