Austin Paid Sick and Safe Leave Law Preempted by Texas Minimum Wage Act, Third Court of Appeals Holds
On November 16, 2018, the Austin-based 3rd Court of Appeals declared Austin’s paid sick and safe leave ordinance unconstitutional. Specifically, the court held the ordinance is preempted by the Texas Minimum Wage Act and is, therefore, unconstitutional.
The Austin ordinance has been under attack since its inception. The Travis County District Court originally denied a temporary injunction against the ordinance. The ordinance (which was scheduled to take effect October 1, 2018) was then temporarily blocked by the appeals court in August 2018, to give itself time to issue a ruling on the appeal.
The November 16 ruling ordered the district court to grant a temporary injunction against the ordinance. Although the court of appeals’ decision requires a temporary injunction (because that was the issue on appeal), the court ordered “further proceedings consistent with [the appeals court’s] opinion” that the ordinance is preempted by state minimum wage law.