Austin, TX Paid Sick Leave Ordinance Ruled Unconstitutional

On November 16, 2018, the Austin-based 3rd Court of Appeals ruled that Austin’s paid sick and safe leave ordinance violates the state constitution. Specifically, the court held that the ordinance is preempted by the Texas Minimum Wage Act.

The Austin ordinance, which was scheduled to take effect October 1, 2018 and would have provided many private employees in Austin with between 48 and 64 hours of sick leave per year, faced mixed reviews from the beginning. The Travis County District Court originally denied a temporary injunction against the ordinance. The ordinance was then temporarily blocked by the appeals court in August 2018, to allow 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. The court of appeals ordered “further proceedings consistent with [the appeals court’s] opinion,” so the case is headed back to the lower court for a full trial.

Based on the recent election, several of the judges on the panel who heard the case will be replaced in January, so the fight over paid sick leave continues in the courts, and the ordinance could even see legislative challenges in the future. Stay tuned with your team at myHRcounsel!

This blog article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. Consult legal counsel with questions concerning specific facts and circumstances.