Austin Paid Sick Leave Ordinance on Hold
Printed media moves slowly, but thankfully so do the courts. As you read this around the first of November, the following events will have already taken place and might be resolved, so for real time data, you’ll need to look some things up. Details on how to do that will follow.
The City of Austin Paid Sick Leave Ordinance was passed February 2018 and was scheduled to take effect on October 1, 2018. As expected, a lawsuit was filed against the Ordinance, claiming that the City of Austin rule is preempted by the Texas Minimum Wage Act and violates the Texas Constitution. In June, a judge denied the request of a temporary injunction, meaning that even though the lawsuit is still pending, the City of Austin could move forward. There has since been an appeal to ruling against the temporary injunction, and the appeal was granted, meaning that now the Ordinance has been blocked…for now…pending further development in the case. Oral arguments are set to begin on October 17.
In addition to the pending lawsuit, state lawmakers have vowed to create legislation in the coming session (to begin next January) that would make this type of city ordinance illegal. So before you rewrite your office policy manual and implement a new paid sick leave program to comply with City Of Austin Ordinance No. 20180215-049, I would wait on a final verdict.
Oral arguments will be heard at the Texas Third Court of Appeals (http://www.txcourts.gov/3rdcoa/), case number 03-18-00445-CV.
By Jonathon R. Kimes, DDS