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Texas Paid Sick Leave Question of the Hour: What do Employers do Now?

Just when Texas employers were about to breathe a sigh of relief, believing a reprieve from mandatory compliance with three separate municipal paid sick leave ordinances was on its way, the Texas Legislature failed to pass a seemingly well-supported bill to preempt all such ordinances from taking effect and being enforced. Now paid sick leave ordinances in San Antonio and Dallas are scheduled to take effect on August 1, 2019. With open questions remaining, employers are left to decide how and when to comply.

Sweeping Privacy Changes Stall in the Lone Star State

Per our earlier blog post, Texas was ambitious this legislative session when it proposed two consumer data privacy bills. Both bills made it through committee hearings, but only one made it to the governor’s desk for signature: HB 4390. However, even it arrived there very different than originally drafted.

Paid Sick Leave in San Antonio and Dallas: Answers to Your Frequently Asked Questions

Despite broad-based support, the Texas Legislature failed to pass a law preempting the type of paid sick leave ordinances enacted in Austin, San Antonio, and most recently Dallas before the end of its regular session on May 27, 2019. While a Texas court of appeal enjoined implementation of Austin’s paid sick leave ordinance and later ruled it unconstitutional, no litigation has been filed concerning the San Antonio and Dallas ordinances. Accordingly, companies with employees in San Antonio and Dallas may want to review their current policies to ensure compliance with these ordinances, both of which will take effect for most employers on August 1, 2019. (Employers with five or fewer employees have until August 1, 2021, to comply.)

Texas Paid Sick Leave: Dallas and San Antonio Employers Should be Prepared for Paid Sick Leave Laws by August 1 Absent Prompt Legislative or Court Intervention

Although there is no Texas state-wide law that requires paid sick leave in Texas, the cities of Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio have adopted paid sick and safe leave laws. Proposed legislation that would have blocked these laws from going into effect was introduced during the most recent Texas legislative session. However, as of late last week, as the regular Texas legislative session winds down, these efforts appear to be stalled, perhaps indefinitely. Options for legislative action to block the city-driven leave laws from going into effect are theoretically possible, but the practical chances of happening would require much to fall in place (e.g, passage in special session).

Amendments Would Add Clarity To Texas Anti-SLAPP Law

Significant changes to the Texas Citizens Participation Act, or TCPA, are on the horizon. Among other things, if signed into law by the governor, the amendments to the TCPA found in House Bill 2730 may provide some new statutory construction arguments to parties who believe the statute should be more narrowly construed to focus on the protection of freedom of speech and association that involve matters of public concern, akin to similar laws in other jurisdictions.

Dallas Joins the Fray – Will Paid Sick Leave Prevail in Texas?

Over the next several months, the fate of local paid sick leave laws may well be decided by the Texas legislature. But while lawmakers continue to debate whether Texas cities should be prohibited from establishing their own paid sick time mandates, efforts to expand their reach are marching forward. Last week, the City of Dallas boldly entered the fray.

Dallas’s Earned Paid Sick Time Ordinance: What Employers Need to Know

On April 24, 2019, the Dallas City Council passed an ordinance requiring employers to provide paid sick leave beginning as early as August 1, 2019. Dallas is the third Texas city (after Austin and San Antonio) to pass such an ordinance. The likelihood of the new Dallas ordinance taking effect remains to be seen, as it may be challenged in court—as was the case in Austin—and Texas legislators are working to pass a bill that would prohibit these sorts of local ordinances.

Dallas Passes City Ordinance Mandating Paid Sick Leave

On April 24, 2019, the Dallas City Council passed a paid sick leave ordinance by a vote of 10-4. This vote comes several months after a petition to get this issue on the November 2018 ballot failed when the city secretary declared there were not enough valid signatures for the issue to make the ballot.

Everything’s (Gig)ger in Texas: New State Law Classifies Gig Workers As Contractors

The confusion surrounding worker classification is not a new topic for any gig economy employer. Whether gig workers are classified as employees or independent contractors is a constant battle businesses face both in the legislature and the judiciary. But independent contractor classification may have just gotten a little simpler in Texas thanks to the Texas Workforce Commission.

Texas Committee Advances Bill to Prevent Municipalities From Enacting Employment Leave Ordinances

In 2018, the city councils in both Austin and San Antonio passed ordinances to require employers to provide paid sick leave to employees. The ordinances have faced legal challenges, including a ruling in November 2018 that the Austin law is unconstitutional due to preemption by the Texas Minimum Wage Act. Neither ordinance has taken effect to date. Now the state senate has taken up the matter.