Court temporarily blocks Austin’s paid sick leave ordinance

City of Austin 2

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Court of Appeals for the Third District of Texas temporarily blocked the city of Austin’s paid sick leave ordinance, Attorney General Ken Paxton said Friday evening, referring to the ordinance as ‘unlawful.”

The ordinance was blocked pending an appeal. 

“The minimum amount of compensation established for workers, including the minimum amount of paid time off, is a decision entrusted by the Texas Constitution solely to the Texas Legislature,” Attorney General Paxton said.

He continued, “I’m confident that an appeals court will recognize that the law expressly preempts cities from passing a different law simply because they disagree with the judgment of our state’s elected representatives.”

Paxton said he intervened in a lawsuit filed by the Texas Association of Business, National Federation of Independent Business, American Staffing Association, LeadingEdge Personnel, Staff Force, HT Staffing, and Burnett Staffing Specialists against the ordinance.

A June challenge to the ordinance, scheduled to take effect on Oct. 1, was shot down by a Travis County judge. 

The judge did not agree with the claim that it violates the state constitution.

The ordinance requires businesses with more than 15 employees to provide eight days of paid sick leave.

Businesses with fewer than 15 employees must provide six days of sick leave. Under the ordinance, employees will accrue one hour of sick time for every 30 hours they work and can start using it as soon as they’ve earned it.

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