Third Court of Appeals Rules Austin Paid Sick Leave is Preempted by Texas Minimum Wage Act

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By Kelsey Basten

Published on Nov. 27, 2018

On Nov. 16, 2018, the Texas Third Court of Appeals ruled Austin’s Paid Sick and Safe Leave Ordinance unconstitutional. This ruling comes after the court decided the ordinance is preempted by the Texas Minimum Wage Act.

The ordinance was originally scheduled to take effect on Oct. 1, 2018 but was temporarily blocked by a Texas appeals court on Aug. 17, 2018. Several business organizations argued it directly violates the Texas Minimum Wage Act and would cost too much to implement its requirements.

Details of the Austin Paid Sick and Safe Leave Ordinance

The ordinance was originally approved in Feb. 2018, by the Austin City Council. It made Austin the first city in Texas to enact a law requiring employers to provide paid leave for their employees.

The ordinance required Austin employers with 5 or more employees to provide one hour of earned sick time for every 30 hours worked. The accrual would begin at the start of employment and carry over any unused time into the next year. The time could be used for:

  • Physical and mental illness
  • Preventative treatment
  • Caring for family members experiencing any of the above

This Labor Law News Blog is intended for market awareness only, it is not to be used for legal advice or counsel.

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