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Texas Legislative Session Ends With Sick Leave Laws in Limbo.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

(North American Meat Institute)

The Texas legislative session came to an end last week with legislators failing to pass a bill that would have banned cities from implementing paid sick leave mandates. The bill stalled due to perceived over-reaching language that would have not only outlawed cities from passing sick leave laws, but any employment laws - including prohibitions on sexual orientation and trans-gender discrimination. Because Texas has no such protections in its state anti-discrimination law, the only protections on the books are local ordinances, so lobbying groups came out in force to protect these ordinances. An Austin, Texas, paid sick leave law was shot down by a state appellate court in November 2018. That case will likely head to the Texas Supreme Court, which will decide whether the law is constitutional. San Antonio already passed a sick pay ordinance, scheduled to take effect August 1, 2019 for businesses with more than 15 employees. The San Antonio City Council is currently considering whether to postpone the effective date of its law to allow the Austin ordinance to be reviewed by the Supreme Court. Additionally, Dallas passed a sick pay ordinance in April 2019 to take effect August 1, 2019 for employers with more than five employees. The Texas legislature's failure to bring clarity to the issue leaves it difficult to determine when and how Texas employers will be affected.

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