- A Texas appeals court has temporarily blocked an Austin City Council ordinance requiring employers to provide workers with paid sick leave. The court concluded that to preserve the rights of both parties in the case, it would stop the ordnance from moving forward while litigation is ongoing.
- In a 9-2 vote last February, council members passed the ordinance that would allow workers at private companies to accrue up to 64 hours of paid sick leave each year, at a rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked. The law was scheduled to take effect Oct. 1.
- The plaintiffs in the case, which include the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the National Federation of Independent Business and the American Staffing Association, argue that the ordinance violates the Texas Minimum Wage Act and that without the stay, employers would have to bear the high cost of implementing the requirements, the Texas Tribune reported.
With states and localities passing their own laws on a number of issues — paid leave, minimum wage, pay equity, ban-the-box and more — employer representatives have been pushing back against this patchwork of ordinances.
And while a federal mandate may seem undesirable, SHRM and others are backing various such efforts, saying that one requirement would be preferable to this patchwork. At the same time, some employers are voluntarily establishing paid leave programs, both as a way to ensure compliance and as part of their recruiting and retention efforts.
Whether federal proposals and employer programs will be enough to stop the uptick of state and local requirements, however, remains to be seen. As the Trump administration moves to reverse many of the employee-friendly laws and regulations adopted during the Obama administration, lawmakers at the state and local level appear committed to canceling out those efforts.