Austin TX Business Law Blog

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Austin’s Sick Leave Ordinance Faces Challenge

Does Austin’s sick leave law violate the Texas Minimum Wage Act?

Recently, Austin passed a new ordinance that would require most private businesses in the city to provide employees with 64 hours of paid sick leave. The law is slated to start on October 1st, but now it is facing a legal challenge from a coalition of Texas businesses. The group seeks to overturn the bill by claiming it violates the state’s minimum wage act. Our Austin, Texas business law lawyers explore Austin’s new sick leave policy and the recent challenge to its legality.

Austin’s Sick Leave Act

Austin’s new ordinance requires that private employers with 15 or more employees provide employees with 64 hours of paid sick leave per year. Smaller businesses must give employees 48 hours of paid sick leave annually. The ordinance was approved by a 9-2 vote back in February.

The ordinance is intended to protect the legitimate health and safety needs of employees. Employees nationwide are often forced to go to work while sick out of fear of losing their jobs. Now, in Austin, employees will be entitled to additional legal protections which could improve their quality of life.

Some small business owners across Austin, however, are an afraid passage of the ordinance may negatively impact their business. A coalition of businesses against the ordinance include the Texas Association of Business and the National Federation of Independent Business. These groups are seeking an injunction against Austin’s enforcement of the ordinance.

Among their arguments in opposition to the ordinance, these Texas business organizations urge that the sick leave law violates the Texas Minimum Wage Act. The law, they claim, prevents localities from requiring private employers to pay above the federal minimum wage. Should the law go into effect, according to the lawsuit, it will increase the minimum wage because sick leave is a form of wages.

For now, employers in Austin will want to closely follow the status of Austin’s sick leave ordinance. Employers should plan to implement the law come October, as it currently stands to take effect. Employers will need to first determine whether they fall under the small or regular employer category. Next, employers will want to update employee handbooks and plan on how they may adapt to employees potentially taking more paid sick leave. Contact us for more information about business law.

Archived Posts



© 2023 The Kumar Law Firm PLLC | Disclaimer
2110 Ranch Rd 620 S, P.O. Box 341060, Lakeway, TX 78734
| Phone: 512-960-3808

Business Formation | Business Law | General Counsel Services | Purchase/Sale of a Business | Establishing Company Policies and Employee Handbooks | Franchise Law | Intellectual Property Strategy | Intellectual Property Law | Patents | Trademarks and Service Marks | Copyrights | Trade Secrets | Contracts & Negotiations | Business Succession Planning | Estate Planning | Alternative Dispute Resolution for Business | About

Google+Linked-In Company