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July 02, 2020

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Texas Paid Sick Leave: Dallas and San Antonio Employers Should be Prepared for Paid Sick Leave Laws by August 1 Absent Prompt Legislative or Court Intervention

Although there is no Texas state-wide law that requires paid sick leave in Texas, the cities of AustinDallas, and San Antonio have adopted paid sick and safe leave laws. Proposed legislation  that would have blocked these laws from going into effect was introduced during the most recent Texas legislative session. However, as of late last week, as the regular Texas legislative session winds down, these efforts appear to be stalled, perhaps indefinitely. Options for legislative action to block the city-driven leave laws from going into effect are theoretically possible, but the practical chances of happening would require much to fall in place (e.g, passage in special session).

For now, Texas employers with employees in Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio need to be prepared for every option. With respect to the Austin ordinance, the Austin-based Third Court of Appeals has held it is unconstitutional and enjoined enforcement.  That issue is currently on appeal to the Texas Supreme Court. The fate of the Austin ordinance will remain undetermined until the legal action is exhausted, the timing of which is uncertain. Meanwhile, there has yet to be a legal challenge to the Dallas and San Antonio ordinances. Both are scheduled to go into effect for most employers on August 1.

Employers with workers in San Antonio and Dallas would be well advised to watch this issue closely over the next few months and have a plan in place for compliance by August 1. The Dallas and San Antonio ordinances are modeled on the Austin ordinance, which is explained in detail here . As such, the outcome of the current litigation over the Austin ordinance may impact the future of the San Antonio and Dallas ordinances, even if they are not directly challenged through separate legal action. However, at this time, we cannot predict when that will occur.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2020National Law Review, Volume IX, Number 148

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About this Author

Kristin L. Bauer, Jackson Lewis, employment agreements lawyer, non solicitation issues attorney
Principal

Kristin L. Bauer is a Principal in the Dallas, Texas, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She represents management exclusively in workplace law and related litigation.

In addition to handling an active employment litigation docket, Ms. Bauer counsels management on preventive strategies, including termination decisions, investigations, employment agreements, non-compete and non-solicitation issues, wage and hour laws, policies and handbooks, and other issues affecting the workplace. She also provides advice and counsel to...

(214) 520-2400
Katrin Schatz, Employment Attorney, Litigation, Arbitration, Jackson Lewis Law Firm
Principal

Katrin Schatz represents management in all major areas of labor and employment law.  In her more than 13 years of practice, Ms. Schatz has defended employers nationwide in court, arbitrations and administrative proceedings in a broad range of employment matters, including class, collective and multi-plaintiff actions.  She has handled cases involving claims of age, race, disability and gender discrimination, wrongful discharge, whistleblower retaliation, wage and hour and ERISA violations, as well as disputes arising out of covenants not to compete, corporate trade secrets, officer and director fiduciary duties and executive employment contracts.  She also represents clients in connection with claims under the public accommodations provisions of the ADA. 

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