The future of paid sick leave ordinances in Texas is still uncertain, as the Texas Supreme Court recently declined to review a case that could have determined the legality of such ordinances. This decision effectively ends the controversy in Austin, where the ordinance was found to be unconstitutional by the Third Court of Appeals. San Antonio and Dallas have also passed paid sick leave ordinances, though San Antonio's never went into effect due to a similar legal challenge. At this time, neither the state legislature nor the Texas Supreme Court have been able to resolve the outstanding question of whether municipal paid sick leave ordinances are legal in Texas. All three laws would have required employers to allow employees to accumulate one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked.
However, due to the rulings, none of these laws are currently in effect. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and his team joined a lawsuit as co-plaintiffs on behalf of Texas, which helped stop similar measures in Dallas and San Antonio. The ordinance that required most private employers to allow workers to accumulate 64 hours of paid sick leave a year never went into effect and has been in the sights of conservatives for more than two years. Parallel lawsuits in each city will now continue without any further guidance from the Texas Supreme Court. It is wise for employers to periodically consult with an employment counselor to review the status of these ordinances and to be prepared to implement licensing programs that meet the requirements if these ordinances are allowed to take effect. In short, final decisions about the fate of these Texas paid sick leave ordinances are unlikely to be made anytime soon. The lack of clarity surrounding paid sick leave laws in Austin, Texas has left many employers uncertain about their obligations.
Employers should stay up-to-date on any changes or developments related to these laws and consult with an employment counselor if they have any questions or concerns. It is important for employers to understand their rights and responsibilities when it comes to providing paid sick leave for their employees.