Judge denies challenge to Austin’s paid sick leave ordinance


AUSTIN (KXAN) — A Travis County judge shot down a challenge to the city of Austin’s new paid sick leave policy Tuesday.

State business associations and local employers asked the judge for a temporary injunction that would prevent the ordinance from taking effect Oct. 1.

The policy will require all businesses in the city to provide paid sick leave for employees.

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

Beth Stevens, with the Texas Civil Rights Project, said, “There is the potential to appeal the court’s decision on that, but today we are really focused on the win for our clients and Austinites across the board.”

The plaintiffs’ attorneys say they will evaluate the option to appeal, but aren’t committing to that at this time.

“While this is an important victory, the fight isn’t over,” City Council Member Greg Casar said. “The same anti-worker groups who sued the City have made it clear they want to take paid sick days away from working people during the next legislative session.”

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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