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New Sick Leave Guidance for San Antonio Employers

San Antonio remains one of three Texas cities, along with Austin and Dallas, currently working to implement a paid sick leave ordinance. This past summer, we reported about the then-pending San Antonio sick leave ordinance, which was set to take effect on August 1, 2019, as well as the agreement in late July to delay its effective date to December 1, 2019, in order to study how the ordinance would affect workers and businesses.

Now, San Antonio has revised its ordinance, based on reviews and recommendations from a paid sick leave commission, giving employers updated guidelines for how to implement the ordinance on December 1. The most recent changes to the San Antonio ordinance primarily modify the “who” and the “how” of sick leave application.

The “who” that the ordinance applies to is now all employers regardless of size, creating a universal application of the rule. The “how” of ordinance application is now an accrual method standardized at one (1) hour of paid sick leave for every thirty (30) hours worked, up to a total of fifty-six (56) accrued sick leave hours per year. Other changes clarify when employees become eligible to accrue sick leave and how employees may file complaints about employer violations.

While many business groups still believe San Antonio’s revised sick leave ordinance is preempted by Texas’ state wage laws, and its implementation on December 1, 2019 is still to be determined, employers should remain vigilant and stay up-to-speed on these changes in the run-up to December 1, 2019. It is still possible that the revised San Antonio ordinance will be challenged in court as we’ve seen with similar Dallas and Austin ordinances.  At the time this blog post is published, the Austin ordinance remains enjoined and the Dallas ordinance is pending litigation. In the case of the Dallas ordinance, there is an October 8, 2019, hearing on a motion to transfer venue, and the City of Dallas just filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit on September 20, 2019.

© 2020 Foley & Lardner LLPNational Law Review, Volume IX, Number 280


About this Author

Michael Ryan, Employment Lawyer, Foley Gardere Law Firm

Michael Ryan is a labor and employment associate in Foley Gardere’s Houston office. His practice involves counseling employers on a wide-range of employment matters, including hiring and firing decisions, EEO and FLSA matters, enforcement of personnel policies, leave issues, accommodations, drug testing laws, classification of employees and other wage and hour matters, OSHA claims, safety regulations and governmental investigations. Michael represents clients of all sizes, including multinational corporations, local businesses and executives. He has represented clients in various sectors,...