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Challenges to Paid Sick Leave in Texas

Published by on September 11, 2019

The future of San Antonio’s and Dallas’ paid sick leave ordinances is now uncertain following challenges to each ordinance in court.

A few months ago, we provided an update on paid sick leave in Texas here, as both San Antonio and Dallas had passed paid sick leave ordinances, which were supposed to take effect on August 1 of this year. Local businesses/associations filed suit against the City of San Antonio prior to the August 1st start date, seeking a permanent injunction against the paid sick leave ordinance. In response, the City of San Antonio agreed to delay implementation of the paid sick leave ordinance until December 1, 2019.

Then, merely days before August 1, two businesses filed suit against the City of Dallas to block the paid sick leave ordinance from taking effect. Unlike San Antonio, however, Dallas did not elect to delay the start of the paid sick leave ordinance, and the ordinance went into effect on August 1. The law is still in effect for the time being.

Both paid sick leave ordinances apply to private employees who work more than 80 hours a year within the respective city. Employees accrue 1 hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, up to 64 hours a year for employers with more than 15 employees, or up to 48 hours a year for employers with 15 or less employees. Employees may carry over to the next year paid sick time up to the yearly cap amount.

Welter Insight

In sum, three cities in Texas have now passed paid sick leave ordinances (Austin, San Antonio, and Dallas), and all three cities have been sued over these paid sick leave ordinances. Dallas is currently the only city where the paid sick leave ordinance has gone into effect, but the fact that the lawsuits in all three cities are still ongoing, indicates that the fight for (or against) paid sick leave is far from over. Texas employers (especially those in Austin, San Antonio, and Dallas) should continue to monitor developments regarding the implementation of these paid sick leave ordinances.

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