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Update on Municipal Paid Leave Laws in Texas

By Higginbotham on August 28 , 2018

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City of Austin Paid Sick Leave Law – Temporarily Blocked

On Feb. 16, 2018, the Austin City Council passed an ordinance that requires all private employers in Austin to provide paid earned sick time to employees. An employer must provide one hour of earned sick time for every 30 hours that an employee works in Austin. Employers may restrict employees’ use of earned sick time to no more than eight days per year. The paid sick leave ordinance was scheduled to become effective on Oct. 1, 2018. However, on Aug. 17, 2018, a state appeals court temporarily blocked the ordinance from taking effect while various business groups proceed with a lawsuit to challenge the ordinance.

Employer Takeaway
City of Austin employers should monitor legal developments related to the paid sick leave law. It is possible that a court will invalidate the paid sick leave law, which would relieve employers from complying with its requirements. However, it is also possible that a court will uphold the paid sick leave ordinance, which would require employers to update their leave policies to comply with the new earned sick leave requirements.


San Antonio Passes Sick Leave Ordinance

On Aug. 16, 2018, San Antonio passed its own sick leave ordinance similar to its brother to the north. Under the San Antonio ordinance, workers in the city may accrue up to 64 hours of paid sick leave each year. The San Antonio paid sick leave ordinance will require all employers except government entities to provide employees with one hour of earned leave—to be used for an illness or to care for a sick family member—for every 34 hours worked. Employers will have to comply with the ordinance starting Aug. 1, 2019, unless they have fewer than five employees, in which case the compliance date is Aug. 1, 2021. However, San Antonio’s ordinance may be dead on arrival, as it will most likely be subject to the same legal challenges as Austin’s ordinance.

Employer Takeaway
San Antonio employers should monitor legal developments related to the paid sick leave law. It is possible that a court will invalidate the paid sick leave law, which would relieve employers from complying with its requirements. However, it is also possible that a court will uphold the paid sick leave ordinance, which would require employers to update their leave policies to comply with the new earned sick leave requirements.

Higginbotham will continue to monitor these situations closely and provide periodic updates. Please contact your Higginbotham representative if you have questions.

 

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Tags: Compliance

  
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