Austin became the first city in Texas to mandate employees earn an hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours they work.
“Since Austin has adopted it, you've already seen city councils in Houston, San Antonio and Dallas begin to discuss doing the same,” says Rob Henneke, general counsel with the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
Henneke says the mandate could crush small businesses and startups who simply cannot afford it.
“That may be a great benefit some employers are able to offer along with health insurance and retirement plans, but it is not something that should be forced upon businesses,” he says.
Backers argue there has been no ill effect of the mandate in 40 other entities around the country. The Texas Organizing Project is currently collecting petition signatures to place the issue on November;s ballot in San Antonio.
“Most businesses do the right thing, whether it's allowing their employees to pick up an extra shift, work additional hours or allowing some flexibility,” says Henneke. “But what you're mandating here is to pay people for not working.”