Protest for paid sick leave held outside AG Ken Paxton’s office

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Several organizations protested for paid sick leave outside Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office Monday. 

“Right now, there are over 200,000 workers in our city that don’t have access to paid sick days and every single day workers need to choose between going to work sick, taking a pay cut or taking care of themselves or a loved one if they are sick,” said Ana Gonzalez with the Workers Defense Project. 

Austin City Council voted to approve the paid sick leave ordinance in February. 

A lawsuit was filed against the city by the Texas Public Policy Foundation in April with support from Paxton. 

Paxton says the ordinance is “unlawful” and should be up to the Texas Legislature, which also decides minimum wage. 

The ordinance requires private employers to allow their employees to have paid sick leave. Businesses with more than 15 employees are required to provide eight days of paid sick leave and businesses with fewer than 15 employees are required to provide six days of paid sick leave. 

The paid sick leave ordinance was scheduled to go in effect Oct. 1. However, the state Court of Appeals temporarily blocked the ordinance in August, pending an appeal.  

“Today would’ve been the day where the paid sick days ordinance would have been implemented,” Gonzalez said. “Because of the lawsuit that was filed by special interest and the one that the attorney general is participating in against the city of Austin, workers right now, are still with no paid sick days.” 

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