November 16, 2018-
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.
“This is a huge relief for our clients that the ordinance will not be going into effect,” said Ryan Walters, an attorney with the Center for the American Future at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. Attorney General Ken Paxton, who backed the plaintiffs, said the minimum wage law expressly prevented Austin from passing the ordinance. “The Legislature has established the minimum amount of compensation for workers, and the Texas Constitution prohibits local municipalities from ignoring the Legislature’s decision,” he said in a statement. The City of Austin said it is reviewing its options.