This week, the San Antonio city clerk’s office verified that proponents of a mandatory sick leave ordinance have gathered a sufficient number of signatures on a petition for the City Council to consider the measure.
Now, the San Antonio City Council will decide whether to adopt such an ordinance or put it to the voters in either the November 2018 or May 2019 election.
Proponents of a San Antonio sick leave ordinance, labor union groups such as Unite Here, the AFL-CIO, Texas Organizing Project, and MOVE Texas, want the City to act quickly in adopting a city ordinance in San Antonio that mirrors the City of Austin’s recent paid sick leave ordinance.
In February 2018, the City of Austin passed an ordinance that would require all private employers operating in the City to provide paid sick leave for their employees.
The Austin ordinance mandates that private employers with more than 15 employees must allow their workers to accrue up to 64 hours, or eight days, of paid sick leave per year. Smaller businesses with 15 or fewer employees must provide at least 48 hours, or six days, of paid sick leave per year.
Austin’s ordinance is scheduled to go into effect on October 1st and will make Austin the first Texas city to pass a paid sick-leave ordinance. However, the Austin ordinance is being challenged by business groups and the Texas Attorney General in court, and it remains to be seen whether that ordinance will take effect as scheduled.
Meanwhile, the Texas Legislature has taken notice of the actions by various Texas cities, and we can certainly expect paid sick leave to be an active topic of conversation (and legislation) when the 86th Texas Legislature convenes in January.