No federal or Texas law mandates employers to pay for accumulated but unused paid vacation, although in some cases, courts have required such payments from former employees. Companies are allowed to specify this issue in their policies. By becoming the first city in the southern states to pass a paid sick leave law, Austin joins other cities in the country that already have such an ordinance. Employers may not require an employee to find a replacement to cover accumulated sick hours as a condition for using accumulated sick time.
Employers are not obligated to grant an employee sick leave beyond the applicable annual limit (e.g., they must review the compliance requirements established in the new ordinance, including the new reporting and record-keeping obligations). Employers cannot transfer, demote, dismiss, suspend, reduce hours or directly threaten these actions against an employee for requesting or using accumulated sick time, or for reporting a violation or participating in an administrative proceeding related to PSL rules. In Austin, Texas, employers are not legally required to pay employees for unused sick leave. However, employers must comply with the city's paid sick leave ordinance and ensure that their policies are in line with it.
This includes providing employees with the right to use their accrued sick time without fear of retribution. It is essential for employers to be aware of their obligations under the ordinance and make sure that they are compliant.