Dallas & San Antonio Paid Sick Leave Ordinance Scheduled to Take Effect 8/1/2019

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Background

Texas does not have a statewide paid sick leave; however, paid sick leave ordinances in Dallas and San Antonio are scheduled to take effect on August 1, 2019.

NOTE: Austin’s paid sick leave ordinance, which was supposed to go into effect this past October, has been held unconstitutional by the Third Court of Appeals in Austin. The Third Court of Appeals decided that it violated the Texas Constitution because it was pre-empted by the Texas Minimum Wage Act. Given the similarities among the ordinances, the Texas Supreme Court’s decision on the Austin ordinance may impact the San Antonio and Dallas ordinances.

The 86th Texas Legislative Session failed to pass Senate Bill 2487, a seemingly well-supported bill to preempt all such ordinances from taking effect and being enforced. Without a Special Session, there is no other procedural method to revive the bill, and the Texas Legislature will not have an opportunity to address the sick leave preemption issue until the next session in January 2021.

High Level Key Points – for employers who have employees working in Dallas or San Antonio:

Effective dates:

  • August 1, 2019, for employers having more than five employees.
  • August 1, 2021 for employers with less than 5 employees.

Who is entitled?

  • Any employee (including part-time) who performed at least 80 hours of work for pay within the city in a year, including work performed through a temporary or employment agency.
  • Where the employee worked and for how many hours are the determining factors, regardless of whether the employer has a location within the city limits of Dallas or San Antonio.

What are qualified employees entitled to?

  • Employers with more than 15 employees – one hour of earned paid sick time for every 30 hours the employee worked in the city up to a yearly cap of 64 hours per employee per year.
  • Employers with less than 15 employees – one hour of earned paid sick time for every 30 hours the employee worked in the city for up to 48 hours per employee per year.

Notice requirements:

  • The employer must provide an employee at least a monthly statement showing the amount of the employee’s available earned paid sick time.
  • If an employer has an employee handbook, the ordinances require that the employer provide a statement of rights and remedies in the handbook.
  • The ordinances also require the display of a sign in a conspicuous place where other notices to employees are customarily posted.

What actions should an employer take?

Employers who already have a paid sick leave policy in effect that is the same as or more generous than these ordinances, (e.g. company’s policy already provides at least 64 hours (8 days) of paid time off to all employees (or 48 hours if  less than 15 employees) the Dallas and San Antonio ordinances both state that they do not require an employer to provide additional earned paid sick time. However, employers should consider developing procedures that will comply with the additional ordinance requirements (e.g. notice).

An employer who has more than five employees performing work in San Antonio and/or Dallas and does not currently have a paid sick leave policy that is compliant with these ordinances, should watch for continuing developments and start thinking about the necessary changes they need to make to their policies and practices in order to comply with these new rules by August 1.

References:

  1. City of Austin Sick Time Ordinance
  2. City Of San Antonio Paid Sick Leave
  3. Dallas Paid Sick Leave Ordinance

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