Paid Sick Leave

A Bexar County judge has temporarily blocked the start of San Antonio’s Sick and Safe Leave ordinance which was set to begin on Dec. 1.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

For the last handful of legislative sessions, the Texas Legislature has had it in for Austin and other cities.

GOP lawmakers who regularly thumb their noses at "big government"-minded efforts in D.C. have filed bills targeting city laws regulating everything from plastic bag usage to how residents preserve trees, arguing city laws in Austin create a so-called patchwork of onerous regulations.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

From Texas Standard:

Momentum for one of Gov. Greg Abbott's priority issues this legislative session appears to have dwindled. Ordinances passed in Dallas, Austin and other Texas cities, which require private employers to offer paid sick leave to employees, will remain on the books now that an attempt to prohibit them failed to pass in the legislature.

Emree Weaver / The Texas Tribune

After facing unexpected friction in Texas’ Republican-dominated Legislature, a pair of bills to override local rules mandating paid sick leave and standardize employment practices across the state passed the Senate on Thursday over the objections of LGBTQ advocates who have warned the bills could threaten local non-discrimination protections.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

What started as seemingly simple state legislation hailed as good for Texas businesses is drawing skepticism from legal experts and outrage from advocates worried it would strike employment protections and benefits for LGBTQ workers.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Texas lawmakers on Thursday advanced a bill that would prevent a city from requiring private employers to give their workers certain benefits, such as paid sick leave.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

When the Texas Legislature reconvenes Jan. 8, lawmakers will already have on their desks bills aimed at undoing City of Austin rules.

The city-state conflict is nothing new. Last time they met in 2017, state lawmakers passed bills overturning Austin ordinances affecting ride-hailing companies, like Uber and Lyft, and passed a "sanctuary cities" bill.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Austin’s paid sick leave ordinance is likely not going into effect any time soon – and may never.

A Texas court of appeals ruled Friday that the ordinance, which mandates that most private employees in Austin get six to eight paid sick days a year, violates the state constitution. Specifically, it found, the ordinance is preempted by the Texas Minimum Wage Act.

Waylon Cunningham for The Texas Tribune

Saying that the city of Austin's paid sick leave ordinance would "undermine state sovereignty and upend constitutional structure," an attorney for the state of Texas joined lawyers for a conservative think tank on Wednesday in urging a state appeals court to uphold a temporary order blocking the ordinance from going into effect.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Correction: The city filed a brief in response to an injunction temporarily halting its sick pay ordinance. It has not yet appealed.

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The City of Austin said it plans to appeal a state court’s decision to put on hold the city’s paid sick leave ordinance, which was set to go into effect Oct. 1.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

There's some surprising news about the state of labor in Texas: the Lone Star State has been a right-to-work state since 1947, but it appears that unions in Texas are having a moment. Membership numbers are up, and it could be a turning point for organized labor, even in pro-business Texas.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

A state appeals court has put Austin's paid sick leave ordinance on hold.

Lotus Carroll

The San Antonio City Council passed a new paid sick leave ordinance Thursday — but the local rule may well die either in the courts or on the floor of the state Legislature before it goes into effect next year.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austin has endured several legal jabs from the state in the past couple months.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Austin City Council members voted Thursday to ask the city manager to look into creating a new department to oversee its labor rights laws – including rules that guarantee rest breaks for construction workers and mandate paid sick leave for private employees.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

An Austin-based conservative think tank has sued the city over its paid sick leave ordinance. The ordinance, which goes into effect Oct. 1, requires all private businesses to provide anywhere from six to eight paid sick days for employees.

Jorge Sanhueza Lyon / KUT

After passing rules that require all private employers to offer workers six to eight paid sick days a year, the City of Austin has agreed to extend its own policy to all local government employees. Previously, temporary employees, like lifeguards and crossing guards, were not covered.

Jorge Sanhueza Lyon / KUT

Austin City Council members voted early Friday to require all private employers in the city to provide employees at least six to eight days of paid sick leave, depending on the size of the company. 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Mornings at Hoover’s Cooking are spent hammering beef to make it thin enough for the restaurant’s best-selling dish: chicken fried steak.

“Other things that are good sellers are our fried catfish … and pork chops,” said Hoover Alexander, who has owned the restaurant on Manor Road since 1998.