San Antonio Sick and Safe Leave Law Enjoined

DMEC StaffLegislative Updates

San Antonio Sick and Safe Leave Law Enjoined

By Michael J. Soltis, Esq.

Paid Sick Leave @Work

The PSL turbulence in Texas continues. On Nov. 22, 2019, a Bexar County judge temporarily enjoined implementation of San Antonio’s Paid Sick and Safe Leave Ordinance to become effective on Dec. 1, 2019.

The petitioners seeking the injunction were the State of Texas and a cadre of business interests. Judge Peter Sakai heard oral argument on the request for a temporary injunction on Nov. 8, 2019 and granted that request in a letter ruling. The court ordered that a date certain for a trial on the merits be set as soon as possible.

San Antonio’s efforts to enact a PSL ordinance have been challenged in litigation since July 2019. The initial San Antonio Earned Paid Sick Leave Ordinance was to be effective Aug. 1, 2019. On Jul. 15, a lawsuit was filed seeking to enjoin its implementation. The lawsuit raised a myriad of constitutional claims including that it was preempted by the Texas Minimum Wage Act. The plaintiffs and defendants had agreed to postpone the ordinance’s implementation until Dec. 1, 2019. In October 2019, the City Council amended the ordinance and renamed it the Sick and Safe Leave Ordinance. This ruling temporarily enjoins implementation of the amended ordinance.

In addition to San Antonio, Austin and Dallas have also enacted PSL ordinances. The PSL ordinance in Austin was enjoined in late 2018. The City of Austin has asked the Supreme Court of Texas to review that decision. There is also a legal challenge pending to the Dallas PSL ordinance.

***This article originally appeared on the Paid Sick Leave @Work site and was reposted on the DMEC website with their permission.***