Protecting Workers & Families

County Judge Lina Hidalgo is taking action to make Harris County a better place to live and work for everyone by fighting for fair pay and treatment on the job for the most vulnerable workers contributing to our economy, and ensuring that immigrant families looking for a better life are treated with dignity and respect.


Key Accomplishments

  • Raised the County minimum wage to $15 an hour for employees and certain construction contract workers. The County is establishing criteria for evaluating safety records for workers when considering awards for construction contracts.
  • Requiring those who do business with the County to support and protect workers. when considering awards for construction contracts.
  • Established an Immigrant Legal Services fund to inject fairness into our judicial system by providing immigrant families who cannot afford a lawyer with representation and legal services to ensure they are better prepared to navigate U.S. law and avoid deportation when warranted.
  • Stood up against the Trump administration’s effort to instill fear in our immigrant communities. Judge Hidalgo has worked to fight against family separation policies, planned immigration raids in the County, and the inclusion of a citizenship question on the 2020 Census. Additionally, the County filed a successful amicus brief against the Federal Government’s proposed “public charge rule” designed to threaten safety net services for immigrants and which would also overburden our county safety net systems.
  • Implemented family-friendly workplace policies proven to boost productivity and job satisfaction for all Harris County employees. Policies include up to 12 weeks paid parental leave for both mothers and fathers, additional sick leave to care for ill children, lactation rooms in county buildings, and resources for finding and selecting childcare.
  • Requiring those who do business with the County to support and protect workers. The County is establishing criteria for evaluating safety records for workers when considering awards for construction contracts.
  • Established an initiative to provide Harris County’s contractors with free OSHA training and certification.
  • Increased property tax exemptions for seniors and those with disabilities, expanding financial relief for more residents with limited or fixed incomes.
  • Tightened oversight of boarding houses to protect vulnerable seniors and persons with disabilities. Regulations now allow Harris County to oversee permits requiring background checks for owners, operators, and volunteers, housing standards, fire/kitchen inspections and more.
  • Established the Harris County Healthy Food Financing Initiative to mitigate the effects of food deserts and ensure access to nutritious food for all Harris County residents. To date, the Healthy Food Financing Initiative has awarded six local organizations working to further access to healthy foods and nutrition a total of $550k in funding.
  • Created the Healthy Minds, Healthy Communities initiative to engage and collaborate with local leaders in vulnerable communities to provide mental health programming, skill development, training, and outreach.