With Austin ordinance, paid sick leave comes to Texas
- Austin, Texas, became the first city in state to mandate paid sick leave for non-government employers, reports the Austin American-Statesman.
- Under the new ordinance, private employers generally will have to allow workers to accrue up to 64 hours of paid sick leave at a rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked. Those with 15 or fewer employees can cap workers' banks at 48 hours. An amendment that would have exempted non-profit organizations failed, according to the paper.
- The ordinance takes effect on Oct. 1. Businesses with five or fewer employees won't have to comply until October 2020.
Austin's ordinance is part of a broader trend. Paid sick leave mandates are gaining traction across the country; to date, nine states and the District of Columbia have adopted such laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Numerous cities have jumped on board, too.
And while employers must cope with various state and local laws — from minimum wage rates to ban-the-box laws — paid leave laws have proven particularly troublesome. In response, employer groups have drafted and backed a bill that would allow employers to opt-out of the patchwork of laws, in exchange for devising their own paid leave program and offering a flexible work arrangement. The bill remains under consideration in Congress.
Other employers, however, are increasingly adopting paid leave programs of their own, hoping to gain a competitive edge in recruiting in today's tight labor market.
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