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Frequently Asked Legal Questions

Find answers to common questions in our searchable FAQ.

13389 views   |   22   |   Last updated on Aug 02, 2021    Masks COVID-19

Generally speaking, private businesses have the right to set their own policies for customers and employees provided they do not discriminate against a protected class of people (e.g., on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or disability). A common example of this is a “no shirt, no shoes, no service” rule you may see at some businesses.

The most recent executive order from Governor Abbott, GA-38 [PDF], encourages businesses to follow health recommendations set by the Texas Department of State Health Services when providing services: 

In providing or obtaining services, every person (including individuals, businesses, and other legal entities) is strongly encouraged to use good-faith efforts and available resources to follow the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) health recommendations, found at

Previous COVID-19-related executive orders governing mask usage have been rescinded and replaced with GA-38. Prior to GA-38, Governor Abbott's Executive Order No. GA-34 [PDF] stated that “nothing in the order precluded businesses and other establishments from requiring employees or customers to follow additional hygiene measures, including the wearing of a face covering.” However, this language does not appear in GA-38.

If you have a disability that affects your ability to wear a face mask, you may consider asking the business for an accommodation. See our Legal FAQ Do I have to wear a mask if I have a disability? for more on this subject. 

For more information on current mask laws and policies, please see our Mask Laws page of the COVID-19 & Texas Law guide

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