Recently the San Antonio City Council approved major changes to the city’s paid sick and safe leave ordinance. San Antonio’s ordinance was scheduled to take effect August 1, 2019.
Articles about Texas Labor And Employment Law.
Executive Summary: As we have mentioned in our previous Legal Alert, the effective date of San Antonio’s paid sick leave ordinance was delayed until December 1, 2019, by agreement after a lawsuit was filed against the city. At the time, the city indicated that one of the reasons for this agreed delay was so that the city could revise the ordinance. Earlier this month, San Antonio’s City Council passed the now-called Sick and Safe Leave Benefits ordinance which, barring any legal action or a decision from the Texas Supreme Court, will go into effect December 1, 2019. Some key changes include:
Executive Summary: As we have mentioned in our previous Legal Alert, the effective date of San Antonio’s paid sick leave ordinance was delayed until December 1, 2019, by agreement after a lawsuit was filed against the city. At the time, the city indicated that one of the reasons for this agreed
Two days before the Dallas paid sick leave ordinance goes into effect, two companies filed suit against the City challenging the ordinance. Attorneys with the Texas Public Policy Foundation, which represents these companies in the lawsuit, sent the City a letter last week, demanding that the City of Dallas follow San Antonio’s lead and delay the implementation of its almost identical ordinance until December 1. In a twist, the lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division. The plaintiffs are Collin County employers who are allegedly impacted by the ordinance because they have Dallas employees covered by the ordinance.
Today two plaintiffs represented by the Texas Public Policy Foundation filed a lawsuit challenging the Dallas paid sick and safe leave ordinance, which is scheduled to go into effect on August 1. It remains to be determined whether the implementation date will be officially delayed – either through a preliminary injunction or by agreement. The lawsuit is pending in the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division. For more information on the status of paid sick leave in Texas, see our recent blog post.
Even though it is less than 10 days before paid sick and safe time (PSST) ordinances in Dallas and San Antonio are/were scheduled to take effect, developments regarding the status of these ordinances are changing daily. These fast-paced changes have rendered the laws moving targets, and have left businesses and others affected by the laws scrambling to keep up with their attendant legal obligations.
In response to the lawsuit filed against the City of San Antonio regarding its paid sick leave ordinance, the City of San Antonio has agreed to postpone implementation of the ordinance until December 1, 2019. A Bexar County judge signed the agreed order on July 24, 2019. Accordingly, employers with San Antonio employees have been given a few months before they must enact paid sick leave policies for San Antonio employees (subject to any decision by the Texas Supreme Court on this issue).
They say everything is bigger in Texas and the controversy surrounding paid sick leave is no exception. With less than two weeks before the effective date of two paid sick leave laws in Texas, here is a quick scorecard on where these laws stand:
On Monday, July 15, the Associated Builders & Contractors of South Texas, joined by several other business groups, filed suit against the City of San Antonio seeking to block the implementation of the Paid Sick Leave ordinance set to go into effect, for most businesses, on August 1, 2019. The lawsuit alleges, like the Austin case pending in the Texas Supreme Court, that the ordinance violates the Texas Minimum Wage Act. An injunction hearing is set for July 24, 2019, at 9 a.m. If the court issues the injunction, the San Antonio ordinance will likely be put on hold while this continues to work its way through the courts.
Municipal ordinances mandating that employers provide paid sick leave to employees in Dallas and San Antonio will take effect as scheduled on August 1, 2019.
As discussed in our June 20, 2019 Alert, although the state of Texas does not require employers to provide employees with paid sick leave, the cities of Dallas, San Antonio and Austin have all recently passed ordinances which would require almost all employers with employees who work in those cities to provide paid sick leave to those employees. To provide guidance to employers, San Antonio has recently created a FAQ document about its ordinance. It can be found here. The city’s Metropolitan Health District will not be assessing penalties for violations, except in cases of retaliation, until April 1, 2020. From August 1, 2019 until April 1, 2020, the District will be focusing on educational compliance.
Executive Summary: Texas does not require private employers to provide paid sick leave to any employee. However, three major Texas cities – Dallas, San Antonio and Austin – have all recently passed ordinances which would require almost all employers with employees who work in those cities to provide paid sick leave to those employees. It was thought that the Texas Legislature would pass legislation that would prohibit these ordinances from existing in the first place. The legislative session ended, however, with no such legislation making its way to Governor Abbott’s desk after a disagreement arose over whether city ordinances prohibiting discrimination on LGBTQ status should be included in this prohibition. With the Austin ordinance declared unconstitutional by the Austin Court of Appeals and the Dallas and San Antonio ordinances scheduled to take effect on August 1, 2019, Texas employers are left wondering what to do about implementing paid sick leave for Dallas and San Antonio employees. This legal alert will provide employers an update on the current state of these ordinance and possible next steps.
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.
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.
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).