Employers in Austin, Texas must abide by the city's Paid Sick Leave Ordinance, which requires them to provide employees with one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 64 hours a year or 48 hours a year for employers with 15 employees or fewer. This means that employers based outside of Austin must also grant sick leave to their employees. The ordinance also states that employers cannot restrict an employee from using sick time during the first 60 days of employment, unless they can prove that the employee is not employed by them. Furthermore, employers must transfer all accumulated and unused sick leave to the following year.
However, if employers anticipate sick leave at the beginning of the year, they don't have to transfer unused sick leave every year. In addition, employers must post a notice in a conspicuous place; in other places there are usually employment notices. The new law also requires Texas employers to record time spent with exempt employees for the purpose of accumulating sick leave. When the Austin Sick Leave Ordinance goes into effect, business owners will have to comply with the rules simultaneously. This means that they will have to provide employees with documentation about the amount of sick leave they have accumulated and used.
Moreover, employers can only verify the use of sick leave if the leave covers at least 3 or more consecutive days. Additionally, employers can only prohibit new employees from using sick leave if that employee's minimum period of employment is 1 year or more. Opponents of Austin's sick leave ordinance believe state law is being violated for three main reasons. Firstly, because employers have to pay 1 hour of sick leave for every hour worked, they actually pay more than the minimum wage to employees. Secondly, PTO is almost always part of a company's employee leave policy, and as such, the human resources team must clearly define it in each employee's contract or employment agreement.
Lastly, accumulated sick leave must be transferred to other locations if the employee changes their place of work or position. The San Antonio Paid Sick Leave Ordinance was passed and the Austin Paid Sick Leave Ordinance was suspended by the Court of Appeals. Therefore, it is essential for employers in Austin to understand their obligations under this ordinance and ensure that they are compliant with all its requirements.
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